Johann Christoph Pepusch (1667-1752)

Pepusch left his native Germany to settle in England and was certainly in London by 1704. He was at first employed as a viola player and later as harpsichordist at the Drury Lane Theatre. There he collaborated with several of the leading literary figures of the day in the production of a series of masques. Among these was Venus and Adonis, whose success did much to establish his reputation in the London musical world. William Croft, Pepusch was awarded the degree of Doctor of Music at Oxford in 1713. He served for about 20 years as musical director to the Duke of Chandos at Cannons, and wrote a considerable amount of church music for the chapel there. Handel was also at Cannons during Pepusch's period as director, but his position there was as resident composer. Around 1726 the Academy of Ancient Music was established, and Pepusch was among the 13 founder-members. Later in 1735, he became its director and under him a series of subscription concerts was given, which featured a number of distinguished musicians, including Handel and Geminiani. Pepusch's name is strongly associated with the Beggar's Opera, to which he contributed the overture and the song-settings. This piece was such a popular success that it has perhaps overshadowed Pepusch's other achievements, which include a considerable number of instrumental works, as well as the church music and stage works referred to.

Five Cantatas with Recorder
Aria: Oh I feel the friendly blow
The Death of Dido
The Death of Dido
Britannia & Augusta