Following last year’s regrettable cancellation, the 2022 Keble Early Music Festival will run from 23 to 26 February, with some outstanding groups and artists in store for you and a feast of glorious music, sometimes presented in a surprising context.
The festival will open with Blackadder Baroque Brass — a completely unique formation of brass instruments never heard before in some stunning new characterful arrangements.
The following evening, the world of French baroque theatre ascends to the organ loft as Edward Higginbottom presents his own transcriptions of Rameau’s theatre music. This forms a prelude to Compline by candlelight, sung to plainsong by the Choir of Keble College.
On Friday, Chief Conductor Sofi Jeannin directs the BBC Singers in an intriguing programme pairing Renaissance works with contemporary pieces based on them. This concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Three.
For the closing concert, the festival is thrilled to be joined by international stars Carolyn Sampson and Roderick Williams for a performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, featuring the college choir and members of Instruments of Time & Truth.
This year the Henry Ley Singers, comprised of a fine crop of lay clerks and graduate choral assistants, will be presenting a concert of their own devising.
Tickets are available via ticketsoxford.com or on the door, although early booking is advised. All events take place in the College’s stunning Butterfield Chapel.
6.00pm – Festival Evensong
A service to open the 2022 Keble Early Music Festival, sung by The Choir of Keble College, with music including Purcell’s Evening Service in G minor.
7.30pm – A European Baroque Fantasia
Blackadder Baroque Brass
Blackadder Baroque Brass was created by David Blackadder in 2021, bringing together a unique formation of period brass players to reimagine baroque music in a new and innovative way.
By combining 4 Natural Trumpets, 4 Natural Horns, 4 Cornetts, 4 Sackbutts, a Serpent, Baroque Timpani and Percussion, a new eclectic sound world, with an array of textures and colours has been unleashed on the world of Early Music.
With a selection of stunning new specially commissioned arrangements by some of the world’s leading brass arrangers, Blackadder Baroque Brass will be playing some incredible music that has never have been heard in this way before.
Tickets: £30/£20/£10 students/18 and under free
3.00pm – Recital of music
The Henry Ley Singers
The Lay Clerks and Graduate Choral Assistants of The Choir of Keble College will perform a recital of music from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Admission free – retiring collection
8.00pm – Transforming Rameau
Edward Higginbottom (organ)
Holly Teague (soprano)
An Eighteenth-Century Divertissement in Four Acts: Nature – Fête Champêtre – Sentiments Tendres – Les Exotiques
Jean-Philippe Rameau’s celebrated pièces de clavecin, reworked for the grand orgue, deliciously blended with soprano solos from Les Indes Galantes as arranged by the composer in his keyboard collection of ‘quatre grands concerts’ of 1735.
The programme forms a prelude to Compline by Candlelight at 9.00pm, sung to plainchant by The Choir of Keble College.
Tickets: £15/students free
7.30pm – Reimagining Early Polyphony
BBC Singers conducted by Sofi Jeannin
Chief Conductor Sofi Jeannin directs the BBC Singers in an intriguing programme pairing Renaissance works with contemporary pieces based on them.
Tallis: Loquebantur variis linguis
Ken Burton: Many are the wonders
Sheppard: In manus tuas 3
Josephine Stephenson: Into thy hands
Victoria: O vos omnes
Reena Esmail: When the violin
Sweelink: Je sens en moy une flamme nouvelle
Nico Muhly: A New Flame
Sheppard: The Lord’s Prayer
Owain Park: The Lord’s Prayer
Byrd: Ave verum corpus
Roderick Williams: Ave verum corpus Re-imagined
Janequin: Le chant des oiseaux
Bernard Hughes: Birdchant
The performance is for broadcast on BBC RADIO 3.
Tickets: £40/£30/£10 students
7.30pm – Closing concert
Purcell: Dido & Aeneas
For the closing concert, the organisers are thrilled to be joined by international star soloists Carolyn Sampson and Roderick Williams for a concert performance of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas.
Carolyn Sampson (soprano)
Roderick Williams (baritone)
The Choir of Keble College
Instruments of Time & Truth
Daniel Greenway and Daniel Mathieson (organ)
conducted by Paul Brough
Purcell: Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts
Purcell: O God, thou art my God
Purcell: Hear my prayer, O Lord
Purcell: Voluntary for a Double Organ
Blow: Salvator mundi
Purcell: Remember not, Lord, our offences
Purcell: I was glad
Purcell: DIDO & AENEAS
Tickets: £40/£30/£10 students