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Review : Handel and Hendrix Exhibition in London at Brook Street

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The houses in 23 and 25 Brook Street have long been the source of fascination for Londoners and visitors to London, marked by two blue plaques they were at one time the residences of two of the great musical talents. This exhibition entitled Handel & Hendrix in London allows visitors access into the rooms that were occupied in certain periods by George Frideric Handel  and Jimi Hendrix.

Handel House (25 Brook Street) is the Georgian townhouse where George Frideric Handel lived and worked for 36 years. He wrote many of his greatest works there, including Messiah and held rehearsals and first performances of his music and died in the second-floor bedroom in the house in 1759.

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Entering from Brook Street, you walk up the stairs to enter the world of George Frideric Handel, one of the great 18th century composers. The location of Brook Street allowed Handel to be close to the theatres of Covent Garden and be surrounded by the shops and coffee houses of a dynamic 18th century London.

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Handel’s connections to the Hanoverian court encouraged him to move to London and he became one of the most famous composers of his time. Much of his music was composed in the Composition Room on the first floor next to Music Room where Handel used to rehearse, perform and entertain.

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Before he had moved into Brook Street in 1727, Handel had already composed The Water Music for a royal water party and was appointed ‘Master of the Orchestra’ of London’s first Italian opera company, the Royal Academy of Music. Over the next 40 years he would write some 31 operas for the London stage, one of his most famous works was Zadok the Priest for the coronation of King George II in 1726. It is a piece of music that has been featured in every British coronation since. Other famous works composed in Brook Street were Messiah, first performed in 1742 and Music for the Royal Fireworks performed in 1748.

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Moving up to the next floor is the more private parts of the house, Handel who never married found a peaceful retreat in his bedroom and dressing room.

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Going up the next flight of stairs, visitors are fast forwarded over 200 years, entering the top floor flat which was home to guitar legend, Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix moved into the flat in 23 Brook Street in 1968 and it became a meeting place for musicians in the swinging 60s. The release of the Electric Ladyland LP in that summer confirmed Hendrix has one of the guitar greats of the 1960s.

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For the first time, visitors can now enter the flat and see the living room and bedroom, carefully restored as it was when he lived there in 1969. Next door is albums from his record collection which feature many of his influences especially Bob Dylan.The flat features original exhibits, including the Epiphone FT79 acoustic guitar which he bought in New York at the end of his first US tour with the Experience and brought back to London and multimedia presentation showing the great musician in action.

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This Handel & Hendrix exhibition offers an intriguing exploration of two great musical talents whose influence on the London music scenes in their respective times was considerable. Each part of the fascinating exhibition has been painstakingly restored to illustrate the musician’s lives and times. Personal items and period pieces combine to create distinct periods to give the visitor insights into the lives of two remarkable musicians.

You can visit, just one part of the exhibition for a reduced rate, however it is well worth visiting the whole exhibition to fully experience this historic London Georgian townhouse in the middle of Mayfair.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Handel & Hendrix in London website here

Visitor Information
Handel & Hendrix in London, 25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HB
Opening hours from 10 February 2016: Monday-Saturday 11am-6pm; Sunday 12noon-6pm;
Last admission: 5pm.
Admission: Handel & Hendrix: Adult £10; Child £5. Handel House (only): Adult £7.50; Child £3.
Hendrix Flat (only) : Adult £7.50; Child £3.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Handel and Hendrix Exhibition in London at Brook Street from 10th February 2016

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The houses in 23 and 25 Brook Street have long been the source of fascination for Londoners and visitors to London, marked by two blue plaques they were at one time the residences of two of the great musical talents. Handel House (25 Brook Street) is the Georgian townhouse where George Frideric Handel lived and worked for 36 years. He wrote many of his greatest works there, including Messiah and held rehearsals and first performances of his music and died in the second-floor bedroom in the house in 1759.
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Over 200 years later, top floor flat was home to guitar legend, Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix moved into the flat in 1968 and it became a meeting place for musicians in the swinging 60s. The release of the Electric Ladyland LP in the summer confirmed Hendrix has one of the guitar greats of the 1960s.

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For the first time, visitors can enter the flat and Handel House as part of Handel & Hendrix in London, a new permanent exhibition tracing Hendrix’s life in London in 1968 and 1969. It will feature original exhibits, including the Epiphone FT79 acoustic guitar which he bought in New York at the end of his first US tour with the Experience and brought back to London.
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The upper floor rooms of 23 Brook Street following a £2.4M, two-year period of restoration, building and development will open permanently to the public from 10 February 2016. At the centre of the Hendrix flat will be the main living room, painstakingly restored to how it would have been when Hendrix was in residence, also Hendrix’s bedroom carefully restored as it was when he lived there in 1969.
384A_8. Jimi Hendrix at 23 Brook Street, 1969. Credit (c)Barrie Wentzell

 Photograph Barrie Wentzell

The exhibition will explore Hendrix’s life in the flat drawing on new interviews with some of the many visitors to the flat. In creating Handel & Hendrix in London, the footprint of the building has been extended and a new learning and performing space, The Studio built, a new lift introduced, giving full access to the whole building, and new visitor facilities. Handel & Hendrix in London has been designed so that visitors can choose the rooms of the musician with whom they are most interested, or take in the whole building.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Handel & Hendrix in London website here

Visitor Information
Handel & Hendrix in London, 25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HB
Opening hours from 10 February 2016: Monday-Saturday 11am-6pm; Sunday 12noon-6pm;
Last admission: 5pm.
Admission: Handel & Hendrix: Adult £10; Child £5. Handel House: Adult £7.50; Child £3.
Hendrix Flat: Adult £7.50; Child £3.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here
 

London’s ‘Tin Pan Ally’ – A Walk Down Denmark Street

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Denmark Street is a street on the edge of London’s West End near to Tottenham Court Road station. The street origins date from the 17th century and was named after Prince George of Denmark. Although historically it had a number of famous residents including the painter Johann Zoffany and Augustus Siebe, who pioneered the diving helmet, in the 20th century it became associated with British popular music.

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From the 1950s, the street became known as Britain’s “Tin Pan Alley” and housed a large number of music publishers’ offices. When this market declined in the 1960s it became home to music shops and recording studios. The Rolling Stones recorded at Regent Sound Studio and the Gioconda café became a well known meeting place for musicians that included David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and the Small Faces.

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In the 1970s, Malcolm McLaren and The Sex Pistols rehearsed in the street and cult comic and science-fiction bookshop, Forbidden Planet opened their first shop in 1978 . Well respected music papers, the Melody Maker and the New Musical Express began from offices in the street.

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In the 1980s and 1990s, the street declined as a hotbed for new talent and became known for its instrument shops. Recent development of the area has led to the closure of the well loved 12 Bar Club and Enterprise Studios but a number of instrument shops  are still trading.

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London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here