Handel and the King…

This painting by Edouard Hamman (1819–88) shows the composer Handel with King George I aboard the royal barge on the River Thames in July 1717. This grand royal barge jaunt was accompanied by a Handel’s new piece of music – the ‘Water Music’ suite.

Handel’s Water Music will bring the programme of baroque music by Convivio this Saturday to a fitting conclusion. From Leipzig to London will also present works by some of the great European masters: Vivaldi, Purcell, Bach and Rameau.

Although painted much later than the actual event in 1717, Hamman’s painting certainly conjures up the spirit of the occasion reflecting the paintings of the period by the likes of Canaletto.

As Elector of Hanover, George emp­loyed Han­­­del as court conductor in 1710. The young composer soon moved to London on a generous salary from Queen Anne before George ascended to the throne in 1714 and continued the patronage. But the new German-speaking King was not without controversy and generally unpopular after many opposition polit­ic­ians supported his eld­est son, the future George II.

So a grand royal event was created – a pub­licity spectacle, designed to impr­ess Lond­on­ers and steal the focus from King George’s absent son. Water Music is as likely to have been designed as much as an impressive piece of mew music as it was for propaganda to build up the prof­ile of England’s unpopular new ruler.

This lavish, 3-part suite for 50 musicians included loud horns and woodwind instruments so that the sound carried across the water along with oboes, flutes, recorders, bassoons, trumpets, horns, violins and basses. 

At 8pm the colourful cavalcade of boats travelled from The Palace of Whitehall up to Chelsea. The king and his courtiers watched from the royal barge while a City Barge was employed for the music with Handel conducting. The king was so enthusiastic that the work was played many times with the event finishing long after midnight.

Convivio
Saturday 28 August, 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

The Spirit of the Harpsichord…

No baroque ensemble would be complete without the most essential of 18th century keyboard instruments – the harpsichord.

On 28 August when the eight-piece ensemble Convivio perform From Leipzig to London at St Michael’s, the harpsichord will be supplied by one of the country’s finest makers and restorers of these wonderful instruments – and he’s only just outside of Bath in the village of Rode!

Peter Barnes has been making harpsichords since 1974, firstly under the guidance of his father and friends in Edinburgh, and after 1990, from his workshop near Frome. The interior of one of his fine instruments is pictured above.

Find out more about Peter Barnes’ work and watch some of his fascinating videos on his website.

Until recently, the emphasis of his work was repairing and refurbishing second-hand instruments but he is now making some fantastic new instruments again.

The instrument Peter is supplying for this concert was made in the 1980s by another of the UK’s finest makers, and also Somerset based: Andrew Garlic. 

Specialising in French and Flemish harpsichords, he has an international reputation for his quality craftmanship, clear tone and the fine appearance of his instruments. Garlic harpsichords can be seen all over the world and are often featured in concerts, radio broadcasts and recordings.

Did you know…?

The harpsichord was a hugely popular instrument across Europe up until the 18th century after which time the Piano took its place.

The strings of a harpsichord are plucked by a small plectrum – unlike being struck with small hammers on a piano. This gives the harpsichord its distinctive sound which almost immediately creates an association with the baroque era.

Convivio

Saturday 28 August, 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

Best of the Baroque…

Some of the best music from the baroque age heads to Bath on 28 August brought by the dynamic and exciting young ensemble Convivio.

Here’s a taste of Convivio, recorded at St. Mary’s Church, Battersea, performing the 4th movement (Allegro) of Fasch’s Sonata in F major for violin, oboe, bassoon and continuo. 

On 28 August we shall have an eight-piece ensemble who will guide us on a musical tour of the European grand baroque of the 18th century…

Meet the musicians…

Alice Earll Violin 1

A period instrument performer graduating from the RAM with a first-class degree and the Bickerdike Allen Prize for achievement in 2016. She performs with the Academy of Ancient Music at the BBC Proms and is a founding member of Ensemble Molière.

Maxim del Mar Violin 2

A Master’s graduate in Historical Violin Performance from the RAM.  Maxim performs music from Monteverdi to Beethoven on original set-ups and he is an active member of ensembles including Ensemble Echos, Ensemble La Notte and Endelienta Baroque.

Joanna Patrick Viola

First Class Honours graduate from the RAM and prize-winning finalist in Concerto and Chamber Music Competitions, Joanna plays with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Florilegium, the Academy of Ancient Music, BBCSO and the LSO.

Florence Petit Cello

Graduating from the RAM with Distinction, Florence has recorded for the Royal Collection Trust’s exhibition Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer. She has also worked with Florilegium, the Brandenburg Baroque Soloists and the English Concert.


