We develop new programmes for each concert season but also offer custom-made programmes to suit particular needs or venues (eg local activities, people, historical features). Examples of some of our past programme themes include::
'The Architect & the Brickdust Man' A voyage through Georgian musical society to reflect the new exciting music and society of 18th century England. Works by some of he best loved Georgian composers including pleasure garden songs still well-known today (eg'Sally in our alley', 'Tom Bowling') and instrumental music. The main work is a completeperformance of Dibdin's celebrated comic dialogue/serenata 'The Brickdust Man' (almost a mini opera!) for soprano and tenor with band reflecting common life and loves in Georgian England.
'L 'amore e la morte' A programme of predominantly Italian music spanning the 17th and early 18th centuries full of passion and human intensity. Composers include Monteverdi,Uccellini, Vivaldi, Turini , Rossi, Cavalli.
'Musicke is the Thing' The musical life and times of the Restoration diarist and musical dilettante Samuel Pepys, with works by Purcell, Locke, Lanier, Lully, Lawes, many of which are mentioned in his diaries.
'Le Nuove Musiche' Vocal and instrumental music from Italy and England in the new 'baroque' style developed at the turn of the 16th/17th centuries. Works by Falconieri, Merula, Monteverdi, Uccellini, Grandi, Johnson, Simpson, Lawes, Locke.
'To drive the cold Winter away' Various Christmas programmes with appropriate period music and optional seasonal readings (from Pepys diaries and others). Including pastoral cantatas by Scarlatti, Legrenzi, Bonporti with Christmas concertos by Schiassi, Corelli, and early English Psalmody and carol settings.
'That Matchless Man' An all Purcell programme first performed to celebrate the composer's tercentenary and including some of this great composer's finest chamber works.
'The Eclypse and Glorie of her Kind' Built around the tragic life of Elizabeth of Bohemia, the 'Winter Queen' and daughter of James I; with music by Mr Beck, Johnson, Lanier, Marini, Schutz, Monteverdi and Colista.
'Select Ayres and Dialogues' Italian and English solo songs with duets for soprano and tenor voices with contemporary instumental music. Composers include Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, Caccini, Ives, Lawes, Lanier.
'The Marvel of Peru' An early view of the New World - including images of the Incas and other "noble savages" by European composers including Rameau, Purcell, and Graun.
'That splendide Science call'd Musick' Based on the musical reminiscences of Roger North with works by Locke, Lanier, Scarlatti, Matteis, Corelli.
'Fierce Delights and Amorous Fires' A baroque view of affairs of the heart - featuring predominantly Italian and French songs interspersed with instrumental music of the time.
'And so to Vauxhall.....' Music for the 18th century London and provincial pleasure gardens with instrumental and vocal works by Arne, Boyce, Chilcott, JC Bach, Abel, Hook and others.
'Before Bach - precursors and influences' The composers and musical styles which formed the background to Bach's development. Works by Schutz, Hammerschmidt, Buxtehude, Rosenmuller and others.
'Mystery and Imagination' Cantatas, songs and instrumental music principally by Heinrich Biber and Marc-Antoine Charpentier, first given in 2004 to celebrate their tercentenaries.
'Who knows what song the sirens sang?' Music from the early baroque by predominantly women composers and performers. Including works by Barbara Strozzi, Francesca Caccini, Vittoria Archilei.
'A Venetian Passiontide' Sacred vocal music by Monteverdi and his contemporaries, including instrumental works by Marini, Cavalli, Gabrieli.
'John Carr's Music' Works familiar to the famous 18th century Yorkshire architect reflecting the changes in musical fashions throughout his life.
Pergolesi's 'Stabat Mater' A concert with this great work at its centre with contemporary instrumental works by Monn, Scarlatti, Stamitz.
'Les Gouts reunis' Exploring changes in musical fashions in the late 17th/early 18th centuries and especially the transition from individual national schools to a new generalised 'classical' style. Works by Vivaldi, Lully, Corelli, Monteclair, Purcell, Handel, Arne, Telemann, Quantz, Bononcini.
The concerts to celebrate the anniversary of John Carr or the Christmas concert at Clarke Hall are examples of customised programmes.
Specimen programmes with notes, texts and listings are available on request (see 'contact').