The arts of Music and Dance were, in the court of King Louis XIV (1638 - 1715), of extreme importance and therefore even young children were expected to learn the disciplines of the arts. The young King Louis was immersed in arts from a young age to the day he died and therefore we present a concert celebrating his life, in the 300th anniversary year since his death. From the music that Louis experienced in his childhood to the works composed especially for his wedding to Maria Theresa and about one of his most beautiful and amazing achievements, the Palace of Versailles. We explore also the first opera performed in France in 1647 Orfeo by Rossi, Louis’ favourite opera Atys from Lully, and other significant works from Cavalli, Couperin, De Lalande and Philidor.
New Century Baroque presents a concert of Chaos and Order. Two major works from Jean-Féry Rebel, Jan Dismas Zelenka, exploring the natural elements and human nature, framed by sparkling music by Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello. At the pivotal point of this programme is Rebel’s bold, progressive work ‘Les Elements’. Rebel then a 71 year old man in 1737 describes the introduction to his work as
‘… Chaos itself; that confusion which reigned among the Elements before the moment when, subject to immutable laws, they assumed
their prescribed places within the natural order.’
Through Zelenka’s work ‘Hipocondrie’ we move on from creation to Humanity. One of six concerti written in Prague in 1723, ‘Hipocondrie’ or Hypochondria is a type of malady, an affliction of enduring pain and suffering, in spite of an appearance of being in good health. One might think this theme seems impossible to portray through music, but Zelenka masters it beautifully.
Any citizen wishing to make their mark in society in the Baroque period had to educate themselves to highest degree possible. Equipping themselves not only in the knowledge of scholarly university curriculum but also in the ways of society, cultures and languages of different countries all over Europe. This prompted Merchants, Politicians, diplomats, the upper and middle classes, musicians and composers to travel in pursuit of these new and valuable experiences.
In this programme of engaging works from Fux, Bach, Corelli, Telemann and Maltese Composer Vella, NCB take you on a grand tour of the enriching cities and societies, in which these great composers both studied, worked and forged links between their contemporaries. Each composer sets out to portray the styles and genres they had discovered through their experiences in their works, including dances, imitating vocal genres and bringing to life stories such as that of Don Quixote in Telemann’s orchestral suite. Today musicians continue on this tradition of travel in the constant quest for knowledge and artistic enlightenment on a grand scale, globally touring and studying, even outside the reaches of modern day Europe.
An intriguing concert of music taking you from the echoing evening air through the dreamful night and beyond to the Dawn. Portrayed through arias for Soprano and Bass and instrumental music from Purcell, Handel, Fux, Fischer and most of all Rameau, who’s water nymph seems to mock the sun itself. Music from Fairy Queen, Semele, Acis & Galetea and Platée.
The Classic English children’s novel “The Secret Garden” by the English author Frances Hodgson Burnett of 1911 tells of an orphaned 10 year old girl, Mary, who having been sent from India to live with her uncle in England at Misselthwaite Manor, finds a key to the door of a secret garden, which has been locked ever since the mistress of the Manor died in a terrible accident. In her adventures she meets her cousin, colin, who has been hidden away as a cripple from birth and along with a small bird she befriends she takes colin out into the garden where he miraculously finds he is healed and can walk again.
“The night Garden” is the imagined or dreamt musical story of “The Secret Garden” during the course of one night. What creatures might lurk in this mystical garden? Perhaps only things one might dream of, Giants, Fairies, Little Green Men, Water Nymphs, even Somnus the God of sleep himself?
In the first half of this two part concert we move from the hustle and bustle of the town to the echoing evening air of this countryside garden, hearing the last of the bird song of the dusk and welcoming in night and sleep. But it is hard to tell whether we are awake or dreaming in sleep asa giant appears and fairies and little green men dance around. After seemingly dreaming we are slowly woken to the sound of a bird chorus and finally the rise of the sun and the beginning of a new day.
Two important works of Telemann and Zelenka which explore the themes of the Human condition, framed by sparkling works of Brescianello.
The ‘Burlesque de Quixote’ is Telemann’s portrayal of Miguel de Cervantes famous novel ‘Don Quixote’ of 1605. This famous novel, exploring themes of Love, betrayal, chivalry, suffering and insanity, endlessly underlined with the philosophy of the Human condition, is one that has inspired many composers throughout the ages, in many languages and cultures. Don Quixote’s adventures are presented by Telemann as a suite for strings and continuo, in which Don Quixote is lead into madness, forging an attack on some windmills believing them to be giants, and then out of madness into sleep and reflection.
Zelenka’s work ‘Hipocondrie’ is one of six concerti written in Prague in 1723. The title ‘Hipocondrie’ or Hypochondria is a type of malady, an affliction of enduring pain and suffering, in spite of an appearance of being in good health. One might think this theme seems impossible to portray through music, but Zelenka masters it beautifully.