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Aurora Orchestra with Iestyn Davies

The New Elizabethans

London Unwrapped

Sat 25 Sep
Classical

Aurora Orchestra with Iestyn Davies

The New Elizabethans

London Unwrapped

Purcell Fairest Isle
Purcell Strike the Viol
Purcell So when the glittering queen of night
Knussen ...upon one note (Fantasia after Purcell)
Dowland (arr. Muhly) Time Stands Still
Birtwistle Cortege
Tippett Songs for Ariel
Knussen Ophelia Dances
Rodney Bennett Ophelia 
Handel ‘Ah! stigie larve’ from Orlando Act II, Scene 9
Iestyn Davies counter tenor
Principal Players of Aurora Orchestra

Countertenor Iestyn Davies co-curates a special London Unwrapped programme which sparks a dialogue across four centuries of music and ideas. At its root are songs by the brightest stars in the musical firmament of Elizabethan and early baroque London, John Dowland and Henry Purcell. These distinctively English voices have inspired countless musical journeys by later composers, from Oliver Knussen’s kaleidoscopic refraction of a Purcell fantasia to Nico Muhly’s reimagining of Dowland’s Time Stands Still. Echoes of Shakespeare also reverberate, with Michael Tippett’s Songs for Ariel (originally composed for the Old Vic’s production of The Tempest in 1962) and Knussen’s miniature masterpiece Ophelia Dances, described by the composer as trying to evoke ‘a crossing of the line that divides laughter from tears.’

The programme also features a rare chance to hear another Ophelia from Richard Rodney Bennett: his setting of a 16-year old Arthur Rimbaud’s poem Ophélie includes the extraordinary sound of the Ondes Martenot, one of the earliest electronic instruments developed in the 1920s. This will be the first performance of the work in the UK since its premiere in 1987. The Principal Players of Aurora Orchestra also perform Harrison Birtwistle’s Cortege, a ritualised orchestral ‘dance’ in which individual instrumentalists take turns to deliver a melodic line from the centre of a circle of players.

Date & start time:Sat 25 Sep – 7.30pm
Venue:Kings Place Hall One - GA
Price:£32.50
+ £3 booking fee.

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