Johann Sebastian Bach must have had an enormous working library in his apartment at St Thomas's church in Leipzig. In this year's Baroque course the centre-piece will be portions of his great Mass in B minor, but during the week and in the associated concerts we will also explore a range of other music he composed, collected and performed.
This will include pieces by earlier members of his family, those composed by his pupils and other members of his circle, and those he is known to have arranged or performed by contemporaries such as Handel, Telemann, Vivaldi and Pergolesi.
Join us on a musical Grand Tour of the city states of sixteenth century Italy, exploring the unparalleled riches of their courts and chapels. Our inspiration is the music and verse written for a Medici wedding celebrated in Florence in 1539: between the motet which welcomed the bride, and the Bacchanalian chorus which ended the celebrations, tributes were sung to the noble couple by (amongst others) the city of Volterra, the rivers Tiber and Arno, and the nine Muses.
Another sequence of madrigals for voices and instruments describes a day in the eternal summer of the Age of Gold, from the birdsong at dawn to the stillness of nightfall, by way of Silenus accompanying his song (according to the stage directions) on a viol disguised as a turtle, with a bow disguised as an asp!
We will not be restricting ourselves to Tuscany and the Medici, however: other highlights of the tour will include a boat journey from Venice to Padua, and playing in a viol consort with Lucrezia Borgia... We welcome voices, viols, lutes, renaissance recorders and flutes, cornets, sackbuts, crumhorns, shawms, curtals etc (although loud wind instruments should offer a softer alternative voice or instrument for more intimate moments).
In 2015 we will be offering two residential study weeks, one in Baroque, one in Renaissance music. Both courses are for experienced instrumentalists and singers, working together and separately in chamber groups and large ensembles. Our tutors are highly acclaimed and experienced specialist musicians, universally respected and admired as teachers and performers.
We welcome musicians from all over the world to study the techniques and styles of early music. Our approachable tutors share their expertise through intensive tuition and concerts, in an informal and creative social context. Our courses are exceptional for the quantity of teaching time each day, and for the level of care that is taken to accommodate and challenge each individual participant. The atmosphere is friendly and noncompetitive, and the setting is inspiring and tranquil. 2015 will be our 22nd year, and with thousands of delighted comments in our visitors' book, CEM courses are firmly established as the highlight of the year for many amateur and professional musicians, and as a stepping-stone to performing careers in renaissance and baroque music.
We have a small Bursary Fund to support those whose financial situation would prevent them from attending courses without assistance. We are particularly keen to encourage music students and those setting out on a career in music, for whom these courses will be exceptionally helpful. The Eastern Early Music Forum (to help participants from Eastern regions) and a few individual benefactors contribute to the Fund. Please consider whether you could give us similar support. For more information, see Bursaries.
Cambridge Early Music is a registered charity. Donations are invited to help CEM to flourish. Please ask for details of how you can help us.
You will be warmly welcomed on either - or both - of our 2015 courses.
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Christopher Roberts, Administrator
Cambridge Early Music is a registered charity, No. 1127932, and a private limited company registered in England and Wales,
No. 6463812 Registered office: 5 Tunwell's Lane, Great Shelford, Cambridge CB22 5LJ, UK