Tuesday 1 October 1667

All the morning busy at the office, pleased mightily with my girle that we have got to wait on my wife. At noon dined with Sir G. Carteret and the rest of our officers at his house in Broad Street, they being there upon his accounts. After dinner took coach and to my wife, who was gone before into the Strand, there to buy a nightgown, where I found her in a shop with her pretty girle, and having bought it away home, and I thence to Sir G. Carteret’s again, and so took coach alone, it now being almost night, to White Hall, and there in the Boarded- gallery did hear the musick with which the King is presented this night by Monsieur Grebus, the master of his musick; both instrumentall — I think twenty-four violins — and vocall; an English song upon Peace. But, God forgive me! I never was so little pleased with a concert of musick in my life. The manner of setting of words and repeating them out of order, and that with a number of voices, makes me sick, the whole design of vocall musick being lost by it. Here was a great press of people; but I did not see many pleased with it, only the instrumental musick he had brought by practice to play very just. So thence late in the dark round by the wall home by coach, and there to sing and sup with my wife, and look upon our pretty girle, and so to bed.

12 Annotations

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... I think twenty-four violins ..."

Another direct imitation of French practice in Charles II's household and court:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Vingt-quatre_V...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

'...there to sing and sup with my wife, and look upon our pretty girle..." Sam with his new doll.

cum salis grano   Link to this

the second seven year itch????

Spin2Win   Link to this

"Those kids and their new musick! How can anyone listen to that noise?"

Timeless.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Charles beaming...

"And now...Right here on our stage...The Grebus!!!"

Screams as curtains part to reveal Monsieur Grebus and his musicians and vocalists...Ladies-in Waiting jumping up...

Frowning Sam in audience...Can't see, can't hear a word...Screaming young woman just elbowed me in the gut when I made a move.

"Madames and Monsieurs...Ladies and Gentlemen...My variations on a English song for Peace..." Grebus bows...The musicians rising... "The Rite of Peace..."

Blare of sound...

classicist   Link to this

'The manner of setting words . . . out of order. . .and that with a number of voices, makes me sick, the whole design of vocall musick being lost by it.' Is he old-fashioned or new-fangled? Thomas Tallis's 40-part 'Spem in Alium' was hot stuff nearly a century before.

highheeledhistorian   Link to this

Love his reaction to the concert, speaks across the generations, does it not?!
"to sing and sup with my wife, and look upon our pretty girle, and so to bed" Things haven't changed here either.
Utterly timeless, yet so archaic.

Best wishes.

Don O'Shea   Link to this

Meant to post this site on London maps today, but was catching up on entries and posted it yesterday. Here's the URL: (http://www.tuaw.com/2010/10/01/first-look-time-...)

Claire   Link to this

New Musick? Remember J.S.Bach & Boy George Handel are just 17 years old in 1667.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I'm afraid of these wunderkin, neither Handel nor Bach are born yet. (both 1685). But it sure would be nice for Sam if they had been. Imagine the delight he'd've taken to have been there long enough to hear them get under way.

On the other hand he might have fumed at these young radicals in music, but I don't think so.

Claire   Link to this

Thanks Robert. My face is red...don't know why I had it in mind that they were born 1650. *chagrined*

nix   Link to this

"The manner of setting of words and repeating them out of order, and that with a number of voices, makes me sick" --

He could be quoting my wife after some of my choral concerts.

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