Ensemble Hesperi’s latest news
Pleasure for Music: A Birthday Concert for Jane Austen
Tickets have just gone on sale for Ensemble Hesperi’s next concert on Saturday 16th December, at Chawton House, home to Jane Austen towards the end of her life. They are honoured to be curating this programme to celebrate Chawton’s recent acquisition of one of Jane’s own music books (pictured above). For this concert, with fellow CMF Artist Claire Ward, they will be delving into the sound world of Regency England with a specially curated programme of music from the Austen family collection. The concert features several pieces from the music book itself, Domenico Corri’s Select Collection of Choice Music for the Harpsichord or Piano Forte, including the celebrated “Christmas Concerto” by Corelli, and a dramatic keyboard overture by Handel. Jane and her family would have enjoyed these pieces at home, alongside favourite arias from the theatre and ever-popular Scots songs, often copied out in manuscript by hand, and sung in this programme by guest soprano Claire Ward. Tickets are £30, to include entry to Chawton House, the Christmas lights in the “Glimmering Gardens”, and the exhibition, Treasures of Chawton House, as well as drinks and festive canapés served in the Old Kitchen Tearoom. Book quickly, as space in the venue is limited!
Autumn Concert Round-up
In September Ensemble Hesperi travelled to the Rye Festival for a concert with tenor and fellow CMF Artist Richard Robbins, performing a programme centred around Venice. Then, in early October, they were delighted to perform in the magnificent church of All Saints in Kingston-upon-Thames, a beautiful town centre church steeped in history and host to Kingston Chamber Concerts. The following day Ensemble Hesperi set off to Suffolk for a concert in the stunning surroundings of the Stour Valley, where they performed our new programme ‘Handel in the Strand’ for Stour Valley Arts and Music. Tom and Mary-Jannet returned to Brighton Early Music Festival in October, where Hesperi started off as a young duo on the ‘BREMF Live!’ scheme in 2017. They always enjoy returning to BREMF, ever grateful for the guidance and support they have received over the years. Ensemble Hesperi were honoured to have been invited to perform the first Malcolm Rose Memorial Concert, with a special seventeenth-century programme including a number of solo works for harpsichord by Picchi, Froberger, and Byrd. At the end of October, they gave a concert at Worcestershire Early Music, where we played their “Handel in the Strand” programme once again for a wonderfully welcoming audience. Over the past weekend, Ensemble Hesperi travelled to Devon for two performances at the Torbay Musical Weekend. They opened their fantastic weekend of recitals and talks with a concert on Friday evening, in the Grand Hotel, Torquay, and then, on Saturday morning, gave an interactive presentation about their outreach work as as ensemble. Ensemble Hesperi have been delighted to meet up with several friends and loyal supporters at their recent concerts. Seeing familiar faces at concerts is always so special, so don’t forget to let them know if you’ll be attending a concert, and they will make sure to catch you!
“Celestial Music did the Gods Inspire” at Temple Church
On Friday 13th October, Ensemble Hesperi were delighted to launch their new vocal group, the ‘Hesperi Voices’ at the Temple Church, with a brand new programme for expanded ensemble and twelve voices. They told the story of the Battle of the Organs, in which with the two Inns of court (Middle and Inner Temple) argued over the choice of an organ builder to build a new instrument for the church in the 1680s. In the end they invited two leading makers, Bernhard Smith and Renatus Harris, to compete for the contract. As leading musicians of the day, John Blow and Henry Purcell were brought in to demonstrate the winning Smith organ, and so the programme featured rarely heard gems from both composers. This live concert was filmed and Ensemble Hesperi look forward to sharing it with their audience in the coming months, so watch this space!Continuo Connect – now featuring a What’s On page, Artists’ profiles, and regular features. Why not take a look?Ensemble Hesperi would not have been able to put on such a huge project without significant financial support, on this occasion from the Temple Music Foundation and the Continuo Foundation, and they are so incredibly grateful for their support. A few weeks ago, the Continuo Foundation launched a new, revamped, version of its ‘go-to guide for Early Music’,
Ensemble Hesperi is a dynamic and innovative London-based Early Music ensemble, dedicated to showcasing Baroque music through imaginative programming and collaboration with other art forms.