Townsend: Handel's Visit to Dublin

Pdf Townsend, Horatio. An account of the visit of Handel to Dublin. Dublin: James McGlashan, 1852.
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Horatio Townsend was born in Curzon Street, London on 31 August 1802. He was a barrister who practiced in Dublin. He was known as a great authority on the works of GF Handel.

From 1854 on, Townsend’s siblings were worried about his health and well-being. Correspondence between them shows that he was a troubled and difficult man. His health and disposition continued to deteriorate over the following years. He died of apoplexy in 1864 in a Pension Medicale thought to have been on Charlemont Street, which his brother managed to get him into.

GF Handel had come to Dublin in November 1741 and stayed until the summer of 1742. This was an attempt to have quiet year away from London, where his earlier success as an opera composer was dwindling under political and artistic opposition. Townsend detailed Handel’s complete visit in this small book Handels Visit to Dublin published in 1852. While in Ireland, Handel gave a series of concerts. The New Music Hall had only just opened in Fishamble Street, one of the first concert halls built in Europe. His stay was a huge success and he praised the Dublin audiences and performers highly. The magnificent conclusion was the first performance of the Messiah, composed the previous summer in London.

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