Thursday 21 August 2014

Autumn season at the Handel House Museum

Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian
Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian
The autumn season at the Handel House Museum includes not only music by the master, but a series of concerts with a French theme as well as a contemporary series curated by the the current composer in residence, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian and of course a selection of baroque Christmas music. There is still time to catch the exhibition about Susannah Cibber, before the new one celebrates the year 1738 in Handel's life.

Harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky is performing by Nicolas Siret and Johann Ludwig Krebs. You might not have heard of them, but Siret was a friend and colleague of Francois Couperin, and Krebs as JS Bach's star pupil (9/9). Also in French mode, harpsichordist Nathaniel Mander celebrates Francois Couperin himself (21/9), Yair Avidor plays theorbo music written by Robert de Visee, lutenist at the court of Louis XIV, and the British Harpsichord Society commemorates the 250th anniversary of Rameau's death (13/9). Le Jardin Secret (Elizabeth Dobbin, Romiher Lischtea and David Blunden) perform  vocal and instrumental from 17th century Paris (6/11)

Rather more unusually, Chris Christodoulou and Anne Marshall are performing a programme of music for bouzouki and harpsichord. The bouzouki is an instrument which actually dates from the Byzantine era, and Christodoulou will be playing everything from Baroque to Beethoven (9/10).
But the Handel House Museum wouldn't be the same without Handel. Harpsichordist Kenneth Weiss will be performing William Babell's wonderful transcription of the aria Vo'far guerra from Handel's Rinaldo (14/10). Handel's German Arias are performed by Chaing Yi Ling (soprano), George Clifford (baroque violin), Ibrahim Aziz (viola da gamba) and Sharona Joshua (harpsichord), (27/11).

In A Foundling's Christmas the Amade Players give us what a foundling in the 1750s might have heard (4/12). Still in Christmas mode, Ballo Baroque will be performing Christmas music by Handel and his contemporaries (11/12). The Brook Street Band (Tatty Theo and Carolyn Gibley) will be performing music for cello and harpsichord by Bach and Handel (14/12)

Susannah Cibber
Susannah Cibber
Exhibitions at the house during this period are She was Despised: Handel and Susannah Cibber (until 28/9) and A Year in the Life of Handel: 1738 (1/10/2014 - 4/1/2015). The exhibition on Susannah Cibber celebrates the tercentenary of her birth. She was a promising singer whose position was compromised by her personal life. Having fled to Dublin, she sang the mezzo-soprano solos (including 'He was despised') at the first performance of Messiah in Dublin. The year 1738 is particular because it was the year that Handel helped created the Fund for Decay'd Musicians, and during which he was moving away from Italian opera towards oratorio.

Also in visual mode the museum's composer in residence, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian is presenting Eyemusic - Seeing Sound, a programme of concerts inspired by the Renaissance 'Augenmusik' which mixed music notation with art. There are four events, from a diverse group including composer and  electro-acoustic performer Sarah Angliss, bassist Calum Gourlay, actress and writer Jessica Hynes and Oren Marshall 'the Jimi Hendrix of the Tuba'. Ziazan Horrocks-Hopayian will combine early opera with a new work by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian (13,16,20,23/11)

The autumn sees the start of the museum's ambitious new capital project which will not only re-instate Jimi Hendrix's flat but will provide improved facilities and a dedicated new recital room.

Elsewhere on this blog:

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