Thursday 6 September 2012

Be prepared to travel - the Kings Consort new season

The Kings Consort logo
The brochure for the Kings Consort's new season popped into my mailbox. It looks an attractive season with some rather enticing events, but you will have to travel if you want to see them. They are making two appearances at the Wigmore Hall, but all the rest of their programme is performed out and about, with none of the bigger works are making it to the UK. Which is a shame, still the season is worth travelling for.

In September they are giving the closing concert in the Leipzig 2012 Mendelssohn Festtage in the Gewandhaus. This is Mendelssohn's other oratorio, Paulus, not as consistent as Elijah but still with some good things in it and the Kings Consort have a terrific cast with Lucy Crowe, Diana Moore, Paul Nilon and David Wilson-Johnson. Lucy Crowe and David Wilson-Johnson return, this time with James Gilchrist for Haydn's The Creation in St. Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent, in Belgium as part of the Flanders Festival. The cathedral is a wonderful space and lovely to sing in, though I have to admit to being rather lukewarm about The Creation. They are repeating the work (with Lorna Anderson and Joshua Ellicott) in Valencia.

From Valencia to the even more exotic Ilkley in West Yorkshire for a programme of music for trumpet and strings with Crispian Steele-Perkins. Still in England, in December they come to Wigmore Hall on 18 December with Lucy Crowe for a programme of baroque music. Crowe sings Bach's cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen and Handel's motet Silete venti, whilst the ensemble play Handel, Purcell and Albinoni, a lovely programme and Crowe is always wonderful to listen to.

Lorna Anderson returns in a concert of Handel's Heroines at Valetta's new baroque festival, certainly a reason for visiting Malta in January. They are also performing the programme at the Halle Handel Festival in June 2013.

In March, Valencia and Pamplona see them performing Bach's St Matthew Passion with Charles Daniels as the Evangelist. And in April they are touring a performance of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with Carolyn Sampson and Roderick Williams, this is visiting Vienna (Theater an der Wien), and four places in the Netherlands. Hearing Sampson singing Dido is a delectable idea, and I've never been to Vienna so it sounds tempting indeed.

Vivaldi's serenata La Senna festeggiante, a rather fun and lovely piece commissioned by the French ambassador for performance in Venice, is performed in the Musee d'Orsay in June 2013, about as close as you could come to performing in the Seine itself.

Finally, Lucy Crowe and the Kings Consort return to the Wigmore Hall on 17 July 2013 for an all Bach programme with five arias from cantatas (sacred and secular) and six trio sonatas (re-scored for a variety of instruments). Sounds rather colourful and attractive.

The group are also launching their own CD label, Vivat, with the first discs promised for February 2013. Very intriguingly the first disc, I was glad, will be music by Parry and Stanford recorded on period instruments. This will be the first disc on Vivat and the Kings Consort's 100th disc. Further discs include Carolyn Sampson in Couperin's Lecons de tenebres, a selection of Monteverdi's secular music and the Allegri Quartet in Beethoven. Further ahead, Iestyn Davies singing Handel arias. Sounds tempting doesn't it.

Further details from the Kings Consort website.

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