For the eighth successive year, Brecon will be home to some of the world’s finest musicians as musical director Rachel Podger sets the scene for Brecon Baroque Festival’s ‘The Roman Connection,’ four days of outstanding concerts inspired by Classical Rome, the template for intellectual life in the Baroque Age.
Highlights include Handel’s great oratorio ‘Theodora’, Bach’s Cantatas & Concertos, an evening with Ensemble Diderot entitled ‘All Roads Lead to Rome’, plus works by Italian greats Corelli, Geminiani and Mossi. The concerts take place in Brecon Cathedral, Theatr Brycheiniog and Christ College Brecon between Friday 25 and Monday 28 October 2013.
The stars of 2013 include Rachel Podger and the Festival’s resident ensemble, Brecon Baroque, countertenor Robin Blaze, young European hotshots Ensemble Diderot, bass Giles Underwood, Polish harpsichordist Marcin Światkiewicz and tenor Julian Podger. The Festival also includes its ever-popular dance element, this time a Baroque Tea Dance at Theatr Brycheiniog.
Commenting on the 2013 Festival, Rachel said: “This year, my violin has taken me across Europe, North America and Asia as well as in and out of the recording studio and I have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s finest musicians. It always gives me real pleasure to bring some of them home to my front door on the world, the Brecon Beacons. In true Italian form, these four days promise to be a real feast for the senses, so don’t miss out.”
Friday, 25 October – Handel’s Theodora – Brecon Cathedral (7pm)
Handel’s Theodora, set to an English libretto by Thomas Morell is described as Handel’s “most inventive and arresting Oratorio”.
Saturday, 26 October – Cantatas & Concertos by JS Bach – Theatr Brycheiniog (7pm)
The Festival’s evening of cantatas and concertos has become something of a tradition. This piece formed part of Brecon Baroque’s Channel Classics CD, Double & Triple Concertos, which was Classic FM’s Album of the Week.
Sunday, 27 October – Festival Eucharist, Baroque Tea Dance and ‘All Roads Lead to Rome’ at various venues (11am, 3pm and 7pm)
The Baroque Strings from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama join Mark Duthie at Brecon Cathedral for Festival Eucharist at 11am. At 3pm, visitors are invited to dust off their wigs and don their dancing shoes for this year’s Baroque Tea Dance, accompanied by the Playford Baroque Trio and directed by dance master, Peter Brock at Theatr Brycheiniog.
On Sunday evening, Ensemble Diderot performs ‘All Roads Lead to Rome’ at Christ College Brecon (7pm). This outstanding young ensemble, led by Johannes Pramsohler and with a reputation for lively, virtuosic performance, explores the instrumental work of composers working in and around Rome during the 17th century.
Monday, 28 October, Corelli and Handel at Theatr Brycheiniog (7pm)
Rachel directs the final evening’s concert with Brecon Baroque. A staunch supporter and ambassador of South Powys Youth Music, Rachel also directs the combined youth orchestras of South and North Powys following an afternoon workshop with the young people in the groups. This is a unique opportunity for the Powys youngsters as they perform on-stage alongside Rachel.
For full details of concerts, artists, venues and tickets visit http://www.breconbeaconsmusic.com
Or call the Theatr Brycheiniog Box Office on 01874 611622
For more cultural events in the Brecon Beacons, read about The Tempest on Fire performance coming up next week.