DHS Baroque Ensemble Concert Featuring Soloist Rachel Barton Pine

Rachel Barton Pine

Rachel Barton Pine

Davis Senior High Baroque Ensemble
Directed by Angelo Moreno
Featuring Soloist Rachel Barton Pine- Violin and Viola D’Amore

Concert Details:

  • Saturday, March 28th 2020
  • Davis Senior High School Richard Brunelle Performance Hall
    315 West 14 Street, Davis 95616
  • Doors Open: 6:30PM
  • Pre-Concert Chat with Rachel Barton Pine: 7:00-7:30PM
  • Concert Start Time: 8:00PM

Concert is open to the public general seating; no tickets are being sold for this performance. All donations at the door will go to support the DHS Baroque Ensemble’s Tour to England and France 2020.

Please support the DHS Baroque Ensemble Students achieve this one-of-a-kind educational artistic experience by donating today and please share this link with your friends and family, too. Just four months remain until departure! All donations at the door and online at the DHS-Holmes Orchestra Boosters web store will go to support the DHS Baroque Ensemble Tour to England and France 2020.

Concert Program

Davis Senior High Baroque Ensemble
Directed by Angelo Moreno
Featuring Soloist Rachel Barton Pine- Violin and Viola D’Amore
Saturday, March 28th 2020

  1. Viola d’amore Concerto in A Major, RV 396 by Antonio Vivaldi
    Allegro
    Andante
    Allegro
  2. Concerto Grosso Op.6 No.6 HWV324 by George Frideric Handel
    Larghetto e affetuoso
    Allegro, ma non troppo
    Musette
    Allegro
    Allegro
  3. Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006 by Johann Sebastian Bach
    Preludio
    Loure
    Gavotte en rondeau
    Menuet 1
    Menuet 2
    Bourrée
    Gigue
  4. Viola d’amore Concerto in A Minor, RV 397 by Antonio Vivaldi
    Allegro
    Largo
    Allegro
  5. Imitation des Caractères de la Danse by Johann Georg Pisendel
    Loure
    Rigaudon Rondeau
    Canarie
    Bourée
    Musette
    Passepied
    Polonois
    Presto Concertino
  6. Concerto for Two Violins in A minor RV522 Op. 3 No. 8 by Antonio Vivaldi
    Allegro
    Larghetto e spiritoso
    Allegro
    Soloists: Rachel Barton Pine and Sylvia Pine

Encore:

“Orage” or “Thunderstorms” from “Plata, or Jealous Juno” by Jean-Philippe Rameau

Paris – Places of Interest

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the seventeenth of the series, is on places of interest in Paris.


Temporary paper optical illusion collage - entrance Courtyard of the Musée du Louvre

Temporary paper optical illusion collage – entrance Courtyard of the Musée du Louvre

The final concert of the DHSBE tour will take place in Paris. The choice of places of interest in the city is overwhelming, with some of the best known being the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and Sacre Coeur church, the Louvre museum, and Ile de Paris & Notre Dame Cathedral – all of which all well worth a visit, as well as a cruise on the Seine, and shopping! The following are places of interest that may be less well known:

Les Invalides

Les Invalides

Les Invalides is one of the finest buildings from the Baroque period in Europe. It was built in 1670 as a hospital and retirement home for veterans, and still serves that purpose today. It is also the home of a military museum, and a church that is the burial site of many ‘war heroes’, including Napoleon Bonaparte. Les Invalides is where rioters obtained the cannons and muskets they used to storm the Bastille prison in 1789 at the start of the French Revolution.

Place des Vosges, dating from 1605, was the prototype for all formal residential squares in Europe. All houses were built using the same materials: red brick with steep pitched slate roofs. The building of the Square turned the Marais district, in which it is situated, into a fashionable area for French nobility up until the French Revolution.

Musée Rodin

Musée Rodin

Musée Rodin is housed in the grand early 18th century town-house Hôtel Biron. The museum collection includes Rodin’s well known sculptures ‘The Thinker’, ‘Honore Balzac’, and ‘The Burgers of Calais’, and many hundreds of his other works. Many of his famous works are displayed in the formal gardens surrounding the house.

The Pantheon was originally a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, Patron Saint of Paris. The church was re-built in Neoclassical style by Louis XV. It became a mausoleum during the French Revolutions to honor revolutionary martyrs, and many famous famous French citizens, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie, are buried there.

Musée de l’Orangerie is located in a corner of the Tuileries Garden (adjacent the the large courtyard containing the entrance to the Louvre.) It is the home of eight enormous ‘Water Lilly’ murals by Monet, and also contains paintings by other Impressionists, and by Cezanne, Picasso, and Matisse.

Les Catacombes

Les Catacombes

Les Catacombes under the streets of Paris, and just under a mile long, houses the remains of millions of Parisians who were removed from old cemeteries, some dating from the Roman and medieval periods. The bones were arranged artistically in the early 19th century.

The original Shakespeare & Company bookshop was opened by Sylvia Whitman, an American, in 1919, in part to be a place for writers to meet such as Ezra Pound and James Joyce. A second S&C bookstore opened in the 1950s, and was also frequented by writers including Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, some of whom lodged in the store for a time.

Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris, situated at the eastern end of Avenue des Champs-Élysées, is where Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and many others were guillotined during the French Revolution. The tall 3,200 year-old obelisk in the center of the square was brought from the Temple of Luxor in the 19th century.

Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle is recognised as one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the world. Construction began c.1239 and the chapel was consecrated in 1248. Fifteen huge mid-13th century stained glass windows, some of the finest in the world, fill the nave and apse, and a large ‘rose’ window was added to the west wall in 1490.

Musée d’Orsay is known for the world’s premier collection of Impressionist paintings.  Located in a former railway station on the banks of the Seine, this grand museum showcases thousands of art works from the mid 19th century until the early 1900s, including work by Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas, Pissaro, and Renoir.

Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou, built in a still controversial high-tech style in 1977 at the instigation of President Pompidou. It is a cultural institution that houses a huge public library, the largest collection of modern art in Europe, a bookshop, movie theater, and has a panoramic terrace. Musée National Picasso –  Hôtel Salé,contains several thousand of his works of art including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, prints and engravings in an beautiful mid-17th century town-house.

Jardin du Luxembourg is a public park on the ‘left bank’ of the Seine. The gardens contain the original palace built in 1612 for Marie de’ Medici, widow of Henry IV of France. Visitors can stroll around the formal and informal gardens, and there are opportunities for sailing model boats, riding ponies, playing tennis, and there is a playground for children.

Brussels History

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the sixteenth of the series, is on the history of Brussels.


Mont des Arts

Mont des Arts

Mont des Arts

Brussels – Bruxelles, the capital of Belgium, is in the region of Wallonia to the east of Bruges. Traces of human settlement go back to the Stone Age, and the area was later occupied by Ancient Rome. The city was founded c.980. and because of its location on the shores of the river Senne on an important trade route between Bruges, Ghent, and Cologne, Brussels became a flourishing commercial centre in the Middle Ages specialising in the textile trade. Flanders  and Wallonia were unified in 1831 to create Belgium (named for the ‘Belgae’, the indigenous peoples during the Roman period), but to this day Flemish is spoken in the north of the country, and French in the south. Brussels serves as the de facto capital of the European Union, and is the headquarters of NATO.

 

Medieval Brussels

Medieval Brussels

Medieval Brussels

Unlike Bruges, there is little left from the medieval period in Brussels. As was typical of medieval cities in Europe, Brussels was surrounded by a wall.The first city wall was placed around Brussels in the 12th or 13th century. One of its towers, named the Black Tower, still stands at the Place Sainte-Catherine. Other remaining parts of the first wall can be seen at Rue des Alexiens and Boulevard de l’Empereur. When the city started to expand beyond the walls, a stronger fortification was built in a similar design in the late 14th century. Both walls surrounded Brussels until the 16th century, when the first set was demolished. The destruction of the outer wall and its gates followed gradually throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

 

Grande Place, Brussels

The Grand Place

The Grand Place

The Grand Place is the most impressive historical area of the city, and includes buildings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. As the Grand Place, referred to in 1147 as the ‘lower market’, was situated close to the port on the Senne and along an important road, the marketplace did well as a bustling center for trade. The Grand Place was bombarded by the army of Louis XIV in 1695, and only the front of the Town Hall and some stone walls remained standing. The Grand Place was subsequently rebuilt in the original styles we see it today.

 

Ceremony of the Grand Oath, Great Sablon Square, Brussels, 1615

Ceremony of the Grand Oath, Great Sablon Square, Brussels, 1615

Ceremony of the Grand Oath, Great Sablon Square, Brussels, 1615

Another of the major squares in the city is Place du Grand Sablon. The original sablon area was unused wetland, grassland, and sand (‘sablon’ means fine-grained sand halfway between silt and sand) just outside the original city walls. The area was later used as a cemetary, and a small chapel was built there in the 14th century. In the 15th century, the neighbourhood was enlarged substantially, and the chapel was rebuilt as the larger and more elegant Église Notre-Dame du Sablon, still standing today.

There are fine examples of Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture in the city, and striking contemporary buildings beyond the historic center; and a plan for a new entrance to Headquarters of the European Union.

European Union Headquarters

European Union Headquarters

Brussels – Music, Art, Fries, & Sprouts

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the fifteenth of the series, is on the Music, Art, Fries, & Sprouts of Brussels.


The Garden of Love, Rubens, 1633

The Garden of Love, Rubens, 1633

Unlike France, England, Germany, or Italy, ‘Belgium’ had few native-born composers or artists during the baroque period. As with painting, the heyday of music in Flanders & Wallonia was in the 15thc. Peter Paul Rubens was a notable exception – one of the most important painters in the early baroque period in Europe who, in addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat.

Anthony van Dyck

Anthony van Dyck self-portrait

Anthony van Dyck, here seen in a self portrait, was a student of Rubens in
Antwerp. After further study in Italy, he work for the Royal Court in England for many years.

baroque-instrument-holland

Many paintings from Holland depict baroque musical instruments and groups of musicians

Holland, immediately to the north of Flanders had a rich history of ‘genre’ painting during the baroque period. Many of the paintings depict musical instruments and groups of musicians. These paintings are a valuable source of information about the ‘set-up’ of the instruments – design of bridge, shape of neck of the instrument, string length, type of strings and bow, and playing position etc:

As mentioned in the Bruges blog, the few baroque composers in Flanders and Wallonia are not well known – with the exception of the Loeillet cousins, and Fiocco.

Historically Informed Performance
From late 1960’s the Belgian brothers Weiland (viola da gamba), Bart (baroque flute) & Sigiswald Kuijken (baroque violin), together with Frans Bruggen (recorder), Anner Bylsma (baroque cello), and Gustav Leonhardt (harpsichord) started recording historically informed performances of baroque music, and in the process inspired a whole generation of musicians to take an interest in the repertoire and in period style performance. While still a music student in London in 1972, their early recordings influenced my decision to specialize in the performance of baroque music. A year later I became a founder member of the first baroque orchestras in England since the 18thc. – The English Concert, and Academy of Ancient Music.

French Fries (US), Chips (‘British’), Pomme Frites (French, S. Belgium – Brussels), Frieten (Flemish, northern Belgium – Bruges):

The French and Belgians have an ongoing dispute about where fries were invented, with both countries claiming ownership. The potato was introduced to France and Belgium as animal feed at the beginning of the late 16th. via Spain, but its true value as food was not recognized until the late 18th century, when a renowned army chemist, A.A. Parmentier, in his comprehensive study: Examen chymique des pommes de terres, Paris, 1774, recommended potatoes as the solution to endemic famines that were then devastating the country,

Brussels Sprouts:
Native to the Mediterranean region with other cabbage species, brussels sprouts were first cultivated in Ancient Rome. They first appeared in northern Europe during the fifth century, and in the 13th century especially in the Brussels area – from which they derived their name. During the 16th century, they enjoyed a popularity in Holland and Flanders that eventually spread throughout the cooler parts of Northern Europe, and eventually to US and other temperate parts of the world.

Interesting facts about Belgium:

Brussels Concert Venue

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the fourteenth of the series, is on the concert venue in Brussels.


Cathedral of Saint Michael & Saint Gudula

Cathedral of Saint Michael & Saint Gudula

The Cathedral of Saint Michael & Saint Gudula in Brussels is the venue for the 4th concert of the DHSBE tour. It is the main Catholic church in Belgium, and very close to the city center. A Romanesque style church was built on the site in the 11th century, and dedicated to Saint Michael, who is mentioned in the Old Testament as a fighter of dragons, and housed the relics of the martyr Saint Gudula. In the 13th century two towers were added, and the church, later designated a Cathedral, was completed in 1519. The interior of the Cathedral is 374 feet long, and is built in Gothic style. The south tower contains a 49-bell carilion on which Sunday concerts are often given.

Saint Michael's Cathedral

Saint Michael’s Cathedral

Saint Michael’s Cathedral

Brussels Cathedral Organ

Brussels Cathedral Organ

The Great Organ of the Cathedral, built in 2000, has a total of 4,300 pipes, 63 stops (sets of pipes), 4 keyboards, and pedal-board. The style of the organ of the is mostly baroque, including the casework, but the wide range of stops allows for performance neo-classical and modern repertoire. The organ hangs impressively on the wall of the nave.

'The Archangel Michael Vanquishing Lucifer', Francesco Maffei,1656

‘The Archangel Michael Vanquishing Lucifer’, Francesco Maffei,1656

On the right of the nave is a beautiful baroque pulpit carved in oak, dated 1699, as well as the original 17th century oak confessionals. The earliest stained glass windows date from the 16th century. The Cathedrals treasures and relics are kept locked behind 18th century forged iron door. Inside the chamber are numerous liturgical objects including tunics, crosses, chalices and several  sculptures and altarpieces.


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

Brussels Places of Interest

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the thirteenth of the series, is on the places of interest in Brussels.


Grand Place - Grote Markt

Grand Place – Grote Markt, Brussels

Brussels has several important art and history museums including the excellent Museum of Musical Instruments, a collection of over 8,000 instruments. The city has a number of fine Art Nouveau style buildings, most famously by the Belgian architect Victor Horta, and also buildings in the Art Deco style. The Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the main cultural site in the city center. The square is dominated by the 15thc. Town Hall, and the baroque Guildhalls of the various guilds of Brussels.

Atomium Expo '58

Atomium Expo ’58

One of the most popular tourist attractions in the city is the Atomium – a symbolic 338ft tall modernist structure built for the 1958 World’s Fair north of the city center. It consists of 9 steel spheres connected by tubes, and forms a giant model of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. The spheres contain exhibitions, with the the central sphere providing a venue for movies, concerts, & parties, and the top sphere is a restaurant. According to the website, ‘Mini-Europe’ located next to the Atomium, “…is the only park where you can visit the whole of Europe in a couple of hours. A truly unique voyage! Stroll amid the typical ambiance of the most beautiful towns of the ‘Old Continent.”

Mini-Europe

Mini-Europe

Other places of interest:

  • Belgian Museum of Fine Arts, and Parc du Cinquantenaire
  • 15th century church Notre Dame-du-Sablon
  • Mont des Artes
  • Victor Horta’s Art Nouveau Town Houses
  • Abbaye de la Cambre & gardens
  • 19th century Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert – one of Europe’s first covered shopping arcades
  • Train World
  • liCoudenberg Palace Archaeological Site
  • liBelgian Comic Strip Center – museum dedicated to cartoons
  • Place du Jeu de Balle – bric-a- brac street market
Art Nouveau Town House, Victor Horta

Art Nouveau Town House, Victor Horta

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

History of Bruges

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the twelfth of the series, is on the history of Bruges.


Medieval Bruges

Medieval Bruges

Bruges (French), Brugge (Flemish) is the capital and largest city of the Province of West Flanders. The name probably derives from the Old Dutch for bridge ‘brugga’. Zeebrugge was a location of coastal settlement during prehistory. This Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement is unrelated to medieval city development. In the Bruges area, the first fortifications were built Julius Caesar, 1st century BCE, to protect the coastal area against pirates. The Franks took over the whole region from the Gallo-Romans around the 4th century. There were Viking incursions of the ninth century, and early medieval habitation started in the 9th and 10th century. Bruges became important and prosperous due to the tidal inlet that was important to local commerce. Bruges received its City Charter in 1128, and new city wall and canals were built. Since about 1050, gradual silting had caused the city to lose its direct access to the sea. However, a storm in 1134, re-established this access through the creation of the natural Zwinn channel.

'Scenes from the Passion of Christ', Hans Memling, c.1470

‘Scenes from the Passion of Christ’, Hans Memling, c.1470

Bruges had a strategic location at the crossroads of the northern Hanseatic League trade, and trade routes to the south. The city was included in the circuit of the Flemish and French cloth fairs in the 13th century, and had its own wool market and wool weaving industry, with the wool being imported from England and Scotland. The city also traded in the region, and with Portuguese traders selling pepper and other spices. In 1277 the first merchant fleet arrived from Genoa, establishing a link to the trade of the Mediterranean.

'Peasant Wedding', Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c.1567

‘Peasant Wedding’, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c.1567

This prosperity declined markedly from c.1500 when the Zwinn channel to the sea silted up again making access to the North Sea difficult, and eventually impossible. During the 17th century, the lace industry took off, rivaling Brussels, and various unsuccessful efforts were made to bring back Bruges’ glorious past. During the 1650s, the city was the base for King Charles II of England and his court in exile (following the beheading of his father, Charles I). As Bruges became impoverished it faded in importance, and the decline in commerce resulted in the city having few funds to modernise existing buildings, or demolish old buildings to build new more fashionable ones. This resulted in the accidental preservation of the medieval architecture we see today in the historic center of the city.

'The Burg, Bruges', J B van Meunincxhove, c.1700.

