Monday 4 February 2013

Spitalfieds Music Summer Festival

Spitalfields Music logo
Spitalfields Music Summer Festival runs from 7 June to 22 June 2013 and is a fascinating mix of contemporary music, community events and period performance, with some events mixing everything up. Also mixing everything up are the venues, ranging from Christ Church Spitalfields and St Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, to Hoxton Arches, Village Underground, Hoxton Hall, Rich Mix. Christian Curnyn's Early Opera are associated artists, performing three events, but the festival has a wonderful variety of visiting artists as well as native talent.

The festival opens (7 June) with the Orlando Consort's programme of music from 1250-1550, sacred and secular, all of it food based, with the concert followed by a meal at the English Restaurant.

The Christian Curnyn's Early Opera Company makes the first of a number of appearances with J. S. Bach's Coffee Cantata performed twice in Hoxton Arches (9 June). For their second appearance they perform Handel's oratorio Susanna (12 June), then return for a programme based on Monteverdi's ballets including Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with East London Dance and choreographer Tony Adigun (17 June).

The Sixteen under Harry Christophers make a welcome appearance (11 June) with their Earth Resounds programme which features the amazing Earthquake mass by Brumel, along with music by Josquin and Lassus. And the Cardinall's Music directed by Andrew Carwood perform a programme of Spanish composers from the 16 century including Victoria's 8-part Missa Alma redemptoris mater alongside music by Vivanco, Esquivel and Lobo. Even earlier, La Morra will be investigating the music of Johannes Ciconia, fourteenth century composer and music theorist (14 June).

The English Concert with violinist Nadja Zwiener bring a programme of music by Corelli, Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi and Geminiani including two sets of variations of La Follia. (18 June). Still in Italian mood, the choir of Clare College, director Graham Ross, and the Royal Academy of Music Brass Ensemble, director Mark David, perform a celebration of Venice, with some English music thrown in and a new piece by Academy student Carter Callison (21 June).

One highlight (also the closing concert) is soprano Ruby Huges joining the Polish baroque orchestra Arte Del Suonatori, director Martin Gester, in a programme of music by Handel. (22 June)

Recorder player Charlotte Barbour-Condini is mixing old and new at Hoxton Hall (11 June), with harpsichordist David Gordon, they play a programme which includes music by Roxanna Panufnik, Bob Margolis and Gordon himself, plus Bach, Castello, Ortiz, Phllidor, Sexias, Van Eyck (and no I haven't heard of all of them either, all the more reason to go to the concert).

Also mixing old and new, the Song Smiths (Mary Bevan, Anna Huntley, Nicky Spence and Marcus Farnsworth with pianist Audrey Hyland) will be performing a programme of Judith Weir, James MacMillan and Purcell (realist by Britten). (20 June)

At Rich Mix on 11 June, composer Edward Jessen is mixing things up with a music-theatre work Replica for soprano Peyee Chen, tenor John Potter (of Hilliard Ensemble fame) and recorder quintet Consortium, all inspired by three Anthony Minghella films. More theatre, but this time using puppets, re-tells the myth of Persephone with music by Elspeth Brooks, musicians from London Sinfonietta and puppettry by Seonaid Goody (19 June)/.

Definitely contemporary is clarinettist Mark Simpson (11 June), also at Hoxton Hall, with a programme of Steve Reich, Berio, Helmut Lachenmann and Scelsi (all either unaccompanied or with just tape). Simpson is making a name for himself as a composer but is also a mean clarinettist.

Women Sing East, director Laka D, who made such an impression at the Winter Festival singing Vivaldi's Gloria, will be in more mellow mood with some jazz. (19 June).

In the intriguing category must come The Devil at the Crossroads (10 June), in which Theatre of the Ayre and players from the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain look at the short, shadowy career of Robert Johnson, the legendary Delta blues man, and the Faustian legends surrounding his career.

Further information and booking from the Spitalfields Music website.

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