Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
MusicPart of Humanities

Kenny Directs Adventures in English Music for OAE

Published: 9 October 2008

Southampton's Head of Early Music Elizabeth Kenny has devised a programme for the violins - from treble to larger-than-cello- basses - of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. With leader Alison Bury she is exploring how groups of players negotiated the tricky path between individual virtuosity and an emerging sense of orchestral discipline which was honed in the feverishly Frenchified environment of the Restoration court.

From five-part theatre ayres and consort music, through the interior world of Charles I's Private music, to the flamboyant displays of theatre bands playing Matthew Locke and Henry Purcell, 'The Band of Violins: Adventures in English music 1609-1692' explores the colours and resources of the twelve violins in most of their seventeenth century guises, from rhythm band through counterpoint to 'because we can' virtuosity. A mini-consort of lutes, thoerboes, guitars and harpsichord displays the plucked resources of the Lutes and Voices, whose power base was gradually taken over by the triumphant violin.

The first performance will be Sunday 5 October at Bradford on Avon, followed by concerts in Basingstoke, London's South Bank Centre and the Corn Exchange in Brighton. Each concert will be preceded by a talk in which Elizabeth Kenny explains the background to this repertoire. The concert is being recorded in Brighton by BBC Radio 3 for future broadcast.

Privacy Settings