‘The Burg, Bruges’, J B van Meunincxhove, c.1700.

Following the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, many British troops and their families stopped off in Bruges on their way to the coast and home to England. By the middle of the 19th century, Bruges had become one of the world’s first tourist destinations, initially attracting English and French tourists. Bruges remains very popular with British tourists, and English is spoken everywhere.

Food – These are some of the less familiar Flemish specialities:

  • Croquettes aux Crevettes Grises – Grey North Sea Shrimp croquettes
  • Konijn met pruimen – Rabbit with prunes
  • Paling in ‘t groen – eel in green sauce (yum)
  • Waterzooi – a creamy fish stew
  • Moules-frites – Mosselen-friet, the unofficial national dish
  • Stoemp – a mashed potato and vegetable side dish
  • and the more familiar Belgian Waffles
Paling in t' groen

Paling in t’ groen

Beer

There are over 200 international and traditional breweries in Belgium, including those in Trappist monasteries, resulting in over 800 types of beer! According to wikipedia, in 2016 UNESCO inscribed Belgian Beer Culture on their list of ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.

Bruges Lace:

Things to do in Bruges:

Architecture Walking Tour – Self-Guided:

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

Music in Bruges

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the eleventh of the series, is on Franco-Flemish Renaissance Music in Bruges.


Angel Musicians, Hans Memling c.1485

Angel Musicians, Hans Memling c.1485

The heyday of Bruges was the 15th century, both in art and music. Flanders had few painters of composers during the Baroque period, and even fewer baroque buildings. ‘Belgium’ came into being as a country in 1831, made up of the Flemish-speaking Flanders in the north, and French-speaking Wallonia to the south – so for the purposes of this blog there are no ‘Belgian’ composers or artists.

Music – Franco-Flemish music from mid 15th century.

Tylman Susato: 

 

Josquin des Prez:

Orlande de Lassus:

Art – Flemish artists from the 15th century include Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling, and Roger van der Weyden.

Ghent Altarpiece, Jan van Eyck, 1432

Ghent Altarpiece, Jan van Eyck, 1432

Music – Franco-Flemish composers in the Baroque period include:

Jean Baptiste Loeillet of London, cousin of JBL of Ghent, was successful as a player and teacher of the harpsichord, also born in Ghent. He played woodwind in the Queen’s Theatre in the Haymarket, London, and held musical gatherings every week at his home. His works were published in London under the name of John Loeillet. His performances were well received; and he was responsible for introducing Corelli’s 12 Concerto Grossi to Londoners.

Joseph dall’Abaco cellist and composer was born in Brussels, and worked primarily in Italy. He wrote some  40 cello sonatas and the 11 Capricci for Violoncello Solo, and other works. Many of his compositions were written in Baroque style despite himself living a very long life well into the Classical era of Haydn and Mozart:

Jean-Joseph Fiocco was born in Brussels, and is well known for a single piece – ‘Allegro’, for solo violin (Suzuki, Book 6):

Art – Franco-Flemish Artists in the Baroque Period

While there were few composers in Flanders during the Baroque period, there were a large number of artists – the most well known 17th century artists are: Jan Brueghel the Younger, Anthony van Dyck, Peter Paul Rubens, and David Teniers the Younger.

Massacre of the Innocents, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, c.1610

Massacre of the Innocents, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, c.1610

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

Bruges Concert Venue

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the tenth of the series, is on the concert venue in Bruges.


Sint-Salvator Cathedral

Sint-Salvator Cathedral

Holy Savior Cathedral — Sint-Salvatorskathedraal — is the venue for the performance by DHSBE in Bruges, Belgium.

The Sint-Salvator Cathedral, the main church of the city, was first built in 11th century, rebuilt in the 13th century in Gothic style, and has later additions, notably the tower. The Cathedral’s 101-meter-long interior contains some noteworthy furnishings including the wall-tapestries that can be seen when entering the church that were manufactured in Brussels in 1731.The Treasure-Chamber display includes 15th century paintings by Flemish artists, and religious relics. The late Gothic carved choir stalls close-by the organ, are 15th century; the pulpit is in the neoclassical style of Louis XVI, and the side-chapel of Saint Jacob has murals from the end of the 13th century.

Nave, and Altar - Sint-Salvator Cathedral

Nave, and Altar — Sint-Salvator Cathedral

The roof of the cathedral collapsed in a fire in 1839. Robert Chantrell, an English architect, famous for his neo-Gothic restorations of English churches, was asked to restore Sint-Salvator. He was also authorized to extend the medieval tower in order to make it taller than that of the Church of Our Lady – Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk. The oldest surviving part, dating from the 12th century, formed the base of the mighty 19th century tower. Instead of adding a neo-Gothic part to the tower, he chose a Romanesque style design of his own invention. After completion there was a lot of criticism of the design, and the Royal Commissioner of Monuments, without authorization by Chantrell, had placed a small peak on top of the tower because they considered the original design to be too flat. The Neo-Romanesque west tower is fortress-like and 99 meters high.

Organ—Sint-Salvator Cathedral

Organ—Sint-Salvator Cathedral

The Cathedral Organ was originally built in the early 18th century, and was expanded in the 20th century resulting in an instrument of 60 stops (different sets of pipes producing a range of sounds), on three manuals (keyboards), and a pedal-board (wooden ‘keys’ played with the feet). The organ is situated at the end of the nave facing the altar at the other end, and sits atop baroque style arches contemporary with the organ.

Medieval Stained Glass Window—Sint-Salvator Cathedral

Medieval Stained Glass Window—Sint-Salvator Cathedral

Medieval stained glass is the coloured and painted glass of Medieval Europe from the 10th century to the 16th century. Stained glass windows were used predominantly in churches, but were also found in wealthy domestic settings and public buildings such as town halls, though surviving examples of secular glass are very rare indeed. The purpose of stained glass windows in a church was both to enhance the beauty of their setting, and to inform the congregants through narrative or symbolism and moral lessons.. The subject matter was generally religious in churches, though “portraits” and heraldry were sometimes included; many narrative scenes give valuable insights into the medieval world. Stained glass windows were used predominantly in churches, but were also found in wealthy domestic settings and public buildings such as town halls, though surviving examples of secular glass are very rare indeed. The purpose of stained glass windows in a church was both to enhance the beauty of their setting and to teach congregants about biblical stories through narrative or symbolism. The subject matter was generally religious in churches, although “portraits” and heraldry were sometimes included, and many narrative scenes give valuable insights into the medieval world. Stained glass in Sint-Salvator is especially spectacular.

