This Musicon season will be quite different from what we’re used to. Given the current circumstances, we will not be holding concerts with a live audience for the time being. Instead, we have planned a series of thrilling online events, which will be streamed directly to your home. We are fully committed to returning to live events as soon as this can be done responsibly, but until then our online events will allow you a unique opportunity to hear some fantastic pieces, both old and new, and to ask questions as you go.
Our musicians will answer any questions posted in the YouTube chat during the concert, in a dedicated Zoom call once the event is over. You will also be able to pose written questions during this discussion, which will be put to the performers. We hope you are able to make the most of this wonderful opportunity to engage with our musicians and programmes, in this new, interactive, and cutting-edge format.
As we do not know exactly when we will be able to bring an audience back into our venues, we will be releasing our concert calendar one term at a time, so please do keep updated by checking in with us on this site, as well as our Facebook and Twitter accounts, to see what we have on offer later in the year.
Book of Flames and Shadows
Premiere on YouTube on Monday 10 May at 7.30 PM
James Weeks: Fantasie di strani e dolci misteri della parola (‘Fantasies of the strange, sweet mysteries of the word’), for voice and violin (2018-20)
Jacques Arcadelt: Madrigals from Il primo libro de’ madrigali (1539)
James Weeks: Libro di fiammelle e ombre (‘Book of little flames and shadows’) for six solo voices (2017/20)
Rebecca Lea, soprano
Lucy Goddard, mezzo-soprano
Tom Williams, countertenor
David de Winter, tenor
Ruairi Bowen, tenor
Ben McKee, bass
Sophie Appleton, violin
James Weeks, conductor
Book of Flames and Shadows is a continuous sequence of music lasting about an hour, incorporating two pieces by James Weeks (*1978) and madrigals by Jacques Arcadelt (1507-68). Its theme is the discovering, or awakening, of the sensual and erotic power of the spoken word, and its transformation into song, through the love poetry of Petrarch (1304-74) and his later imitators, including Pietro Bembo (1470-1547). A music of beginnings, of brief glances and tentative flowerings, planted in Italian Renaissance soil: looking back to the reticent, emerging expressivity of the earliest madrigals, to the attuning of lyric poetry to vocal sound in Petrarch, and to the way these new/old powers enable the artist to trace with more electric precision the contours of desire.
Supported by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts.