A Feast of Baroque Dance and Music at The Model
The two artists who will perform the opening concert will also feature prominently throughout the festival. We are very delighted to be able include remarkable Italian baroque violinist, Davide Monti and Irish born harpist, Maria Christina Cleary, delighted to present high calibre performers who have not played in Ireland for nearly ten years, and delighted about their programme of early Italian violin music which will be a new musical world for some, and for the education/training work that they will also do while in Sligo. Maria’s harp recital on Saturday evening takes us beyond baroque with a programme of harp music based on the life and letters of harpist Fanny Krumpholtz…
Another concert that offers something really quite special in both its sonorities and choice of programme is that of recorder player Pamela Thorby (“England’s foremost recorder player”), baroque bassoonist, Peter Whelan and Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo and baroque guitar). Three really remarkable instrumentalists with a most enticing programme.
Instrumental music must have mainly originated in dance music, and so much of music from the Baroque era was either music composed to be danced, or derived from dance forms. Dance is one of the threads of this year’s Sligo Festival. The origins of ballet are found in France in the mid-17th Century, and baroque dancer, Barbara Segal with Sligo Baroque Orchestra, will offer a welcome to the festival with a performance of dance by Jean Baptiste Lully – using the 17th century choreography.
There is an opportunity to learn a great deal more about dance in the 17th and 18th centuries at a workshop with Barbara Segal on Saturday afternoon – and maybe a chance to try a few steps. The Festival concludes with the much lauded English baroque ensemble, Florilegium performing a programme of French dance music with baroque dancer, Mary Collins. Those are the physical aspects of dance in the festival.
One of the most remarkable publications of dance music is Johann Sebastian Bach’s collection of keyboard partitas, which he published himself as his Opus 1. It is a collection of 6 suites of dance movements, “composed for music-lovers, to delight their spirits” as it says on the title page. The variety of styles, the care in juxtaposition, as well as tremendous invention results in pieces that are both immediately attractive and easy to listen to as well as more than repaying careful and repeated listening. Malcolm Proud will perform all six of the partitas in a series of three recitals, each with a short introduction by the eminent musicologist, David Ledbetter.
A new feature of the festival this year is the inclusion of Irish instrument makers who will offer workshops and be available for information during the weekend. These are free events as is observing the masterclasses and attending the harp workshop.
We very much hope to be able to give you a very warm welcome to this year’s Sligo Festival of Baroque Music…
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We thank The Clarion Hotel for accommodation for performers at the 2011 festival.