Thursday 30 October 2014

David Bates and La Nuova Musica

La Nuova Musica - photo credit Ben Ealovega
La Nuova Musica
photo credit Ben Ealovega
Last night (29 October 2014) we heard David Bates and his group La Nuova Musica giving a private concert. They were joined by sopranos Lucy Page and Mary Bevan, counter-tenor Tim Mead and baritone Jonathan McGovern in a programme of music by Rameau, Cesti, Conti and Handel. (Lucy Page was a lucky last-minute replacement for an ailing Lucy Crowe.)

The group opened with Tendre amour, the quartet from Rameau's Les Indes Galantes (premiered in Paris in 1725), then Jonathan McGovern sang Care note amorose from the opera L'Orontea by PMA Cesti (1623 - 1669). L'Orontea was premiered in Innsbruck in 1656 where Cesti was employed by the Archduke of Austria (La Nuova Musica will be performing it at Wigmore Hall in December). Then there followed the sinfonia and a group of arias from L'Issipile by FB Conti (1681 - 1732), sung by Tim Mead (who sang two characters, the hero and the villain), and Mary Bevan. The opera was premiered in Vienna in 1732 where Conti was court composer (La Nuova Musica recently gave a performance at the Wigmore Hall). Lucy Page sang O Sleep, why dost thou leave me from Handel's Semele (premiered in London in 1744), and finally all four soloists sang Voglio Tempo from Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (premiered in Rome in 1707), with Lucy Page as Belleza.

A young group, La Nuova Musica was founded seven years ago by David Bates, and their programme of arias by Handel, Ariosti and Bononcini with Lawrence Zazzo (see my review of the concert at the Spitalfields Festival) has recently appeared on Harmonia Mundi. The groups has a busy year ahead, it has four recordings planned Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, Conti's L'Issipile, Handel's Acis and Galatea and Couperin's Lecons de Tenebreas. Concerts for 2015 include Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with Lucy Crowe and Tim Mead, Handel's Israel in Egypt at the Salisbury Festival, Handel's Acis and Galatea at St John's Smith Square with Mary Bevan, Ed Lyon and Christopher Purves and Cesti's L'Orontea at the Wigmore Hall.

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