Tag Archives: #ThrowbackThursday

Did You Know…

Did you know that there’s an instrument in our showroom who’s woods have been naturally seasoned for over 50 years?

You can read all about it here and, trust us, the pictures do not do this stunning instrument justice. The (very) well aged Madagascan Rosewood is considered so precious by the luthier that it has its own locked seasoning room which it shares with other, similarly precious, aged tone woods.

Sculpted into this stunning guitar by 3rd generation Spanish luthier Ricardo Sanchis Carpio, this beautiful instrument captures the resonant bass notes typical of rosewood whilst delivering sustained treble too. And, amazingly, with a price tag of under £5k 😱

Sadly, Ricardo is no longer able to make instruments so this is one of the few new instruments left for sale.

Birthday Tribute

We haven’t done one of these for a long time so today’s post is a birthday tribute to Charles Frederick Horn who was born this day in 1762

Although not a stringed instrument player, we’ve chosen him as his story really is one of becoming a musician against all the odds and with a good deal of luck in becoming successful. His father wanted him to be a surveyor and, when he discovered him practicing music in secret, he destroyed the family clavichord to force him to focus on his studies.
Undeterred he took lessons in secret from a local organist. When the organist died, he decided to make for Paris armed only with a small suitcase of clothes and a little money. Once there he was persuaded that he would be better off in London by a gentlemen called Winkelman. Winkelman accompanied him to London whereupon he stole Horn’s money and left him to fend for himself.

Destitute, and knowing no English, Horn ended up wandering the streets of London before luck intervened and he met a German-speaking Irishman who sympathised with his plight. The man took Horn to a piano shop in Cheapside where Horn played the piano for one of the proprietors. Having impressed him, he arranged an introduction to the Saxon ambassador; de Brühl. de Brühl then recommended Horn to Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford, who hired him as his daughters’ music teacher.

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The tutelage meant moving to Trentham Hall, Leveson-Gower’s estate in Staffordshire, where, he met and fell in love with Diana Dupont; the French tutor of Leveson-Gower’s daughters. The two married on 28 September 1785, and subsequently moved to London where Dupont gave birth to the couple’s first child in 1786.
That same year Horn published his first composition, Six Sonatas for the Piano, Violin, and Violoncello (Op. 1). Subscribers to the work included Muzio Clementi, Johann Peter Salomon, the Prince of Wales (later to become George IV), and Lady Caroline Waldegrave.

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Lady Caroline Waldegrave then introduced Horn to Queen Charlotte, who appointed him as her personal music tutor; he instructed the Queen twice a week from October 1789 for four years. While in her service, and beyond, he was also engaged to teach music to the royal princesses. During his employment in the royal household, he composed a set of three Sonatas (Op. 2), which he dedicated to the Queen.

Horn continued to compose but he is probably best known for arranging and editing music; in particular, the works of Bach. In 1807, he published an arrangement for two violins, viola, and cello/piano for 12 of Bach’s organ fugues. The following year he met Samuel Wesley; with whom he would collaborate in editing, arranging, and publishing the first ever complete edition of Bach’s six trio sonatas for organ (1809) and the first English edition of the Well-Tempered Clavier (1810).

In June 1824, King George IV appointed Horn as organist of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. He stepped down after King George’s death on 26 June 1830, and died shortly after in Windsor. He was buried at St George’s Chapel. Horn was survived by his wife, with whom he had seven children.

Despite all these achievements, which were undoubtedly against the odds, we could find no picture of this remarkable man to share with you.