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Cari Musici - Songs of the Early Baroque
Tuesday 27th February 2018, 8pm - The Deanery, Christ Church, Oxford
In the early 17th Century, the solo song began to overtake choral polyphony as the dominant genre of artistic expression in music.
As publishing became cheaper and more accessible, those previously excluded from the high circles of the musical literati were able to make their voices heard, and their names known. With hundreds of works attributed to them, the output of these 17th Century composers is hugely diverse, consisting of thousands of sacred and secular songs - of which only a handful are still frequently performed today.
In the unique surroundings of the Royal Residence at Christ Church, Oxford, Untune the Sky scratches the surface of this brilliant musical world, presenting songs on the timeless themes of love, loss, and passion by Strozzi, Bembo, Caccini, and others.
the little match girl passion / stabat mater
Saturday 24th March 2018 - Queen's College Chapel
David Lang's little match girl passion, inspired by the eponymous Hans Christian Andersen tale, re-contextualises the story as a passion narrative, drawing a religious and moral equivalency between the suffering of the poor girl and Christ on the cross. Just as traditional musical settings of the passion can include texts other than the story itself, so too does Lang's work - incorporating the responses of the crowd and other characters, with additional text from Bach's librettist and the Gospel of St Matthew.
Agostino Steffani's 1728 setting of the Stabat Mater text takes up the narrative where the little match girl ends, portraying Mary's suffering during the passion, at the foot of the cross. Richly scored for 6 voices and orchestra, it captures the inherent drama of the text with a poignancy that makes it at least the equal of the better-known setting by Pergolesi.