Baroque Masters at The Brewhouse, Taunton

In an age of instant information and communication it is all too easy to imagine that the musical centres of Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries were isolated pockets of creativity.

The English Concert
Harry Bicket director/harpsichord
Alfonso Leal del Ojo viola

Purcell Suite from King Arthur
Corelli Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 10
Telemann Viola Concerto in G TWV 51:G9
Vivaldi Concerto for strings in G minor RV 157
Handel Concerto Grosso in G minor Op. 6, No. 6
Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D BWV 1068

In an age of instant information and communication it is all too easy to imagine that the musical centres of Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries were isolated pockets of creativity. Yet entirely the opposite was true. Purcell knew very well that his quintessentially English style incorporated significant aspects from French music, where the now restored Charles II had been in exile. Bach and Telemann, meanwhile, sought to infuse aspects of Italian and French styles together with a German attention to harmony and counterpoint. Elsewhere, the music of Corelli and Vivaldi was lapped up by the bustling printing houses of Amsterdam while the amateur musicians of England happily devoured pirate copies to keep up to date. Whilst adopted by the English and turning his attention to the new form of English-language oratorio, Handel’s music similarly betrays his upbringing in Germany and early success in Italy. But from this fusion of ideas and styles comes the greatest music Europe had ever heard. The spark to create something new sets these musical giants apart as Baroque Masters.

Alfonso Leal del Ojo (viola)
Season Highlights
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Barbican, London

Uniting some of Handel’s greatest music with all-star casts, directed by Artistic Director Harry Bicket and with our virtuosic orchestra in full flight, it is an unmissable event. With Ariodante and Rinaldo in most recent seasons, now comes the turn of Semele; a tale of adultery and revenge amongst Gods.The English ConcertHarry Bicket director/harpsichordBrenda Rae SemeleElizabeth...

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Wigmore Hall, London

All three are based on the favourite chorale of the time, Veni redemptor gentium (as translated by Luther). Despite the chorale’s medieval origins, BWV 61 shows the influence of the avant-garde French Ouverture. In BWV 62 he turns to Vivaldian concerti for inspiration, while in BWV 36 the ancient tune is knitted into the very genetic heart of the music. In each case the results are joyous in their...

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St John's Smith Square, London

His skilful crafting of the Messa per il Santíssimo Natale, with double choirs and such variety of colour and texture, is enough to leave us searching the archives for even more treasures.The English ConcertChoir of The English ConcertLaurence Cummings director/organCecilia Osmond sopranoRebecca Outram sopranoHelen Charlston altoNick Pritchard tenorMarcus Farnsworth baritoneScarlatti Messa per il...

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Wigmore Hall, London

Muffat moves his own chess pieces in his quest to unite the styles of France, Italy and Germany, while Bach offers one of his timeless masterpieces. Christian Curnyn returns to direct the orchestra with much-loved repertoire.The English ConcertChristian Curnyn director/harpsichordNadja Zwiener violinTuomo Suni violinHandel Concerto Grosso in D Op.6, No.5 HWV 323Purcell Suite from Dioclesian Z627Bach...

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Soloists & Players
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About

Harry Bicket is internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor of distinction, appointed Artistic Director of The English Concert in 2007

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Our Musicians

Alfonso Leal del Ojo grew up and received his initial training in Seville. In 1998 he moved to London where he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music where he specialized in period instrument performance.He has been principal viola of The English Concert since 2006 and tours extensively with them throughout Europe, East Asia and North America. In addition to his work...

PRINCIPAL VIOLA