PROGRAMME

JS Bach 
(1685-1709 )
Orchestral Suite no 1 in C major BWV 1066

H Purcell (1659-1695)
Chaconne in G minor Z 730

A Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Bassoon Concerto in E minor RV484

JP Rameau (1683-1764)
Suite from ‘Hippolyte et Aricie’ RV 439

A Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Concerto in C Major RV450 for oboe, strings and continuo

JP Rameau (1683-1764)
Les Boreades – Entree de Polimnie

JF Handel(1685-1759)
Suite No.1 Water Music (excerpts) HWV 348


Nicola Barbagli Oboe 1

Graduating in Italy Nicola moved to the UK and after studying historical oboes at the RAM performs with the Orchestra of Age of Enlightenment and the Gabrieli Consort as well as running Istante Collective and Baroquestock festivals.

Amy Roberts Oboe 2

British RNCM graduated oboist performs with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Florilegium and the Early Opera Company. Her series of books ‘Keeping in Shape’, support students to keep fit & healthy on the oboe. 

Catriona McDermid Bassoon 

A keen educator and bassoonist, highlights include appearances on BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’ and a Navarra String Quartet premiere. Catriona performs with the London Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic and RTÉ Symphony as well as period ensembles including English Baroque Soloists. 

Sean Heath Harpsichord

At the RAM and at Cambridge University Sean was ‘keyboardist in residence’ at St Andrews. He has played harpsichord continuo with leading early music conductors such as Christopher Rousset and Laurence Cummings

All online ticket holders will be emailed a FREE PROGRAMME. It will be sent as a DIGITAL PDF to read on your phone or other device, or printed out at home.

From Leipzig… to London

We look forward to a summer feast of the European high baroque with this concert on 28 August by the dynamic and exciting young ensemble Convivio.

From Leipzig to London is part of a tour through the European grand baroque of the eighteenth century from the London of Purcell and Handel to Paris under Louis XV with Rameau, on to Telemann in Leipzig and finally to the sunshine of Venice and Vivaldi.

Convivio’s masterful and acclaimed performances have been enjoyed in venues ranging from the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palaceto mission churches in the Bolivian jungle.

Convivio: From Leipzig to London
Saturday 28 August, 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

JS Bach Orchestral Suite no 1 in C major BWV 1066
H Purcell Chaconne in G minor Z 730
A Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto in E minor RV484
JP Rameau Suite from ‘Hippolyte et Aricie’ RV 439
A Vivaldi Concerto in C Major RV450 for oboe, strings and continuo
JP Rameau Les Boreades – Entree de Polimnie
GF Handel Suite No.1 Water Music (excerpts) HWV 348 

Bath Recitals will email FREE PROGRAMMES for its events to those who buy tickets online. Sent as a DIGITAL PDF the programme can be read on your phone or other device or printed out at home.

Providing a platform for emerging young professional musicians such as Convivio – many of whom have studied at leading conservatories in the UK and abroad – is an integral part of the mission of Bath Recitals.

If you are not already supporting Bath Recitals, a registered charity, please consider doing so.

We’re so Pleased to be Back!

We were thrilled that Bath Recitals was back on Saturday with a terrific evening of great music, terrific musicians and a magical atmosphere with the Gildas Quartet.

That was our first concert in over 15 months so it was with much excitement that we were able to present this dynamic ensemble to kickstart the season. Thanks to the hugely supportive staff at St Michael’s everything was ‘Covid compliant’ with socially distanced seating, the venue sanitised beforehand and everyone masked up for the event.

The Gildas Quartet performing at St Michaels on Saturday

Irrespective of all that everyone felt relaxed and comfortable. A big thank you to everyone in the audience who joined us for this first concert in our 2021 series.

The Gildas Quartet were particularly thrilled to be performing together again too as that was the first live performance they have been able to give for some time. 

Providing a platform for emerging young professional musicians such as the Gildas Quartet – many of whom have studied at leading conservatories in the UK and abroad – is an integral part of the mission of Bath Recitals.

We do rely on your help to enable us to support the best of our future musicians to be able to rise successfully to the top of their professions – particular in these challenging times for the arts. Please consider becoming a Friend of Bath Recitals or making a Donation.

We do hope to see you next month when we present a feast of Baroque music with Convivio. This dynamic young ensemble will take us on a musical journey with music from Purcell, Handel, Telemann and Vivaldi.