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

Bruges Places of Interest

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the ninth of the series, is on places of interest in Bruges.


Canals, and 13th century Belfry tower

Canals, and 13th century Belfry tower

The third concert of the tour will be in Bruges, Belgium — one of the most delightful cities in Europe. I first visited at age 13 on a school trip, and later on numerous occasions as a musician performing in the Flanders Festival as a member of The English Concert, and Academy of Ancient Music. The MAfestival Brugge, hosts an internationally renowned festival of early music and historically informed performances each summer, which includes a three-year cycle of competitions for harpsichord, organ, pianoforte and other period instruments, vocals, and baroque ensembles.

The medieval center of the city, sometimes known as ‘Venice of the North’, is compact, and it is very easy to stroll through the squares, along the canals, and over the many bridges, to places of interest. A boat trip along the canals would also be a great experience. Bruges is less than 1 hour by train from Brussels, and 25 minutes from the coastal towns Blankenberge, Knokke, and Zeebrugge.

Market Square - Markt

Market Square – Markt

Market Square – Markt, is in the historic centre of Bruges and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At one end of the Markt is the city’s most famous landmark – the 13th century Belfry – Belfort van Brugge, which has a 47-bell carillon at the top of the 272ft. tower. The city still employs a full-time carillonneur, who gives free concerts on a regular basis.

Madonna & Child, Michelangelo

Madonna & Child, Michelangelo

The Church of Our Lady – Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, contains Michelangelo’s Madonna & Child, c.1504, which shares similarities with his earlier ‘Pieta’ in St. Peter’s, Rome. Jesus stands upright only loosely restrained by Mary’s left hand, and appears to be about to step away from his mother. Mary does not cling to her son or even look at him, but gazes down and away. The work is notable in that it was the only sculpture by Michelangelo to leave Italy during his lifetime.

Beguinage - Begijnhof Brugge

Beguinage – Begijnhof Brugge

The Beguinage – Begijnhof Brugge, founded c.1244, was originally a convent, later becoming a home for lay religious women who lived in community without taking vows or retiring from the world. The complex includes a gothic beguinage church, and thirty white painted houses dating from the late 16th century. The first Beguine house, next to the entrance, is furnished as a museum, and the exhibition includes paintings, 17th and 18th century furniture, and lacework – for which the city is famous.

Other Places of Interest:

  • Groeninge Museum has an important collection of Flemish art, including 15th century paintings by Jan Van Eyck, and Hans Memling.
  • Gruuthuse Museum — the early 15th century building includes a display of both the interior of a house of a rich family as it would have been in the late Middle Ages, and a collection of everyday tools and utensils. On display are furniture, bobbin lace, objects in gold and silver, weapons, musical instruments, and ceramics.
  • Folklore Museum — Museum voor Volkskunde.A collection of renovated 17th century, single room dwellings. Displays include a classroom, millinery, pharmacy, confectionery shop, grocery shop, and bedroom interior; with a collection of Bruges lace on the upper floor.
  • Old Saint John’s Hospital — Sint Jansspitaal, is located next to the Church of Our Lady and the Bonifacius Bridge, and contains some of Europe’s oldest surviving hospital buildings. The hospital grew during the Middle Ages and was a place where sick pilgrims and travellers were cared for. The site was later expanded with the building of a monastery and convent.
  • Holy Savior Cathedral — Sint-Salvatorskathedraal. The construction of the present Gothic church started in 1250, and took nearly a century to complete. The neo-Romanesque tower was added c.1840. The pipe organ of the cathedral was originally built in the early 18th century, and subsequently expanded in the 20th century.
  • Choco-Story — Chocolate Museum is located in the sixteenth-century “Huis de Crone” building in central Bruges. Visitors can watch chocolate being made, and there is a section of the museum is dedicated to the health benefits of chocolate – considered by many to be the best chocolate in the world.
  • Bruges Beer Experience — Beer Museum – visitors learn about beer history, sample ingredients, & taste brews of varied styles.
  • Diksmuids Boterhuis — Excellent cheese shop & Deli, Geldmuntstraat 23
  • Walking tour of Bruges — Self guided: https://theportablewife.com/travel/destinations/one-day-in-bruges-walking-tour/
(best to cut the sound)
 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

History of Cambridge

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the eighth of the series, is on the history of Cambridge.


Map of Cambridge 1575

Map of Cambridge, 1575

The second concert of the DHSBE tour will take place in Trinity College Chapel, University of Cambridge.

What was to become the city of Cambridge  became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. The first town Charter was granted in the 12th century.

Cambridge is located on the River Cam approximately 50 miles north of London. The city is located in an area of level and relatively low-lying terrain just south of  the Fens which varies between only 20 – 79 ft above sea level.The town was thus historically surrounded by low lying wetlands that have been drained as the town has expanded. The University of Cambridge, of which Trinity College is part, was founded in 1209, and now consists of 31 colleges.

Cambridge aerial view

Aerial view of modern Cambridge

Cambridge University famous alumni/alumna include: Monty Python members: Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, & John Cleese; Olivia Colman (The Favorite, & Fleabag), Julian Fellows (Downton Abbey), Stephen Fry (Jeeves & Wooster), Hugh Laurie (House), and Emma Thompson (Love Actually, & Sense & Sensibility).

Sir Isaac Newton, FRS – mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, alchemist, author, Fellow of Trinity College and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, is the most famous college alumni. In his book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687, Newton formulated the Laws of Motion and Universal Gravitation that formed the dominant scientific viewpoint until it was superseded by the Theory of Relativity, and shares credit with Leibniz for developing calculus.

