Welcome home, Mr Dubourg

Welcome home, Mr Dubourg
Irish Baroque Orchestra, Peter Whelan
Linn CKD 532. 60’58

Welcome home, Mr Dubourg | Linn CKD532

If the compositions of Matthew Dubourg (1703-1767) are not familiar to you (and they certainly weren’t to me), this recording will remedy that, as well as taking a fascinating peek at musical life in Dublin in the 18th century. Dubourg was born in London, the son of a dancing master. He seems to have had a youthful talent, apparently playing a Corelli Violin Sonata in one of Thomas Britton’s house concerts, aged 9, and standing on a stool. He then studied with the celebrated violinist, Francesco Geminiani. From 1728 to 1764 he was based at Dublin Castle as “His Majesty’s Chief Composer and Master of the Music in Ireland”. He was a major force the musical life of Dublin, together with Geminiani, who was his friend and teacher for many years. He is probably best known for a comment that Handel made while conducting Dubourg when, after a more-than-usually extensive cadenza when, according to Charles Burney, Dubourg “wandered about in different keys a great while, and seemed indeed a little bewildered, and uncertain of the original key”, he was heard to remark as the cadential trill was played – “Welcome home, Mr Dubourg”. After the first performance of Messiah in Dublin, Handel wrote that “as for the instruments they are really excellent, Mr Dubourg being at the head of them”. Continue reading

Lausanne Bach Festival – Messiah

Lausanne Bach Festival – Messiah
Irish Baroque Orchestra, Chœur Resurgam
Opéra de Lausanne, 15 November 2015

WP_20151120_12_44_22_Pro.jpgWhen I last visited the Lausanne Bach Festival many years ago, it consisted of nine concerts over a long weekend. In its current incarnation (the eighteenth), it is spread over the period from 25 October to 28 November, with six concerts, three informal ‘Bach Days’, a short conference, and, on this occasion, the 5th International Organ Competition. Although having the events spread out in this way probably attracts more local residents, it makes it a less practical attraction for people from outside Switzerland. I was principally there to review the Organ Competition (reviewed here), but was also able to get to two of the festival concerts, starting with a performance of Messiah Continue reading