Tuesday 11 December 2012

Oxford Baroque in London

Next Tuesday (18 December) there is a chance to catch Oxford Baroque in London. The up and coming early music ensemble are making their debut at St. John's Smith Square as part of the venue's Christmas festival. Oxford Baroque's programme O Magnum Mysterium - Music for Christmas from Venice and Dresden is based on the Venetian polychoral style both with Venetian composers and those influenced by it, with music by G. Gabrieli, Monteverdi, Schutz, H. Praetorius and Bovicelli.  They are directed by Jeremy Summerly and will be joined by members of the English Cornett and Sackbut ensemble.

Oxford Baroque is made up of a mixture of young and more experienced professional singers and instrumentalists. They were originally formed by a group of students with a passion for music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries who met whilst studying at the University of Oxford and they are co-directed by Jeremy Summerly and David Lee. The group has been selected for the Brighton Early Music Festival's Live! scheme which supports young artists, and appeared at the festival earlier this year.

The programme includes Adrian Willaert's Lauda Jerusalem Dominum, Monteverdi's Dixit Dominus, Giovanni Gabrieli's O magnum mysterium, Praetorius Magnificat and Schütz Hodie Christus natus est. Flemish composer Willaert was director of music at St Mark's in Venice from 1527 to 1562 and it was he who was responsible for transposing the Flemish poly-choral style to Venice. Amongst his pupils was Andrea Gabrieli, Giovanni Gabrieli's uncle. Schutz studied with Giovanni Gabrieli in Venice from 1609 to 1612. Hieronymous Praetorius was one the first composers in North Germany to write in the Venetian poly choral style.

For further information see the St John's Smith Square website or the event's Facebook page.

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