At 7pm Pre-concert talk by Professor Graham Sadler
At 8pm Concert by The Parley of Instruments and Claire Coleman soprano, Daniel Auchincloss haute contre, Stuart O’Hara bass
A double musical portrait of the two greatest French composers of the reign of Louis XIV. We survey some of the extraordinary music Marc-Antoine Charpentier wrote for the virtuoso ensemble in the household of the Duchesse de Guise, including extracts from the chamber opera Actéon, the serenata ‘Sù, sù, sù, non dormite’ and the passionate solo motet ‘Magdalena lugens’. Charpentier’s music is a creative synthesis of French and Italian elements, and his young admirer François Couperin took the process a stage further in the beautiful but little-known motets and sonatas he wrote in the 1690s, soon after he began working at Versailles. We contrast festive motets for St Anne and St Susanna with the dramatic ‘Audite omnes’, a meditation on the passion for solo haute contre.