Cicerone Ensemble

Thomas Wormitt, traverso · Andreas Gilger, spinet

On Her Majesty’s Service

The kings and queens of the 18th century – one might think – did not lack for anything. But if you were a woman promised to a foreign ruler in marriage, you had to be prepared for possibly a lot of sadness and most of all loneliness. This is what Queen Charlotte may have experienced when she moved to England as the German wife of King George III – without speaking a single word of English. But as Queen she soon found ways and means to deal with her homesickness and founded the Queen’s Chamber Band, a chamber music ensemble at the English court whose members had one thing in common above all: they were German.

For our Artist-in-Residence project we put together a duo programme with works from the sphere of Queen Charlotte. The spinet switches roles, from basso continuo to obligato accompaniment or solo playing with accompanying flute. In a virtuoso competition, works by the Queen’s most important musical acquaintances will be heard. This music not only helped Charlotte to alleviate her homesickness, but also to get closer to her husband. For it was mainly their love of music and playing music together that was the bond between them. This happiness was not to be  long-lived, though: after a few years of marriage – without Charlotte initially getting to know about it – there first signs of the King’s mental illness began to appear, an illness which was to weigh deeply on her in the years to come.

The works in our programme – written in happier days when Charlotte and George pursued their joint passion for music together – tell of a vibrant music scene, of historic encounters, of successful concert series, and of a Queen and her destiny.

Concert Programme

Works by Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782), John Stanley (1712-1786), Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787) and Johann Christian Fischer (1733-1800).


Website Cicerone Ensemble