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The King’s Consort* Ensembles/ orchestra

THE KING'S CONSORT is one of the world's leading period instrument orchestras. Founded in 1980 by Robert King, The King's Consort and its equally renowned Choir of The King's Consort have toured in five continents and appeared in almost every European country, in Japan, Hong Kong and the Far East, as well as North and South America. With more than one hundred CDs in the catalogue, selling in excess of one and a half million copies, The King's Consort is one of the world's most-recorded historical instrument orchestras. TKC now records for the VIVAT label.

Tekstvak: © Taco vd WerfFor more than three decades The King's Consort, under Robert King's artistic direction, has presented an adventurous variety of repertoire, spanning from 1550 to the present day, in many of the greatest European concert halls. Highlights have included seven appearances at the BBC Proms, performances of the spectacular Coronation of King George II, the Venetian reconstruction Lo Sposalizio, Bach's Mass in B Minor and St Matthew Passion and Mendelssohn Elijah widely across Britain and Europe, staged performances of Purcell The Fairy Queen in Spain and Britain, the opening concert of BBC TV's Purcell celebrations, and Mozart Requiem in the glorious Alhambra Palace in Granada. Other staged operas have included Handel Ottone in Japan and Britain, Handel Ezio at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and Purcell The Indian Queen in the historic theatre in Schwetzingen, Germany. Tours further afield have included concert and opera performances in Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, and across the USA and Canada.

TKC's highly-acclaimed recordings have won many international awards and sold over 1,500,000 copies. The orchestra is especially regarded for its many recordings of music by Handel and Purcell, but its catalogue also includes instrumental and choral music by dozens of composers from Albinoni to Zelenka, including Bach Mass in B Minor, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, Mozart Sacred Music, the Stabat Maters of Pergolesi, Astorga and Boccherini, and the massive Venetian reconstruction Lo Sposalizio. Twenty-five world-première recordings of Purcell's complete Odes, Solo Songs and Sacred Music established TKC as the world's leading performers of this composer's music. TKC is also renowned for its recordings of more than a dozen Handel oratorios and operas. Other CD projects include the much acclaimed Sacred Music of Monteverdi, including the Vespers of 1610: this series follows the success of ten volumes of Vivaldi's complete Sacred Music. Similarly fêted have been the best-selling recordings of The Coronation of King George, Handel's colourful Ode for St Cecilia, the critically-acclaimed Michael Haydn Requiem (winner of BBC Music Magazine’s 'Best Choral Recording') and Mozart Sacred Music with soprano Carolyn Sampson. TKC now records for the VIVAT label, where its repertoire includes discs by Stanford and Parry (a Gramophone Awards finalist), Couperin, Monteverdi, Handel and Purcell. Shortly to be released is a new recording of music by British Romantics including Stanford, Parry, Howells and MacMillan.

In the world of Hollywood the Choir of The King's Consort feature in the sound tracks of Ridley Scott's epic Kingdom of Heaven, and in The Chronicles of NarniaPirates of the CaribbeanFlushed Away and The Da Vinci Code.

Recently TKC has enjoyed major European tours of Bach St Matthew Passion, Handel Messiahand Bach Mass in B minor, performed the Requiems of Mozart and Michael Haydn in Lucerne and Cuenca, Mendelssohn Paulus at Leipzig Gewandhaus and Haydn The Creation for Flanders Festival, Finzi Dies Natalis and Britten Les Illuminations at Wigmore Hall and in France, Handel Ottone, Purcell The Fairy Queen and King Arthur in Theater an der Wien, recorded and performed Couperin Trois Leçons de Ténèbres widely, toured Handel La Resurrezione and Pergolesi Stabat Mater in France, and toured in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.



PROGRAM

Handel: Alexander’s Feast

Remaining dates available are March 27, 28, 29 & 30, 2023

 

Carolyn Sampson soprano

Joshua Ellicott tenor

Matthew Brook bass

Choir of The King’s Consort (18 voices)

The King’s Consort (25 instruments)

Robert King conductor

 

First performed in 1736, to a libretto by Newburgh Hamilton based on John Dryden’s 1697 ode Alexander’s Feast, or the Power of Music, Handel depicts a banquet held in the captured Persian city of Persepolis by Alexander the Great and his mistress, the Greek courtesan Thais. During the feast, the court musician Timotheus performs, bringing about a series of mood changes in Alexander until, exacting a terrible revenge for his slain Greek soldiers, Alexander is incited to burn down the city. The score, full of especially fine arias and splendid choruses, boasts an unusually varied set of Handelian orchestral colours, including harp, recorders, horns and – depicting the Greek ghosts – the chilling sound of three bassoons and doubled violas. Glorious music!

