Friday 10 May 2019

Crossing the Border - the London Festival of Baroque Music

Sébastien Daucé and the Ensemble Correspondances at the 2018 London Festival of Baroque Music
Sébastien Daucé and the Ensemble Correspondances at the 2018 London Festival of Baroque Music
The year's London Festival of Baroque Music, which opens today (10 May 2019) takes Crossing the Border as its theme, with nine days of events exploring travel and discovery and their importance in the development of music. So there are themes arising out the the 18th century Grand Tour, looking at the styles of music travellers would encounter, as well as the music of the Conquistadors putting Spanish baroque music alongside music from Central and Southern America, with a host of other styles and influences too such as the development of flamenco out of Sephardic music of the Middle ages.

One highlight of the festival will be Nicolette Moonen’s The Bach Players joining with baroque dancer Ricardo Barros’s Mercurius Company to express music by Telemann, Rebel and Vivaldi in terms of musical performance and dance. And dance is also to the fore with Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI whose L’Europa Musicale - From the Renaissance to Baroque programme looks at popular dance in music during the transition from Renaissance to Baroque.

Other visitors to the festival include Le Concert de l’Hostel-Dieu and Franck-Emmanuel Comte, who will be performing a programme of female baroque composers celebrating the 400th anniversary of the birth of Barbari Strozzi,  and Ensemble Masques and director Olivier Fortin, who will take us on a Grand Tour with both music and travellers tales from the great cities of Europe. The ensemble Improvviso will be presenting a programme of music by composers writing in a borrowed musical language, including Telemann exploring Polish folk music, and most unusually, works from Polish musician Wojciech Bobowski’s collection of 17th-century Ottoman music.

Other distinguished visitors to the festival include the Marian Consort, Ex Cathedra and Jeffrey Skidmore, La Nuova Musica and David Bates, La Serenissima with Adrian Chandler.

An annual feature of the festival is the visit to Westminster Abbey, and this year The Choir of Westminster Abbey and St James's Baroque under James O'Donnell will be performing Handel's Coronation Anthems written for performance at the Coronation of King George II at the abbey in 1727. A new development at this year's festival is the creation of a Young Artists Competition, which takes place on 13 May 2019.

Full details from the London Festival of Baroque Music website.

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