Cambridge Market

Cambridge Market

There has been a market in a square close by the colleges since 6th century established by Saxons. The present-day market takes place Monday-Saturday 10:00am –  4:00pm.Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope in 1668, and developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism separates white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. Surprisingly, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study to the pseudo-science of alchemy.

Cambridge Botanical Gardens

Cambridge Botanical Gardens

Rivalry between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge is a phenomenon going back many centuries. One of the continuing manifestations of this rivalry is the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race (rowing), which has taken place annually on the river Thames in London since the mid-19th century. Cambridge, in light blue, has won the men’s race 84 times and Oxford, in dark blue, 80 times. The annual Oxford and Cambridge Women’s Boat Race dates from 1964, with Cambridge winning 44 races, and Oxford 30.

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

Baroque Music in Cambridge

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the seventh of the series, is on Baroque music in Cambridge.


The second concert of the DHSBE tour will take place in Trinity College Chapel, University of Cambridge.

King's College Chapel ChoirMany of the Cambridge University Colleges have a long history of choral singing, with King’s College Choir probably being the best known. Founded by Henry VI in 1441, it was his intention that a choir would provide music for the daily offices and celebrations of the Mass. The College Statutes of 1453 stipulate that the choir would consist of ten secular chaplains, six stipendiary lay clerks (or ‘singing-men’) and sixteen choristers. Henry VI specified that the choristers were to be poor boys, of strong constitution and of ‘honest conversation’. They had to be under twelve years of age when admitted, and able to read and sing. In addition to their choral duties, singing daily Matins, Mass and Vespers, they were to wait at table in Hall. The boys were provided with meals and clothing, and eight pence a week for their board. They were not allowed to wander beyond the College grounds without permission from their Master or the Provost. Except for a few years in the 1550s under Edward VI, and during the period of the Commonwealth (Civil War) in the 1650s when choral services in the Chapel were suppressed, the Choir has been singing services continuously for over 500 years.

Allegri was a late Renaissance/early Baroque Italian composer who worked at the Sistine Chapel in Rome. His Miserere is his best known composition, and has been frequently recorded. In 1770, 14-year-old Mozart, on a trip to Rome with his father, heard the Miserere only twice and transcribed it faithfully from memory, thus creating the first known unauthorised copy. Roy Goodman, a former colleague in the Academy of Ancient Music in 1980’s, was a boy chorister, age 12, in Kings College Chapel choir. He was one of four boys specially prepared to sing the very demanding treble solo in the Miserere in 1963 for a recording. The chorus-master had told the four boys that only immediately prior to the start of the recording would he say which one of them would sing the solo. Roy, covered in mud after playing rugby, arrived at the chapel just in time to put on his cassock and join the other boys in the choir. He was chosen to sing the solo which continues to be one of the most remarkable performance of the piece:

Many of the Cambridge colleges also have ‘organ scholars’ – a part time student assistant to the principal organist. The students are provided with playing, and music directing experience, and work under the direction of the college chapel Director of Music. Organ scholar, Trinity College Chapel:

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

Cambridge – Concert Venue

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the sixth of the series, is on the concert venue in Cambridge.


The second concert of the DHSBE tour will take place in Trinity College Chapel, University of Cambridge.

Trinity College Chapel

Trinity College Chapel

Trinity College was founded by Henry VIII in 1546. At the time, Henry had begun seizing lands from Catholic abbeys and monasteries (Henry had become the self-appointed head of his Church of England in 1534). The university of Cambridge, being both a religious institution and quite wealthy feared that it to be next in line to be closed. The King passed an Act of Parliament that allowed him to suppress and confiscate the property of any college he wished.

Trinity College Great Court

Trinity College Great Court

The university authorities pleaded with Henry’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr, who persuaded Henry not to close any of the Cambridge colleges, rather to consolidate and merge some of them to form the new Trinity College. Most of the Trinity’s major buildings date from the 16th and 17th centuries. Women were not admitted to Trinity College until 1975, and disappointingly wikipedia lists not a single alumna!

Trinity College Dining Hall

Trinity College Dining Hall

Trinity College Dining Hall

The Dining Hall hammer-beam roof dates from c.1350. The ‘hammer-beam’ is one of the most complex timber frame roof structures, and allows a span greater than the length of any individual piece of timber. In place of the normal wall-to-wall tie beam spanning the entire width of the roof, short beams – ‘hammer- beams’ are supported by curved braces from the wall, and further structure is built on top of the hammer beams.

 

Christopher Wren Library, 1695

Christopher Wren Library, 1695

The Wren Library

The Wren Library,1695, contains many notable rare books and manuscripts, many bequeathed by past members of the college. Included in the collection are a first edition of Newton’s Principia, A A Milne’s manuscript for Winnie the Pooh, and The House at Pooh Corner, several works printed by William Caxton, including the first book in English produced in England, and handwritten notes by Robert Oppenheimer describing the ‘Trinity’ atomic bomb test in New Mexico.

Famous Alumni include: Isaac Newton; Charles Babbage, inventor of the ‘Difference Engine (an early mechanical computer); poets Lord Byron, Alfred Tennyson, and A E Housman; William Fox Talbot, inventor of photography; authors A A Milne & Vladimir Nabokov; and Nobel Laureate Niels Bohr.

 

Cambridge – Trinity College Chapel

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

Cambridge Places of Interest

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the fifth of the series, is on places of interest in Cambridge.


The second concert of the DHSBE tour will take place in Trinity College Chapel, University of Cambridge.

Places of Interest

cambridge-kings_chapel

King’s College chapel with its ‘fan-vaulted’ ceiling

In addition to Trinity College, adjacent King’s College is of great architectural interest. Founded in 1441 by Henry VI and the earliest of the royal foundations, King’s College is worth visiting for the huge expanse of lawn extending down to the river and King’s Bridge. King’s College Chapel, is renowned for its 12-bay perpendicular-style interior and impressive ‘fan vaulting’ (1515). The chapel has 16th-century stained glass windows; a lavishly carved 16th-century wooden organ screen and choir stalls; and the altarpiece is the painting, ‘Adoration of the Magi’ (1634) by the Dutch artist, Rubens. There are regular choral services (Evensong), organ recitals, and concerts in the chapel.