 

 

Dido and Aeneas

Henry Purcell

 

  Carolyn Sampson soprano Dido

  Matthew Brook bass Aeneas

  Hugh Cutting countertenor Sorceress/ Spirit

  Julie Cooper soprano Belinda

  Emily Owen Second Woman, First Witch

  David de Winter tenor Sailor 

  Choir of The King's Consort (14 voices)

  The King's Consort (17 instruments)

  Robert King conductor

 

Purcell: Why are all the Muses mute? (Ode for King James, 1685)               

Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

 

Purcell's magical tale of love, deception, magic and eventual despair is one of the most perfect opera scores, full of glorious melodies, sparkling orchestral writing, a crackling plot culminating in Dido's heart-rending lament, "When I am laid in Earth". The performance will be semi-staged. TKC is renowned the world over for its performances of Purcell and here assembles a particularly strong cast, led by Carolyn Sampson and Matthew Brook. TKC pairs Dido and Aeneas with a striking Ode written in the same year, "Why are all the muses mute", full of fine music and with a devastating conclusion that finds Purcell once again at his melancholy greatest.

 

 

“Welcome, glorious morn”

Royal Odes by Henry Purcell

dates still being discussed with France, so we are open to date offers

 

Carolyn Sampson, Emily Owen soprano

Iestyn Davies, Hugh Cutting countertenor

Charles Daniels, David de Winter tenor

Matthew Brook, Edward Grint bass

The King’s Consort (12 instrumentalists)

Robert King conductor

 

Suite from Abdelazer

Purcell: Now does the glorious day appear (Birthday Ode for Queen Mary, 1689)               

Suite from Dioclesian

Purcell: Welcome, welcome, glorious morn (Birthday Ode for Queen Mary, 1691)

 

A glittering programme featuring two of Purcell’s finest celebratory birthday odes written for his favourite royal patron, the much-loved Queen Mary. Filled with some of Purcell’s most memorable arias, and punctuated by striking instrumental music, all performed by an world-renowned line-up of Purcellians - and tying into a brilliant new recording which has recently been awarded Gramophone magazine’s “Editor’s Choice”. The short promo video at https://youtu.be/qzJnaT0s5Qg – this is an outstanding programme, fit for a King.

 

Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle

 

The King’s Consort

Carolyn Sampson, Emily Owen, Gwendolen Martin soprano

Hilary Summers, Sian Menna, Heather Cairncross alto

Joshua Ellicott, David de Winter, Graham Neal tenor

Matthew Brook, Jimmy Holliday, Andrew Rupp bass

Iain Farrington, Ashok Gupta 19th century piano

Richard Gowers french harmonium

Robert King conductor

 

Byrd: Mass in Four Parts (c.1593)

Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle

 

Rossini’s outrageously operatic Mass of 1864 is juxtaposed with one of the greatest of all Renaissance Masses, that by William Byrd, written nearly three hundred years before. This performance restores Rossini’s setting to the composer’s original scoring, where the performers included just twelve voices with an accompaniment of two grand pianos and a French harmonium (TKC has sourced suitable instruments, including two nineteenth-century grand pianos and a Debain harmonium – the same make that Rossini used in his first performance). The result is a performance which is fresh, full-blooded, operatic yet still maintaining its sense of devotion, and full of character, joie-de-vivre and French style.

 

 

A Voice from Heaven

British Choral Masterpieces

 

Choir of The King’s Consort (24 voices)

Robert King conductor

 

Naylor: Vox dicentis: clama

Stanford: Three Latin Motets (Justorum animae: Coelos ascendit hodie: Beati quorum via)

Howells: I heard a voice from heaven

Walton: Set me as a seal

Walton: Where does the uttered music go

Harris: Faire is the Heaven

 

Britten: A Hymn to St Cecilia

Hewitt Jones: Drop, drop, slow tears

Murrill: The souls of the righteous

Leighton: Drop, drop, slow tears

Stanford: I heard a voice from heaven

Harris: Bring us, O Lord God

Howells: Take him, earth, for cherishing (Motet on the death of President Kennedy)[A1] 

 

A delicious programme of unaccompanied masterpieces from the finest British Romantics, including ravishing settings by Stanford, Howells, Walton and their contemporaries. The two Harris settings are especially fine: Herbert Murrill’s work is a perfect miniature, and Kenneth Leighton’s melancholy anthem wonderfully poised. Howells’ motet for the slain President Kennedy is a devastating masterwork.