Rhinegold Photo credit: Ola Renska
Vox Luminis

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

London Festival of Baroque Music 2017: Baroque at the Edge

2:29, 9th January 2017

The theme for the London Festival of Baroque Music 2027 is ‘Baroque at the Edge’.

The event, which will take place 12-20 May, will celebrate the anniversaries of Monteverdi (450th birth) and Telemann (250th death), exploring the ways that composers and performers have pushed at the chronological, stylistic, geographical and expressive boundaries of the Baroque era.

The event comprises 13 concerts over nine days. Highlights include Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 from Vox Luminis and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra; Pergolesi’s Stabat mater with Early Opera Company under Christian Curnyn with soloists Lucy Crowe and Tim Mead; Bach’s B minor Mass from the Choir of Westminster Abbey and St James’s Baroque under James O’Donnell; Telemann’s Ino with Florilegium and Elin Manahan Thomas; Monteverdi’s Orfeo with I Fagiolini and Robert Hollingworth; Handel’s Jephtha with the Holst Singers and the Academy of Ancient Music under Stephen Layton; string music by Biber, Schmelzer and Fux from Les Passions de l’Ame; and a harpsichord recital by Jean Rondeau.

The festival will also include a ‘Late O’Clock Baroque’ concert featuring improvisation from Rondeau, lutenist Thomas Dunford and percussionist Keyvan Chemirani; ‘Future Baroque’ young artist lunchtime concerts from Ensemble Molière, Ensemble Hesperi and Nathaniel Mander; talks; and a workshop led by Robert Howarth focusing on choruses from Monteverdi’s Vespers and Handel’s Jephtha.

‘This year’s two anniversary composers come from opposite ends of the Baroque era, which got me thinking about ways in which musical styles and tastes change over time,’ said artistic director Lindsay Kemp. ‘As ever it has been enormous fun to create a festival around an unusual theme, one that allows us to programme rarely heard but deserving music alongside familiar works that reveal themselves in new and particular contexts. It shows just how deep, complex and varied Baroque music can be!’


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