What a way to beat the weather! In spite of the predictions of very severe conditions of cold wind, snow and ice, director Andrew Parrott arrived just before the blizzard, together with 2/3 of the invited singers to rehearse while snowed-in to Culmstock. More arrived over the next two days (not all, sadly) which decided us to to go ahead with the programme in Wellington on March 4th. The icing on the cake was a very receptive audience – thank you all! Review Viadana Vespers 1612 Parrott
In spite of the challenges presented by the Beast from the East and Emma from the South, the singers are here, the director and most of the band are here preparing for Sunday’s Concert.
This will go ahead on Sunday as advertised at 6pm in the Church of St John the Baptist, Wellington and we very much hope to see you for this exciting programme of Carver and Viadana. Put the weather behind you, come and enjoy!
Lodovico da Viadana c.1560 – c.1627 Vespers of 1612
Robert Carver c. 1487 – after 1566 Missa Dum sacrum mysterium
Church of St John the Baptist, Wellington TA21 8QY
Sunday March 4th 2018 at 6 pm
Tickets £15/£8/free to under 12s available here
This programme juxtaposes two works written at either end of the Renaissance era. Robert Carver was Canon of the Chapel Royal in Stirling during the reign of James IV and latterly that of James V, crowned as an infant in 1513. This coronation may well have been the occasion on which Missa Dum sacrum mysterium received its first performance. It is a complex work written for a 10 voice ensemble with sections highly reminiscent of music collected in the Eton Choirbook.
Viadana’s Vespers of 1612 offer the familiar sequence of office Psalms and Magnificat. His musical interpretation incorporates much variation in the vocal writing, which is broadly for four choirs throughout. There are echoes of, but no direct imitation of, the 1610 Vespers of Monteverdi – both men were working on these settings at the same time in Mantua. Viadana’s adventurous style enables contrast with instruments and voices throughout the four choirs, introducing opportunities to colour and illustrate the texts most effectively.
The singers directed by internationally renowned guest director Andrew Parrott, together with instrumentalists Sue Addison and a team of sackbuts from the Birmingham Conservatoire, Nicholas Perry (playing a variety of early renaissance instruments) and Martin Perkins on organ, are looking forward to bringing this rarely performed music to life – please come to hear us!
Sunday March 4th at 6pm
Musical Director ANDREW PARROTT
Robert Carver Missa dum Sacrum Mysterium and Viadana Vespers of 1612
Bank Holiday Monday May 7th at 6 pm
Musical Director JANJOOST VAN ELBURG
Voices & Viols, music from Spain & Portugal
The performance was absolutely terrific according to participants and audience alike. Thank you to everyone who took part and came to the concert, a lot of work but so worth it!
One of the professional players, trumpet Russ Gilmour, blogged here with a very detailed review, and a member of the audience has also contributed a short review, below:
During the 17th century, several German musicians went to Italy to study, compose, and perform, absorbing the style initiated by Monteverdi and others. One such was Rosenmüller, whose music, full of wonderful melodies and counterpoint, featured in “Grand Baroque III” at Exeter Cathedral on 28th August.
The Blackdowns Early Music Choir and a line-up of distinguished soloists were accompanied by authentic instruments, including cornetts, sackbuts and baroque strings, essential to recreate the “sound-scape” of the time. The choir, perhaps inspired by the occasion and the wonderful voice projection of the soloists, including soprano Amy Haworth, were on top form. The distribution of the vocal and instrumental forces across the transept of the cathedral enhanced the antiphonal effects, which were particularly thrilling when trumpets and drums were added to the mix.
But, in a well-chosen programme, there was also space for quieter numbers such as Schelle’s hauntingly beautiful “Komm Jesu komm”, with a simple organ accompaniment played by Steven Devine, and for instrumental pieces which allowed the various sections of the band to show off their skills.
Credit for the integration of these diverse forces into a deeply satisfying musical experience must go to the calm direction of conductor Janjoost van Elburg, a leading figure in early music.
The West Country is fortunate to be able to host such performances. Lovers of choral or early music who missed this concert will be kicking themselves, and may be hoping, as are those of us who were there, that the Blackdowns Early Music Project will go on to produce a Grand Baroque IV. Contributed by Brian Maynard-Potts 11/09/201
Preludes, Partitas & Grounds: music by Froberger, Buxtehude, Pachelbel and JS Bach
Harpsichord Recital by Steven Devine on Sunday 27th August at 6.15 pm in The Church of St John the Baptist, Wellington TA21 8QY. Steven has performed all over the world as a harpsichord soloist (his recent Chandos recording of the Goldberg Variations was described by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the best”); he is a highly sought-after continuo player.
Tickets are available now price £10 from here.
Steven will play in Grand Baroque III in Exeter Cathedral on August 28th
GRAND BAROQUE III in Exeter Cathedral, music of Rosenmüller and Schelle with The Monteverdi String Band, The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble and others under Musical Director JanJoost van Elburg.
A stunning baroque programme of lesser known, but nonetheless spectacular, choral music from 17th and 18th centuries.
Tickets on sale from Exeter Cathedral Box Office now.
GRAND BAROQUE lll features the choral music of Johann Rosenmüller and Johann Schelle, both well known in C17th Leipzig as highly accomplished musicians and composers. Their names were well known across Europe, better even than one of Schelle’s successors as Kantor in Leipzig’s famous Thomaskirche, one J S Bach. While the music of JSB now dominates much of the baroque repertoire, that of Rosenmüller & Schelle is equally inventive and thrilling.
Rosenmüller – Magnificat
Schelle – Lobe den Herrn
Rosenmüller – Dixit Dominus
Schelle – Vom Himmel kam
Supporting works by Zelenka, Kuhnau, Pachelbel, Vierdanck and Rosenmüller
Director : JanJoost van Elburg
The BEMP choir under their principal director JanJoost van Elburg will present Rosenmüller ‘s Magnificat and Dixit Dominus together with Schelle’s Lobe den Herrn and Vom Himmel Kam der Engel schar interspersed with instrumental interludes. The choir will be working with a veritable ‘who’s who’ of internationally renowned early music specialists, including the Monteverdi String Band, the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, trumpets, timpani, full bass continuo and eight soloists invited from the country’s top vocal ensembles including the Tallis Scholars, the Sixteen, Gabrieli Consort, Orlando Consort, Tenebrae, Musica Secreta, Stile Antico etc…..