Convivio: From Leipzig to London
Saturday 28 August 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

String Quartet Classics this Saturday

The Gildas Quartet bring music by three of the great composers of string quartets when Bath Recitals resumes its 2021 season on 3 July… 

Gildas Quartet: String Quartet Classics
Saturday 3 July 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

Mozart
 String Quartet in C Major K465 The Dissonance
Britten String Quartet No 2 in C Major Op 36
Dvořák String Quartet in F major, Op 96 The American Quartet

This concert spans three centuries, each defined by the life and work of a distinctive composer. Each one pushed the musical boundaries of their time whilst bringing their own unique voice to this timeless and versatile ensemble of two violins, viola and cello in this dynamic and hugely enjoyable programme.

Gildas Quartet composers
Mozart, Britten and Dvořák feature in the Gildas Quartet recital

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet in C Major K465 The Dissonance

Quintessentially 18th century yet streets ahead of his time with the dark and mysterious opening soon dispelled by the sunny C major brightness of the Allegro, possibly one of the most joyous moments of the string quartet repertoire.

Antonín Dvořák
String Quartet in F major, Op 96 The American Quartet

This Czech composer was one of the first to achieve worldwide recognition by the end of the 19th century. Inspired by the tradition of folk music from his native Bohemia and Moravia he developed a truly national idiom which continues to captivate to the present day. 

Benjamin Britten
String Quartet No 2 in C Major Op 36

Evocative of the composers home turf of Suffolk, Britten’s music opens up a landscape of sound evocative of the open skies and seas of that unique landscape. This quartet also looks back 250 years to honour the music of another British composer, Henry Purcell.

Stunning, exquisite playing, beautiful…we’re running out of superlatives.’

The Strad

PLEASE NOTE: This event will be run in compliance with government guidelines. This will be a socially distanced event for both performers and audience. Audience capacity is therefore limited and tickets are only available in advance online.

Please check our website for the latest updates.

This concert is kindly supported by:

The Carne Trust

Meet the Gildas Quartet

Meet the players from the Gildas Quartet who will be performing on 3 July when Bath Recitals’ resumes its 2021 season… 

Praised for their ‘energy, verve and refreshing approach’, the Gildas Quartet, have performed to critical acclaim at major venues including the Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall and live on BBC Radio 3.

Their bold and explorative approach to performance was recognised by the International Franz Schubert and Modern Music Competition, Graz, where they won first prize in the Audience Engagement Award 2018.


Christopher Jones

CHRISTOPHER JONES
Violin

Originally from London, Ontario, Christopher Jones graduated from McGill University with a first class degree in 2009. Completing his masters at the RNCM with Pavel Fischer, he graduated with distinction.

In addition to leading the Gildas Quartet, Christopher also directs the London Musical Arts Orchestra at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

Gemma Sharples

GEMMA SHARPLES
Violin

Violinist and chamber musician, Gemma Sharples performs around the UK and internationally. In 2018 Gemma was awarded an ARCM and since 2019 has been a member of London Mozart Players. For 10 years Gemma was violinist with the Albany Piano trio specialising in the performance and promotion of music by female composers.


Stunning, exquisite playing, beautiful…we’re running out of superlatives.’

The Strad
Francesca Gilbert
Anna Menzies

FRANCESCA GILBERT
Viola

London born Francesca recently graduated from the Advanced Instrumental Studies masters course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama after being award first class honours on the GSMD undergraduate programme.  Francesca’s main passion is for chamber music and has performed in major venues and at international chamber music festivals across the UK, Europe and America.

ANNA MENZIES
Cello
Anna has performed across the UK and Europe as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician including concerto appearances with the Sheffield Philharmonic, Tyneside Chamber and Alderley Edge Orchestras. She has been recipient of numerous awards, including scholarships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the RNCM’s Richard Newitt Award. 


Gildas Quartet: String Quartet Classics
Saturday 3 July 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

Mozart
 String Quartet in C Major K465 The Dissonance
Britten String Quartet No 2 in C Major Op 36
Dvořák String Quartet in F major, Op 96 The American Quartet

PLEASE NOTE:This event will be run in compliance with government guidelines. This will be a socially distanced event for both performers and audience. Audience capacity is therefore limited and tickets are only available in advance online.


This concert is supported by:

The Carne Trust

Welcome back with String Quartet Classics

Bath Recitals’ 2021 season resumes on 3 July celebrating the classical String Quartet with the Gildas String Quartet… 

The Bath Recitals team look forward to welcoming you back to St Michael’s with this fantastic summer evening concert. Featuring music spanning three centuries by three of the great composers of string quartets – Mozart, Britten and Dvořák – this concert promises to be a feast of some of the most exciting music for this genre:

Mozart String Quartet in C Major K465 The Dissonance
Britten String Quartet No 2 in C Major Op 36
Dvořák String Quartet in F major, Op 96 The American Quartet

Stunning, exquisite playing, beautiful…we’re running out of superlatives.’

