St Nicholas Church by the river was packed last night for the commemoration of Hogarth’s death. The Hogarth monument in the churchyard had been dressed with a garland of evergreens and white roses and a spray of flowers was laid by candlelight by Cllr Corinna Smart, the Mayor of Hounslow, in front of a substantial crowd.
In this special “co-production” by the Friends of St Nicholas Church and the William Hogarth Trust, the musicians of Ars Eloquentiae maintained a careful balancing act between their beautiful performance of 18th century pieces that Hogarth would have known and their jolly encouragement of the audience in those pieces where they could take part. Chad Kelly even managed the equivalent of an extended guitar solo in the Thomas Arne Harspichord Concerto no 5! The programme of readings was led skilfully by James Wisdom and explored many aspects of Hogarth’s life. Rosalind Knight and Lars Tharp read contemporary quotes amusingly and movingly. It was a tremendous evening – thanks to everyone who supported it!
The big event of the 250th anniversary year takes place on the evening of 25 October at St Nicholas Church, Church Street, Chiswick, London W4. All are welcome.
The William Hogarth Trust is delighted to be working closely with the Friends of St Nicholas Church on this project.
The evening will include music which Hogarth would have known, with works by Handel and Arne, as well as drinking songs and ballads from The Beggar’s Opera. It will be performed by Ars Eloquentiae, who specialise in period music, and, where appropriate, by the audience as well! Hogarth’s friend Thomas Morell lived near him in Chiswick Lane and was librettist to Handel – some of his work will be included.
In addition excerpts from 18th century documents, including Hogarth’s own autobiographical writings will be read by Rosalind Knight, Lars Tharp and others, to celebrate his sociable life, his work and his interests in music and the theatre. James Wisdom, Chairman of the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society, will be Master of Ceremonies, providing the Chiswick context.
Admission is £10.00, payable on the night (free to Friends of St Nicholas Church). Doors open at 6.45pm, flowers will be laid at Hogarth’s tomb on the river side of the church at 7.00pm and the performance will begin at 7.30pm. Refreshments will be available and special commemorative souvenirs will be on sale.
Supported by the J. Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Hounslow Council & Fleet Tutors