State of the Art

Music from the High Baroque in France & Germany

Performed by:

Magdalena Loth-Hill - Baroque Violin

Sam Stadlen - Viola da Gamba

John Green - Harpsichord

The concert begins where our 2017 Phantasticus programme left off, with another of Buxtehude’s beautiful Op. 2 sonatas for violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord, published in 1696 and probably written to be played during services in the Marienkirche Lübeck by the talented musicians employed by the municipality. We then explore various representative works for the same instrumentation from the high baroque in both Germany and France. Most of these works are little known and hardly ever performed, in particular the recently rediscovered Telemann fantasies for unaccompanied viola da gamba as well as the Rebel violin sonata and the Morel pièces de viole. The difference between German and French music of the baroque period is marked, but difficult to quantify: it is perhaps a matter of the French style being a rather evanescent one - a series of intense but short-lived sensations - in comparison with the more substantial musical edifices represented by most of the German pieces. We conclude with what some regard as the pinnacle of French baroque chamber music, the fourth Concert of Rameau’s Pièces de Clavecin en Concert, comprising vivid depictions of traditional pantomime characters such as Columbine and Harlequin in La Pantomime, gossiping Parisian salon ladies in L’Indiscrète and of himself as harpsichordist in La Rameau, a surprisingly buoyant piece, given his reputation as a brusque, withdrawn and irascible character. In its rather dogged patterns La Rameau perhaps represents a certain insight into his own personality, which some described as ‘monomaniac.’ The contemporary poet and librettist Piron explained that "His heart and soul were in his harpsichord; once he had shut its lid, there was no one at home."

In aid of the Hexham Abbey Roof Appeal

Price: £15 (including refreshments) from Abbey Gift Shop 01434 603 057

When: Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 19:30 to 21:30

Where: The Great Hall, Hexham Abbey