 

 

the-backs-cambridge

Punts on The Backs – Cambridge

‘The Backs’ is a the picturesque area, where several colleges of the University of Cambridge, including Trinity College and adjacent King’s College, back on to the River Cam. There is public access to their grounds on both banks of the river.

The flat-bottomed boats in the above photo are punts – popular with students and visitors. They can be rented from several places along the river. ‘Punting’ with a pole is fun, and not difficult to do after a little practice. One of the favorite extended outings along the river in a punt is to the nearby village of Grantchester (2.5 miles/75 minutes ‘punting’ each way + a well earned rest and afternoon-tea at the Orchard Tea Rooms, before the return trip). The Vicarage – Grantchester is a well-known poem by Rupert Brooke reflecting on being homesick for England and his sometime Cambridgeshire home and countyside: “…yet stands the church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?” Brooke died in 1915 on active service in WWI.

 

bridge-of-sighs-cambridge

The Bridge of Sighs

The ‘Bridge of Sighs’ is a covered bridge at St John’s College, Cambridge University. It was built in 1831 and crosses the River Cam between the college’s Third Court and New Court. The bridge is a copy of  Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice, 1600, that connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace.

 

 

Additional Places of Interest include:

Kettle’s Yard (housed in converted cottages) contains a very fine collection of mostly mid 20thc. art, notably by English artists Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Ben Nicholson.

Fitzwilliam Museum

Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum contains an extensive collection of English pottery and china, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities, and illuminated manuscripts. The collection of paintings includes works by Hogarth, Gainsborough, and Turner, as well as Impressionists and Dutch Masters of the Baroque including Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Rubens.

In addition to the Fitzwilliam there are several other interesting museums in Cambridge including:

The Whipple Museum of the History of Science collection includes material dating from the medieval period – 19th century, including instruments of astronomy, navigation, surveying, drawing and calculating, sundials, mathematical instruments, and early electrical apparatus.

University Botanical Gardens - Cambridge

University Botanical Gardens – Cambridge

Center for Computing History acts as a repository for vintage computers and related artefacts. On display are key items from the early era of computers, and also holds vintage games consoles, peripherals, software, and an extensive collection of computer manuals, magazines and other literature.

Polar Museum – This Museum explores Earth’s coldest, driest, windiest, highest and deadliest places, from heroes to modern climate science. It is part of the Scott Polar Research Institute, established in 1920 to study the Arctic and Antarctic.

The University Botanical Gardens, established in 1831, covers an area of 40 acres, and showcases an impressive collection of more than 8,000 species of plants from all over the world.

Exploring Cambridge:

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

London History

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the fourth of the series, is on the history of  London.


Standing on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. ‘Londinium’ was founded by the Romans c.47AD and lasted until until around AD 61 when the Iceni tribe, led by Queen Boudica, burned it to the ground. London was subsequently rebuilt and by the 2nd century, Roman London had a population of around 60,000. The City of London, (known as the ‘square mile’ and distinct from the larger city of London) is London’s ancient medieval core and includes the Tower of London, and St. Paul’s Cathedral). A section of the original Roman Wall is preserved in the grounds of the Museum of London in the City – together with many Roman artifacts including wood-working tools and coins.

London, was plagued by disease in the early 17th century, culminating in the Great Plague (smallpox) in 1666, which killed up to 100,000 people, a fifth of the population.The Great Fire of London broke out the following year, and quickly destroyed over 13,000 buildings, and the original St. Paul’s Cathedral. Christopher Wren proposed a a radical redesign of the City with a grid of roads, but this was never implemented, and the City was rebuilt using the original  layout of medieval streets. He did, however, build the new St Paul’s Cathedral.

The 18th century was a period of rapid growth for London, reflecting an increasing national population, the early stirrings of the Industrial Revolution, and London’s role at the centre of the evolving British Empire. Many tradesmen and skilled craftsmen from different countries came to London to trade goods.

One lesser considered aspect of 18th century England, and especially London, is that the rising middle class and the aristocracy were able to indulge their interest in music and art, and build grand country houses largely as a result of their profits from the Slave Trade.

Coffeehouse, London c.1700:

Coffeehouse, London c.1700:

In the 17thc. Coffee appeared for the first time in Europe outside the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and coffeehouses (precursors of Starbucks) were first established in London in 1650’s. They became popular (men only – coffee was not considered a suitable beverage for women), and they began to gain political importance due to their popularity as places of debate. Coffeehouses became popular in other cities, and by 1675 there were more than 3,000 in England. The famous insurance broker ‘Lloyds of London’, had its start in a coffee house in the City in 1686.

 

A Musical Tea Party - Mid 18th century

A Musical Tea Party – Mid 18th century

Tea from China was first imported to England in the early 17th century by the East India Company. It was an expensive product and often kept under lock and key. Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II introduced the ritual of drinking teas to the English Royal Court, and the habit was adopted by the aristocracy. The first tea shop for ladies was opened in London in 1717 by Thomas Twining (who also sold leaf tea for consumption at home), and slowly tea shops began to appear throughout England.

A Musical Tea Party - Mid 18th century:

Luncheon with Hot Chocolate – mid 18th century

Chocolate was introduced to England around 1600, first and foremost as a drink, and remained popular in that form for over 200 years. 18th-century hot chocolate was more bitter than our modern variations, but still intensely pleasant. Initially made with cocoa liquor (blocks of ground cocoa nibs) and water, it was popularly served with an equal mix of water and milk, spiced with ingredients including cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, chilli, rosewater, honey, pepper, jasmine or even ambergris.  Hot Chocolate, mid 18th century:

River Thames Frost Fair

River Thames Frost Fair

During the 17thc. the River Thames froze sufficiently several times for Frost Fairs to be established on the ice. In 1683/84, the  famous English writer and diarist John Evelyn described his visit to a Fair:

“Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes, sliding with skeetes, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays and interludes, cookes, tipling and other lewd places, so that it seemed a bacchanalian triumph or carnival on the water, whilst it was a severe judgement on the land, the trees not onely splitting as if lightning-struck, but men and cattle perishing in diverse places, and the very seas so lock’d up with ice, that no vessels could stir out or come in.”

