Vibrant London concert life in 1800 surpassed even that of metropolises like Paris or Vienna. That’s because in the numerous theatres and “pleasure gardens”, operas and other musical entertainment were regularly presented on several days a week: music lovers could choose between competing concert series, Italian opera, oratorios or plays, masques and pantomimes accompanied by music – no wonder that Johann Mattheson already wrote in his first theoretical treatise from 1713: “Whoever imagines himself to be superior in music these days goes to England […]”.
In this artistically fruitful climate, in which even amateur music societies regularly gave orchestra concerts, presented musical performances in theatres and were involved in opera performances, the bourgeois salon was of course also cultivated (differing from the aristocratic salon in that one listened to the music performed silently and with full concentration). It served as a venue where humanistic ideals were cultivated, and the piano developed into the characteristic piece of furniture for the room. In this Philharmonic salon entitled Delights of Harmony – Music in English Salons in 1800, Götz Teutsch traces the private and semi-public music culture of the British bourgeoisie, which had ascended to become the new “middle class”. Stefan Kaminski will read texts by Laurence Sterne, among others: his Tristram Shandy was celebrated not only in London’s salons. Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker provide the musical setting.