Itinéraire Baroque: A Telemann year

Itinéraire Baroque en Périgord Vert
‘A Telemann Year’

27-30 July 2017

IMG_20170731_122006589.jpgThe annual Itinéraire Baroque en Périgord Vert festival is based in the communes of Ribérac and Verteillac in the northern part of the Dordogne region of south-western France. It was founded by Robert Nicolas Huet and Ton Koopman, the former a local resident and now President and Director of the organising committee, the latter the Artistic Director and an occasional import from The Netherlands, together with his musical friends and family. The festival was initially the one-day event that still gives the now festival its name – the Itineraire Baroque, a musical tour of some of the extraordinary Romanesque churches of the region. But it has now expanded to fill four days over the last weekend in July with a wide range of concerts of Baroque music.

The focus for this year’s festival (the 16th) was Georg Philip Telemann (on the 250th anniversary of his death), a composer now usually overlooked by Bach and Handel (both of whom he knew personally), but who in his time was held in equally high esteem. A self-taught musician, he started to study law in Leipzig, but quickly moved into the city’s musical world. After short spells in princely courts, he moved to Frankfurt and eventually Hamburg where he directed the music in all the city churches. He was the first choice for the Leipzig post that Bach, the third choice, eventually accepted in 1723. He left an enormous amount of music, demonstrating his musical talent and ability to absorb national styles into his own music, notably from France and Poland. Continue reading

Poppea

Monteverdi: Poppea
Hampstead Garden Opera, Musica Poetica
Jacksons Lane Theatre, HIghgate. 13 May 2017

Poppea_Poster.jpgThe 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth will include many performances of L’incoronazione di Poppea. It was his last known opera, first performed just months before his death. But I think this one, by the young singers and instrumentalists of Hampstead Garden Opera and Musica Poetica, will prove to be one of the most memorable for me. An impressively simple staging, excellent singing and acting, and an exceptionally well judged realisation of the instrumental accompaniments, combined with the friendly acoustic of the Jacksons Lane Theatre to produce an absorbing and thought-provoking interpretation of Monteverdi’s exploration of love, lust, and power. Continue reading

Musica Poetica: Tunder World

Tunder World: The Baroque Keyboard
Musica Poetica: Simon Lloyd & Oliver John Ruthven, organs
St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, 27 April 2017

Amongst their other musical activities, the enterprising young group, Musica Poetica, are currently running a year-long monthly series of lunchtime concerts based on the music and times of Franz Tunder (1614-1667) the anniversary of whose death is this year, just three years after the anniversary of his birth. For this concert, they focussed on the keyboard music of Tunder, together with his possible teacher, Frescobaldi, his contemporary Froberger (who also died in 1667) and his successor as organist of the Lübeck Marienkirche, as his son-in-law, Dieterich Buxtehude.  Continue reading

Buxtehude & Tunder

Buxtehude & Tunder
Musica Poetica,

St Michael’s Church, South Grove, Highgate. 20 February 2016

Buxtehude: Laudate pueri Dominum, Membra Jesu Nostri; Tunder: Dominus illuminatio mea

One of a number of promising young early music groups formed in recent years is Musica Poetica, formed in 2010 by four students of the Royal Academy of Music, but now expandable into a range of sizes to suit the repertoire and led by Oliver John Ruthven. They have reinforced their North London base (they have been part of Hampstead Garden Opera for some time) by starting a series of contrasting concerts WP_20160220_18_53_05_Pro.jpg(every other month) at St Michael’s, on South Grove, Highgate. They opened the series with a concert of music from the North German masters, Dietrich Buxtehude and his predecessor at the Lübeck Marienkirche (and father-in-law), Franz Tunder. Tunder is usually unfairly overlooked in favour of his successor, but it was he who started the famous series of Lübeck Abendmusik concerts that traditionally took place on the five Sundays before Christmas every year; a tradition that lasted until 1810. They (and the then aging Buxtehude) famously attracted the young Bach in 1705. Continue reading