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

Baroque Music in London

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the third of the series, is on Baroque music in London.


St Paul's Cathedral & the River Thames, Canaletto, c.1745

St Paul’s Cathedral & the River Thames, Canaletto, c.1745

The best known composers in England during the Baroque Period are Henry Purcell, and Handel. London was a hive of musical activity during this period with music composed and performed for the church, court, and public performance. DHSBE will almost certainly be playing music by Handel, and Purcell on the tour.

Henry Purcell is the best know English composer in the 17thc. He worked primarily for the Royal Court, and also wrote incidental liturgical and instrumental music, and music for a number of plays. He composed the opera-like ‘masques’ King Arthur, and The Fairy Queen, and what is generally considered to be the first English opera – Dido & Aeneas, c.1686 (although his less well known contemporary, John Blow, had composed his opera – Venus & Adonis, in 1683.  In 1695, Queen Mary died of smallpox and Purcell composed the music for her funeral. A few months later Purcell died, and, at the request of his musical colleagues and with permission of the King, his music for Queen Mary was rather touchingly played at his own funeral.

Chorus from Dido & Aeneas:

Incidental music for Aphra Behn’s play Abdelazer:

Song – Here the Deities Approve – improvisation:

John Blow – Venus & Adonis:

Handel

The German-born composer George Frederick Handel settled in London in 1712 after a period of studying opera in Italy; subsequently becoming a naturalized British citizen, and living in London until his death in 1752. He is probably best known for his Oratorio Messiah, and the Coronation Anthem Zadok the Priest, composed for the coronation of King George II in 1727, and played at the coronation of every subsequent British monarch. He was an organist and harpsichordist, and prolific composer of instrumental, keyboard, and liturgical music, and over 40 operas.

Handel composed Messiah in 3 weeks in 1741, apparently fueled principally by coffee:
Messiah – Hallelujah Chorus (video of the first performance of the oratorio on period instruments since the 18th century):

Zadok The Priest – British Coronation Anthem

The term Concerto Grosso features extensively in 18th century music – it is a form of instrumental baroque music in which the musical material is passed between a small group of soloists (the concertino), and full orchestra (the ripiano or concerto grosso). This is in contrast to the solo concerto which features a single solo instrument with the melody line, accompanied by the orchestra.

Handel’s principal musical rival in London was the Italian-born violinist and composer Francesco Geminiani. His treatise, Art of Playing on the Violin is a valuable source of information about baroque performance style. In 1715 Geminiani played his violin concerti for the court of George I, playing harpsichord. Geminiani made a living by teaching, writing music, and dealing in art.  Many of his students went on to have successful musical careers, such as Charles Avison.

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

London Concert Venue

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the second of the series, is on the concert venue the ensemble will play in London.


Saint James's Church

Saint James’s Church, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed 1684

The first concert of the DHSBE 2020 tour will be in St James, Piccadilly, which has an acoustic well suited to the performance of baroque music.

The church, designed by Sir Christopher Wren (architect of St Paul’s Cathedral), was completed 1684. It is built of red brick (a style quite new in the late 17th century) with Portland stone dressings (a pale color stone much used for government buildings). Its interior has galleries on three sides supported by square pillars and the nave has a barrel vault supported by Corinthian columns. The carved marble font, and limewood reredos are both notable examples of the work of the Anglo-Dutch stone mason and woodcarver Grinling Gibbons (his work can also be seen in St Paul’s Cathedral, and in Trinity College, Cambridge, the venue for the second concert by Davis High school Baroque Ensemble).

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

London Places of Interest

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the first of the series, is on places of interest in London.


The 'London Eye' with Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in the background

The ‘London Eye’ with Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in the background

London has a many important cultural sites including:

  • The Tower of London
  • St. Paul’s  Cathedral
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Palace of Westminster
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Trafalgar Square
  • National Gallery and adjacent National Portrait Gallery
  • Science Museum, and nearby Victoria & Albert Museum
  • The London Museum
  • Handel & Jimi Hendrix House Museum
  • ‘London Eye’
  • Covent Garden market
  • Boat trips on the Thames

Transportation in central London is easy by the ‘Tube’, and many sights are close enough to walk between them (e.g., St Paul’s, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, & Tate Modern; London Eye, Houses of Parliament, & Westminster Abbey). Oxford Street, Regent’s Street, Bond Street, & Covent Garden Market are popular areas for shopping. The historic sites – Hampton Court Palace, and Greenwich are further afield.

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533

2020 Tour Blog Introduction

louvre museumDavis Senior High School has the distinction of having a really excellent music program directed by Angelo Moreno. The Baroque Ensemble, founded by Mr Moreno, was the first in a public school in US, and even now there are very few public schools with a program focused on historically informed performance of baroque music, and only one other that uses period instruments.
The goal of the DHS Baroque Ensemble in 2019-2020 is to prepare to perform a repertoire of music from the baroque period in cities in England, Belgium, & France next summer, in addition to regular school and community performances using instruments of the type used during the baroque period. The European tour also provides an exciting opportunity for students & family to see major European cultural sites, to have the opportunity to speak ‘British’, French, and Flemish? Like the DHSBE tour in 2017, the tour next summer will be a formative experience, one to be cherished by students and families for years to come.
You can watch a performance of a Vivaldi concerto by the Davis Senior High School Baroque Ensemble on its 2017 Tour:

 

 


Will you help us make this amazing trip possible by making a contribution? We’ve made it easy to donate by going to https://dhs-holmes-orchestras.org/store/product-category/2020-baroque-tour-public-donations/

All donations are tax deductible. DHS/Holmes Orchestra Boosters 501(c)(3) tax identification#: 82-5177533