The Monteverdi Legacy:
Venetian Music from Monteverdi to Vivaldi
30 July - 6 August 2017
Girton College, Cambridge, UK
The Parley of Instruments
Peter Holman course director & continuo, Judy Tarling upper strings, Mark Caudle lower strings, Gail Hennessy wind and Philip Thorby voices
To mark the 450th anniversary of the birth of Claudio Monteverdi, the 2017 Cambridge Early Music Baroque course will be devoted to Venetian music, and in particular to exploring Monteverdi's legacy throughout the Baroque period. We will be exploring some of the wonderful large-scale church music, often using divided choirs of voices and instruments, written by Venetian composers from Monteverdi to Vivaldi, taking in Monteverdi's followers and successors such as Francesco Cavalli and Giovanni Antonio Rigatti and composers from northern Europe such as Heinrich Schütz and Johann Rosenmüller who came to Venice and adopted the Venetian style. We will also explore the exciting Venetian style of orchestral music by Vivaldi, Albinoni and their contemporaries, particularly Vivaldi's richly scored concertos with multiple soloists.
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 the Spanish 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 have opportunities to sing chorus parts.
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 (all voices) and confident players of gut-strung baroque instruments (violin, viola and cello), with baroque bows; bass viol, violone, recorder, oboe, bassoon, lute family, Baroque harp and harpsichord/organ. Pitch: A=415.
Some instruments and bows are available to hire.
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. 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 30 July. On 2 August The Parley give a full-length evening concert. On the final evening (5 August) course members participate in a public concert, performing a selection of larger-scale pieces studied during the week.
Dates and Times
Participants should arrive in time for the concert at 4pm on Sunday 30 July. The course ends with breakfast on Sunday 6 August.
We make every effort to assist with bursaries where appropriate. Please see our Bursaries page for details.
Please 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.