Handel and Hendrix???

Here is a pair for you! 

Jimi Hendrix 1942-1970

George Frederic Handel 1685-1759

Yes, friends, Hendrix and Handel are together at last. Or, rather, at first!  In a wonderful coincidence, the two composer/performers lived in the almost the same building, separated by one wall and about 200 years. Here is the article that explains the new exhibition at London's Handel House Museum.

Handel House Museum
25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London

For more about the Handel House Museum, click here.

For those of us who see little in common among the two, other than gender and profession, the article points out several things.  Both were immigrants to England, Hendrix from the U.S., Handel from Germany. Both were improvisers, Hendrix on the electric guitar and Handel on the harpsichord.

The actual Hendrix apartment is now used as office space for the museum, but they hope to restore it to the look Hendrix had in the 60's.

I (Victoria) visited a couple of years ago when the exhhibition, in addition to the restored rooms of Handel's time, concerned The Messiah and its performances, first in Dublin in 1742, and later, when the most familiar version was adapted as a benefit for the Foundling Museum in London in 1754.

The buildings used for museum have shops on the first floor. The access to the museum is from the rear, where new entrances with elevators have been added in a creative adaptive reuse, worth seeing in itself. I recommmend it as a nice respite from the large museums of London -- or the tribulations of Mayfair shopping.

Last June 2010, when Kristine and I were in London, we attended a wonderful concert at St. Martin's in the Fields off  Trafalgar Square. As we considered whether to go, Kristine said she wanted to hear Handel's Royal Fireworks Music.  Guess what they played?? Yes, selections from the Royal Fireworks Music, as well as music by Bach, Mendelssohn, and others, including a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah.  Not a note, however, from Jimi Hendrix.

The Handel-Hendrix exhibition runs through November 7, 2010.