Echoes of Antiquity:
Purcell, Handel and the original Academy of Ancient Music
29 July – 5 August 2018
Girton College, Cambridge
The Parley of Instruments
Peter Holman course director & continuo, Judy Tarling upper strings, Mark Caudle lower strings, Gail Hennessy wind and Philip Thorby voices
England was the place where old music was first revived, performed and imitated. Purcell copied and imitated Elizabethan music, Handel borrowed from seventeenth-century composers, and the original Academy of Ancient Music was formed in the 1720s to perform old music of all types, though its members had a particular interest in seventeenth-century Italian music. Our 2018 summer school will devoted to exploring this wonderful repertory – the beginnings of the modern early music movement. Among the major works to be studied will be Henry Purcell’s great Te Deum and Jubilate, a classic of ‘ancient music’ throughout the eighteenth century, movements by Jacob Handl, Carissimi, Stradella, Legrenzi, Steffani and John Blow that Handel reworked in his own works, and a selection of music performed by the Academy of Ancient Music or composed by its members, by Charles Dieupart, J.C. Pepusch, Geminiani, Michael Festing, Maurice Greene, William Boyce, Benjamin Cooke and others.
Each day we will offer technique workshops, choral and orchestral sessions for large-scale works, and one-to-a-part chamber music sessions exploring unusual repertoire in various combinations – not necessarily restricted to English music or the ‘Echoes of Antiquity’ theme – selected and coached by the tutors. Auditions for solo vocal and instrumental roles in the works performed in the final concert will be held if necessary. Instrumentalists (particularly wind players) may also be able to sing in the choir.
The 2018 Baroque Course will take place at Girton College, Cambridge. Please click this link for more information about the venue.
11.30 choir session / orchestra session
13.00 lunch break
13.30 free time / self-organised groups
16.30 chamber music session (organised by the tutors)
19.30 talk by one of the tutors
20.00 tutti session for large-scale works
Tuition will stress historically-informed techniques and style. A large selection of music for many combinations of instruments and voices will be provided; you are also invited to bring your own sets of parts and scores.
Is the Baroque course for me?
Applications are invited from proficient singers and confident players of gut-strung Baroque instruments (violin, viola and cello), with Baroque bows (some instruments and bows are available to hire), bass viol, violone, recorder, flute, oboe, bassoon, lute family and harpsichord/organ. (Suitable keyboard instruments are provided.) Pitch: A=415.
Players should have a good mastery of instrumental technique, but not necessarily any experience of Baroque playing. Wind players should be prepared to sight-read solo parts. Continuo players should have the ability to read figured bass.
Singers should have good sight-reading skills and may be encouraged to take solo parts as well as singing in ensembles.
Pre-existing groups are welcome to apply together, and may bring prepared music for coaching in some of the chamber music sessions. Non-singing/playing observers are welcome if we have space.
The course begins with a concert given by The Parley of Instruments at 4pm on 29 July. On 1 August The Parley of Instruments will give a full-length evening concert in central Cambridge. On the final evening (4 August) course members participate in a public concert, performing a selection of works studied during the week.
Dates and Times
Participants should arrive in time for the concert at 4pm on Sunday 29 July. The course ends with breakfast on Sunday 5 August.
We make every effort to assist with bursaries where appropriate. Please see our Bursaries page for details.
Our online application form can be found here.
Alternatively, if you would like to apply by post, please complete this form and return it to Cambridge Early Music, Box 111, 23 King Street, Cambridge CB1 1AH.
We advise you to apply as early as possible, as places are limited.
Applications will be acknowledged but may not be accepted until April, by when we hope to have a workable balance of voices and instruments. You will then be informed if your application has succeeded, and your deposit will be returned if not.