Also in De­cem­ber 1818

BBC Music Magazine - - Thefullscore -

1st: Fol­low­ing the death of his brother, Tom, from tu­ber­cu­lo­sis, the poet John Keats moves to Went­worth Place, a house near Hamp­stead Heath owned by his friend

Charles Ar­mitage Brown. Dur­ing his stay there, he goes on to write some of his best­known work, in­clud­ing Ode on a Gre­cian Urn and La Belle Dame sans Merci.

3rd: Karl van Beethoven, the com­poser’s 12-year-old nephew, runs away from his care to be with his mother, Jo­hanna. Ap­pointed sole guardian of Karl af­ter a pro­tracted le­gal bat­tle with Jo­hanna two years ear­lier, Beethoven se­cures his re­turn with help from the po­lice. Karl is then sent to stay for a pe­riod at the house of his board­ing school mas­ter Gian­nat­ta­sio del Rio, where he re­mains un­der strict su­per­vi­sion.

10th: The Ger­man-born artist Hu­bert Mau­rer dies in Vi­enna, aged 80. Best known for his por­traits and paint­ings with ei­ther re­li­gious or mytho­log­i­cal themes, his most fa­mous works in­clude Circe and Odysseus and Moses and the burn­ing bush. As a teacher at the Vi­enna Acad­emy of Fine Arts for 32 years, he had many dis­tin­guished pupils.

25th: Founded in Bos­ton three years pre­vi­ously with the aim of pro­mot­ing and per­form­ing the mu­sic of its two epony­mous com­posers, the Han­del and Haydn So­ci­ety gives the first ever com­plete per­for­mance of Han­del’s The Mes­siah in the US. Two months later, the so­ci­ety does like­wise with Haydn’s The Cre­ation.

29th: Ar­mand-em­manuel de Vignerot du Plessis, the Duke of Riche­lieu, re­signs as prime min­is­ter of France, os­ten­si­bly in re­sponse to a re­fusal by his col­leagues to sup­port a change to elec­toral law. He thus leaves a post he has held with re­luc­tance since suc­ceed­ing Tal­leyrand in 1815.

Place of po­etry: Went­worth House, home to John Keats (above)

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