Vibrations: Cosmos - Festival d'Ambronay 2018
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
Jean-Fery Rebel (1666-1747) - Les Elémens, arr. Improviso
- Le Cahos
- Air pour les violons (La Terre et L’Eau) – Chaconne (Le Feu)
- Ramage (L’air)
A suite of banned dances: Jácara, Sarabanda, Chacona
G.P. Telemann (1681-1767) - Trio Sonata in G minor, TWV 42:g9
- Soave mà non adagio
Theories of cosmic harmony resonate throughout music history, whether presenting ideas of a sounding ‘music of the spheres’ or exploring music as a metaphor for universal harmony. Yet rather than focus on cosmic harmony in today’s programme, we present a programme of music by Rebel and Telemann which ventures to the edge of cosmic chaos. In between these composed works, we improvise a suite of Spanish dances banned in the seventeenth century. Feared for their lascivious quality and the potential they held to cause social chaos, these dances were officially banned from receiving either musical or danced performances on stage.
We begin with a piece that epitomised the notion of musical chaos as an analogue for the unravelling of the natural order in 1737: Jean-Fery Rebel’s Les Elémens. Composed when Rebel was 71 years old, the work opens with one of the most extraordinary bars of music to be written in the eighteenth century: a chord containing all the notes of a D minor scale in a shocking and unresolved musical representation of chaos; things fall apart. As Rebel writes in his introduction to the work, his aim is to reflect harmonically the chaos before the elements assumed their prescribed places in the natural order, linking musical order with order in the cosmos. This relationship is developed by the dance suite that follows, using orchestration to characterise the instruments as different elements (earth, water, fire, and air). Here we perform our own arrangement of the work, based on Rebel’s existing short score published shortly after the Paris premiere.
1737 was also the year that the German composer Georg Philipp Telemann travelled to Paris for eight months, during which time he started work on his famous collection of chamber music that appeared a year later, the Essercizi Musici. It is in this collection that the trio sonata we perform today is found. While Rebel’s piece is concerned with aligning the elements, this piece looks instead to balance courtly conceits with a folk identity, musically tempering indoor and outdoor sensibilities. Whether or not Telemann is successful in this endeavour we cannot say, but the stamping and riffing that breaks loose in the last movement’s Polish folk dance seems fit to bring chaos to any genteel indoor space…
Improviso present a joyful Christmas programme, representing a variety of composed and improvised music from three centuries and four countries.
Opening with excerpts from Charpentier’s sparkling instrumental narrative of the nativity, you will hear kaleidoscopic chamber music of the Italian seventeenth century, an arrangement of one of J.S. Bach’s most arresting organ trio sonatas, and improvisations over festive songs from sixteenth-century England and Spain.
Tickets: £14/£12/£5 (under 35s) - via this link.
Improviso is delighted to be performing at St Martin-in-the-fields for the first time, presenting a programme of baroque chamber music and improvisation.
- Programme -
Improvised divisions on a ground 'John come kiss me now' (The Division Flute, 1684)
Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764)
Deuxieme Recreation de musique
Forlane - Badinage - Sarabande - Menuet - Tambourin
Dario Castello (c.1590-c.1658) Sonata Duodecima
G.P. Telemann (1681-1767)
Trio Sonata in A minor, TWV 42:a4: Largo - Vivace - Affettuoso - Allegro
Improvised suite of banned dances (Spanish 16th century): Ciacona - Jacaras - Sarabanda
Tickets available here.
John Playford (1623-1686/7) – A la Mode de France
François Couperin (1668-1733) – Les Nations: L’Espagnole: Sonade en trio – Allemande – Courante – Seconde Courante – Sarabande – Gigue lourée – Gavotte – Rondeau – Bourée – Double de la Bourée – Passacaglia
Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764) - Deuxième récréation de la musique
Ouverture – Forlane – Sarabande – Menuet – Badinage – Chaconne – Tambourin
Improviso present their programme 'Badinage' as part of the SJE Arts Next Generation concert series in Oxford, UK. Tickets available here.
Improvised divisions on a ground from The Division Flute (1706)
François Couperin (1668-1733) Sonade en trio (from Les Nations: L'Espagnole)
John Playford (1623-1686/7) A la mode de France
Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764) Deuxième Récréation de la Musique, Op. 8
Improvised suite of banned dances: Ciacona, Jácaras, Sarabanda
The opera Giulio Cesare is the first major work Handel composed after moving to his house on Brook Street near Hanover Square. The story is based on historical events between September 48BC and March 47BC, brought to life through a combination of Haym’s libretto and Handel’s extraordinary text setting and vividly colourful orchestrations. In today’s programme we ask what happens to opera when it is not being performed, and explore its offstage cultural presence and influences. The programme includes chamber music by Handel as well as arrangements (both our own and eighteenth century ones) of arias and movements from the opera.
Improviso presents a lunchtime recital in this series.
Discover what’s on at BREMF this year with our free taster day. Join discussions, ask questions and listen to live music. The day is aimed at the interested general public. You do not need to be an expert or academic to join us!
Improviso will be performing and talking about their BREMF showcase programme on November 4th. More details here.
At this year's Bournemouth Fringe, Improviso responds to the festival's theme 'Plastic Beach' by presenting an immersive musical performance that explores 16th-17th sounds lost to the 21st century urban environment, using music that reflects soundscapes as a point of departure for contemporary improvisations.
Improviso present Handel Sandwich: A Concert of Ancient Music, supported by the Cavatina Trust.
Ticket Price: Full 8.00, Students £4.00
Tickets available from The Astor Community Theatre, Deal on 01304 370220 or online www.astor.org