Within the space of ten years, from say to , he rose to fame and riches, only to descend into relative obscurity following the loss of his wealth which was equally as dramatic as the gaining of it. Born in the son of a Herefordshire squire, in he married his cousin, Mary Lake c. He rose by force of personality, administrative ability and the favour of the Duke of Marlborough to become Paymaster of the Forces Abroad during the War of the Spanish Succession. His first wife, Mary died in , and in Brydges married his 43 year-old first cousin, Cassandra Willoughby At about this time he began the enlargement of Canons, remodeling the Jacobean mansion in the Georgian Baroque style. In October Brydges inherited the earldom of Caernarvon, which had recently been bestowed on his ailing father.
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It has been suggested that the move to Cannons was related to the fact that in there was reduced demand for his services in central London because operatic productions were experiencing a temporary downturn. While Handel was at Cannons, the ducal chapel was still being constructed it was finished in The church music was performed at the parish church St Lawrence , Whitchurch.
St Lawrence still contains artwork by Louis Laguerre and Bellucci who also worked on the decorative scheme of the house. At the east end of the church is the organ used by Handel. Modernised over the years, it was restored in using the surviving parts of the original single- manual organ as the reference point.
The scoring of the anthems varies, with strings predominating including first and second violins but only occasionally violas , cellos and basses. There is usually a separate part for an oboe, and one for organ. Handel used several parts of his Brockes Passion in "Esther. According to tradition, Acis and Galatea was performed in the garden. Appropriately for Cannons, which had expensive water features, the pastoral hero Acis is transformed into a fountain at the end.
Instrumental music[ edit ] Handel published eight keyboard suites in It is possible, though unproven, that some of them were written at Cannons. Dating the music is difficult because it was written over a period of years and the composer had been happy to leave it in manuscript until he got wind of a forthcoming unauthorised publication.
The Harmonious Blacksmith variations concluding the 5th suite, in E major is said to have been written at Cannons.
Handel at Cannons