We love creating pioneering projects and exciting performances, but you can’t live on love alone! If you’re inspired to help us, there are several ways you can do this. For a one-off donation, you can support a specific project such as our next recording; The Taste of the Nation.
The Taste of the Nation - Concertos and Cantatas ‘after the Italian Manner’
Spiritato and Ciara Hendrick
In February 2020, we will embark on a new adventure; the start of a long-term relationship with award-winning record label Delphian Records.
We’ll be joined by mezzo-soprano Ciara Hendrick for The Taste of the Nation - a world premiere recording of music by JC Pepusch, William Corbett and Obadiah Shuttleworth. Having first been introduced to Shuttleworth's music by the research of Dr Andrew Pink, we've tracked down a dazzling collection of early English cantatas and concertos tucked away in the vaults of the British Library.
Alongside the recording, we’ll be performing these remarkable works at Wiltshire Music Centre and Chichester Chamber Concerts. We'll also be giving two workshops, including one for students at the Royal Academy of Music.
We’re very lucky to be 75% funded already, including the generous support of Angel Early Music and the Gemma Classical Music Trust, but we need your help to get us over the finish line and bring this music back to life!
We’re extremely grateful for your support, please take a look at how we’d like to thank you.
* Please add £1.50 postage and packaging for UK and £3.50 for Europe and beyond!
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15th February 2020 – Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon
27th February 2020 – Chichester Chamber Concerts, Chichester
JC Pepusch; Cantatas III and VI; ‘The Spring’ and ‘Chloe’ from 6 English Cantatas, 1710
W Corbett; Sonata for trumpet and oboe, Op.1 No.12
O Shuttleworth; Two Concertos; Being the first & eleventh
of ye late
Arcangello Corelli, 1726
JC Pepusch; Cantatas V and VI; ‘Kindly Fate at length release me’ and ‘While pale Britannia pensive sate’ from 6 English Cantatas, 1720
W Corbett; Extracts from Bizzarie Universali , 1728
Why these composers?
Shuttleworth, Corbett and Pepusch were direct contemporaries of Handel, highly admired, virtuoso musicians composing and performing in London. Their music is vibrant, entertaining and wonderfully virtuosic. Handel’s arrival in the early 1700s completely changed music in England, yet his colossal reputation overshadows many composers who contributed greatly to the new fashion for Italianate concertos and cantatas.
Many composers of the earlier ‘Purcellian’ style found themselves outmoded almost overnight. Daniel Purcell, himself a composer in both the old and new styles, despaired at the changing fashions (and fortunes) of the London musical scene. In an essay published with his 1713 collection of cantatas ‘after the Italian manner’, he writes;
The Introducing Italian Opera’s upon the English Stage, has so altered the Taste of this Nation, as to MUSICK, that scarce any thing, but what bears some Resemblance of the Italian Style and Manner, is received with Favour or heard with Patience.
With this turbulent context as the background for our recording, the repertoire we have chosen shines a light on the transition between the old traditions of Purcell, and the new Italian style of Corelli and Handel.
Shuttleworth, a virtuoso violinist, is the first native Englishman to compose in the Concerto Grosso style; his two vivacious concerti remain his only extant works. Pepusch, like Handel a European immigrant, embraced the new fashion for the Italian cantata, whilst recognizing the desire of many for a hybrid Anglo-Italian style. Finally William Corbett, the leader of the orchestra of the Haymarket Theatre in London, travelled extensively in Italy, noting down the traditional music and way of playing for his wonderful collection of concertos; Bizzarie Universali.
The Taste of the Nation is generously supported by
Dr Sarah Smalley
Prof. Martin Richards
Dr David Russell
Angel Early Music
The Gemma Classical Music Trust, Registered Charity No. 1121090
The Golsoncott Foundation
The Bishopsdown Trust
The Music Reprieval Trust
Chris Parsons and Eboracum Baroque
Sylvia and Alistair Kewish
the MacAllister family
Lyndsay and Jean Marc Granveau