Wednesday 22 January 2014

The Year 1714

This year's Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music takes The Year 1714 as its theme. 1714 saw the coronation of George I and the birth of the Georgian era which would have Handel at its musical centre. CPE Bach was also born in 1714 and the first corner stone of St John's Smith Square laid. The concerts feature Handel's music quite heavily, plus that of CPE Bach as well as Schutz, Steffani, Pepusch, and JS Bach. 

Visitors include the Sixteen, the Gottingen Handel Festival, La Risonanza, L'Avventura London, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, the Hilliard Ensemble, QuintEssential Sackbut and Cornett Ensemble, Arte dei Suonatori and Vox Luminis. Venues include St Peter's Eaton Square and Westminster Abbey as well as St. John's Smith Square.

The Sixteen, under Harry Christophers, perform Handel's four Coronation Anthems written for the coronation of George II in an all Handel programme (16/5). The choir of Westminster Abbey and St James Baroque under James O'Donnell perform Handel's Dettingen Te Deum and Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne at Westminster Abbey with soloists Ruby Hughes, Iestyn Davies and Matthew Brook (22/5). The closing performance of the festival is Laurence Cummings directing the NDR Choir (Hamburg) and the Orchestra of the Gottingen Handel Festival in a rare outing for Handel's oratorio Joshua with soloists including Kenneth Tarver (24/5).

Fabio Bonizzoni and La Risonanza perform Handel's Trio Sonatas and Italian chamber duets, plus music by the diplomat and cleric Agostino Steffani and Johann Christoph Pepusch, who arranged the music of The Beggar's Opera (23/5). Mary Bevan and Anthony Gregory join lutenist Zak Ozmo and L'Avventura London for a programme which pairs Handel's English arias with songs from the London musical theatre (20/5).

CPE Bach is celebrated in his keyboard fantasias in a recital of works for harpsichord and forepiano by Carole Cerasi (24/5). Aapo Hakkinen directs the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, with harpsichordist Pierre Hanti in a programme of harpsichord concertos by CPE Bach and his father including all of JS Bach's double concertos (21/5).

The Hilliard Ensemble drop in on their 40th anniversary, and final tour (23/5). The QuintEssential Sackbut and Cornett Ensemble perform sacred and secular music from  17th century Germany and are joined by the Belgian vocal ensemble Vox Luminis for Schutz's Musicalische Exequien.(both 18/5). Rachel Podger directs Arte dei Suonatori in instrumental music from 1714 (17/5)

Further information from the festival's website. 
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