I’m always incredibly excited this time of year as the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado begins a new season. It always brings back some of the eager anticipation of our very first concert as an ensemble. (As a baseball fan, I have to say the excitement doubles when my favorite team makes it to the postseason!)
This year our season opener features music of Handel and Purcell in a concert I call “The London Connection.” I’ve had fun reading up on these two composers. The two had very different personalities, and lived in different times (Handel was about 10 years old when Purcell died). Purcell was London-born, and Handel an immigrant from Germany. But they both actively participated in the life of London during times of social and political change (in the case of Purcell, a time of turmoil), and helped shape the cultural landscape there. Both interacted intimately with Londoners of all backgrounds – from royalty and officials of church and state, to musicians, actors, and the common folk in taverns and homes.
In her recent biography, George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends, Ellen T. Harris writes that Handel’s music offers a tapestry of eighteenth century culture and society. “In London, the sound of his music reached from court to theater, from cathedral to tavern, and was performed by the greatest virtuosi of the era as well as the lonely spinster sitting at her keyboard. It served not just at coronations but as a background to daily life.”
And these words about Purcell by Nicholas Kenyon: “Both worldly and spiritual, he was above all a great humane composer who understood the pangs of love, the glory of ceremony and the tumult of war.”
I hope you’ll join us for our first concert of the 2018-19 season, and often throughout the year!
Handel and Purcell: The London Connection
October 6-7, 2018
Handel, Grand Concerto, op. 6 no. 1 in G major
Purcell, Overture and Rondeau from Abdelazer
Purcell, Three Parts Upon a Ground
Purcell and Matteis, A Collection of Scotch and Irish Tunes
Purcell, Chacony in G minor
Handel, Largo from Xerxes (Ombra mai fu)
Handel, Allegro from Il Pastor Fido
Handel, Grand Concerto, op. 6 no. 4 in A minor