Friday 22 October, 7.30pm at St Martin's Church
Myths & Legends of Classical Antiquity
Elegant French baroque music by Rameau, Clérambault, Marais and Leclair, performed by some of the finest musicians on the early music scene.
Theresa Caudle violin
Mark Caudle viola da gamba
Alastair Ross harpsichord
with Stuart O’Hara bass-baritone
The tales and heroes of antiquity are the themes of the miniature dramas of the Cantates of Clérambault and Rameau from the beginning of the 18th century. The range of emotions that the bass voice is given to express in these works is extraordinary. Stuart O’ Hara accompanied by the instruments of Canzona will sing of how Orithie was abducted by the violent Aquilon (alias Boreas or the North Wind) and how Thétis, the mother of Achilles was courted by Jupiter and Neptune who deploy thunder and the raging seas in their battle over her. In the last days of Louis XIV, Clérambault created a cantata for him about Hercules, long a model for the noble ruler, but here poisoned and reflecting on the consequences of his life decisions. Even Marais and his basse de viole venture with Theseus into the Labyrinth through twisting passages of strange tonality to kill the Minotaur and celebrate with a grand chaconne. Leclair, master dancer and choreographer and the greatest violinist and composer for his instrument in 18th century France also ends his virtuoso violin work with a magnificent chaconne and Rameau, later in life and now in the course of composing his great operas, returns to the harpsichord and creates music to exhibit all the virtuoso and expressive possibilities of his instrument, but now complimented and partnered by the violin and viol in the newest and most fashionable manner.
Jean-Philippe Rameau Cantata for bass, violin and continuo 'Aquilon et Orithie'
Pieces de Clavecin en Concert No. 5: La Forqueray, La Cupis, La Marais
Cantata for bass, violin and continuo 'Thétis'
Jean-Marie Leclair Sonata 4 in Bb Opus 5
Marin Marais Le Labyrinthe (Pieces de viole Livre 4)
Louis-Nicolas Clérambault Cantata for bass, violin and continuo 'La Mort d’Hercule'