Friday, January 31, 2014

Our Very Own returns to Ottawa

In two weeks time Our Very Own will be back at The Church of St. Bartholomew in Ottawa to perform music from Restoration-era England and France. It's been a while since I've performed under the OVO label but I'm happy nonetheless. Not that long ago I was wondering if it were to happen again.

Only two full weeks ago did I get an email from Ruth, the directrice of Ars Nova, who asked me to come up with something 'love' themed for Valentine's day (it turns out it will be the day after, on Feb 15th). I've been sitting through Anthony Rooley's classes long enough now to know that there are gems in English music completely unknown to most, especially ottaviens/nes.

Though it's not easy programming a concert when you don't know who will be available (or willing), it's one of those challenges that I seem to love to dive into. Knowing what's out there to play is also another obstacle sometimes, but that's the beauty of what HIP musicians do - we dig. In the end, I managed to get an excellent group together.

The program, which you can see below, is divided equally into French and English music. Charles II spent some of his youth in France under the protection of his first cousin, Louis XIV, during the civil wars and Commonwealth. Once restored, Charles oversaw a huge bump in musical activity after the lull during the Interregnum; he founded the twenty-four violins, the English equivalent to Louis' vingt-quatre violons, as well as encouraged theatrical entertainments. No doubt he had exposure to the ballets, fêtes, and other musical entertainments common at the court of the Roy-Soleil. Important for me in the programming process was to get a good taste of both worlds, the sheltered French life - a continental centre for music - and the post-Restoration life - where the Jacobean traditions met head-on with the latest French tastes.

It's been the nature of the group to change in membership for every concert, but this time the shift will be a bit more drastic. Andréanne Brisson-Paquin will be singing backed up by Dominic Guibault and Hali Kremen on violins, Esteban La Rotta on theorbo, Greg Weeks on cello, and me on bassoon. I think it's safe to say that most of us have performed together in various ensembles before; now we'll have a go at it together.

I am publishing the contents of the program as it will appear on the day. The intention behind it is to keep a little bit of magic and mystery surrounding the performance itself. Though there are so many more important reasons in advocating for live performance, at the most basic level why should I write it all down here now anyway so you could buy a recording instead?

If you're interested, share the embedded post above!

You can get your tickets here.

Music of The Restoration - February 15, 2014, 7:30pm

J-B. Lully – Les Contrefaiseurs

M. Lambert – Par mes chants tristes et touchants.

Various – Instrumental interlude.

M. Lambert – Dans nos bois Tircis apercut.

Various – Instrumental interlude.

M. Lambert – Vos méspris chaque jour.


J. Blow – Trio in A+, Whilst you vouchsafe our thoughts to breath.

M. Locke – Instrumental interludes.

H. Purcell – If music be the food of love. (Z.379a)

M. Locke – Instrumental interludes.

G.F. Handel (attr’d) – The Sailor’s Complaint.

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