The Strad

The video below is introduced by second violinist Gemma Sharples as part of one of their ‘Surround Sound’ sessions. As winners of the Special Prize for Audience Engagement at the 10th International Chamber Music Competition, this really does convey the Quartet’s passion for performing this wonderful music:

PLEASE NOTE:This event will be run in compliance with government guidelines. This will be a socially distanced event for both performers and audience. Audience capacity is therefore limited and tickets are only available in advance online.

Please check our website for the latest updates.

This concert is kindly supported by:

The Carne Trust

Where are they now? Nicholas Daniel

We take another look back at the artists for whom Bath Recitals gave them a much needed platform to help them rise successfully to the top of their professions. Today we take a look at oboist and conductor Nicholas Daniel…

Back in March 1986, a young Nicholas Daniel gave one his first recitals at the Pump Room together with pianist Julius Drake.The programme included music by Britten, Schumann & Poulenc. 

Not long before, Nicholas had won the BBC Young Music of the Year Competition so he was already familiar to many in the audience. 

Acknowledged as one of the world’s great oboe players as well as one of Britain’s best known musicians, Nicholas’s Harmonia Mundi Label recordings have received much acclaim. He has also directed festivals and concert series, notably in Germany and Dartington, as well as being Music Director of the Leicester International Music Festival.

Nicholas continues to work regularly with Julius Drake amongst others and is also regularly involved in many chamber music activities including the award-winning Britten Sinfonia of whom he is a founder member. 

Nicholas is a keen concerto soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, performing a huge range of repertoire from Bach to Xenakis and beyond. His recording of concertos by Vaughan Williams and MacMillan was awarded the 2016 BBC Music Magazine Premiere Award.

Following his BBC Proms conducting debut in 2004, he works with many fine ensembles in wide-ranging repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary, and from small groups to opera.

Watch this live 2013 recording of the 3rd movement from Shostakovich’s 5th symphony from Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh with Nicholas Daniel conducting the Triorca Orchestra:

In recognition of his achievements he was honoured in 2012 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the prestigious Queen’s Medal for Music, and cited as having made ‘an outstanding contribution to the musical life of the nation’.In October 2020 he was awarded an OBE.

Since it was established in 1981, Bath Recitals has staged over 600 concerts and events featuring emerging young professional musicians – many from leading conservatories both from the UK and abroad. Bath Recitals provides an essential platform in the musical world, enabling the best of our future musicians to rise successfully to the top of their professions. 

Where are they now? Aisa Ijiri

In advance of restarting our concert series later this year, we look back at how artists who performed in the early years of Bath Recitals have gone on to develop successful international musical careers.

This month we take a look at the amazing Japanese concert pianist and Steinway artist Aisa Ijiri…

Watch Aisa talk about a day in her life as a Steinway Artist:

‘A special talent whose European sophistication, fierce passion and poetic sentiment create an artistic atmosphere’

The Record Geijutsu, Tokyo

Aisa appeared with Bath Recitals in 2010 and again in 2011 – then the Bath Recitals Artists’ Trust. Her recital at the Pump Room included music by Schumann Chopin, Beethoven Debussy and Liszt.

Ten years on and Aisa is now an established and award-winning pianist. Her sensational debuts such as at the Carnegie Hall, New York in 2017 is just one of the high profile performances she now gives regularly across the globe including the USA, UK, Korea, China, Europe and working with some of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors.

Now based in Sweden, Aisa’s diverse repertoire includes recordings and premieres such as commissions by Llywelyn ap Myrddin  featured on BBC Radio 3, and the 2019 world premiere of a new single ‘Until We Meet Again’ by Hollywood film composer Martin Tillman.

Aisa is a graduate of the Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama  and the Royal College of Music, London. In 2018, she was appointed Honorary Representative for the Royal College of Music, London.

She is also now an official Steinway Artist and the Artistic Director of the Tokyo International Piano Association in Japan and Italy’s Montecatini Piano Festival.

Since it was established in 1981, Bath Recitals has staged over 600 concerts and events featuring emerging young professional musicians – many from leading conservatories both from the UK and abroad.

Bath Recitals provides an essential platform in the musical world, enabling the best of our future musicians to rise successfully to the top of their professions. 

PLEASE HELP US TO GIVE A PLATFORM TO TOMORROW’S MUSICAL STARS BY JOINING AS A FRIEND OR MAKING A DONATION