Monday 15 April 2013

Oxford Early Music Festival

Oxford Early Music Festival logo
The inaugural Oxford Early Music Festival runs from 4 to 6 May 2013 (ironically the same weekend the Cambridge Handel Festival are performing Handel's Atalanta, so choices must be made!).  The concerts are concentrated into a single weekend, but the organisers hope that the festival will grow. This festival seems to concentrate on young and exciting groups including the International Baroque Players, Oxford Baroque and Stile Antico. The opening concert is Bach's Mass in B minor in the University Church, played by the wonderful International Baroque Players with  Ensemble 45, an ensemble made up of young professionals and top choral scholars, conducted by Daniel Hyde. The fine group of soloists  mixes youth and experience with Catherine Bott, James Bowman, Nicholas Mulroy and James Birchall . On Sunday afternoon there is more Bach, this time music for unaccompanied violin and viola da gamba with Bojan Cicic and Susanne Heinrich, then the evening  sees Stile Antico, back from their US tour, in a programme of Renaissance polyphony, plus a piece written for the group by John McCabe in 2009.  The final pair of events on Monday had Oxford Baroque giving an open rehearsal followed by a concert of music arising outer of Luther's Reformation, with music by Schutz, Schein and Bach. Oxford has some great venues for early music and the festival is sing a variety of them. The deserve every support and have put together an interesting programme for what I hope is the first of many festivals. Further information from the Oxford Early Music Festival website.

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