United Kingdom A Feast of Rare Baroque Music in Exeter The amazing masterpieces written by Jesuit-trained Austrian composers during the 17th century are one of the least familiar genres in the Baroque repertoire – even though the majesty and brilliance of the music composed for ceremonial occasions in the royal courts of Salzburg, Graz and Vienna remain essentially unmatched elsewhere. Later this month, Devon’s Blackdowns Early Music Project presents one of the period’s grandest pieces, the unique Missa in Labore Requies by Georg Muffat (1687) together with JJ Fux’s unperformed and unrecorded Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis.
These are both pieces for double choir with orchestration that is much more demanding than many later Baroque works. The Muffat score, for instance, requires obbligato instruments including 5 trumpets, a choir of 2 cornetts and 3 sackbuts, 2 violins, 3 violas and 2 violone, as well as at least 2 organs and theorbo continuo. The instrumentalists appearing in this unique concert are the Monteverdi String Band, the English Sackbuts & Cornetts and the trumpeters of the Altenburg Ensemble. Vocal colour will be added with a group of international soloists; who include Sally Dunkley, Amy Haworth, Caroline Trevor, Hannah Cooke, Mark Dobell, Julian Stocker, Jonathan Arnold and Thomas Flint.
Any well-constructed concert programme however aims to achieve a balance between exotic and quieter interludes. The Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis by Fux is perfectly designed to exhibit the thoughtful contrapuntal writing for which he is justly famous from his Gradus ad Parnassum treatise – of which Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven all owned copies.
These two rare works, along with other varied pieces from the same period by Froberger and Rosenmüller, plus trumpet Intradas by Schmelzer and Pezel played on natural trumpets can be heard in Exeter Cathedral on Friday 30th August. Jean-François Madeuf, widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest exponents of the natural trumpet will be one of the players. This is likely to be the only opportunity to hear the Muffat Mass in the UK for some years and the only available recording of it – by Konrad Junghänel, Concerto Palatino and Cantus Cölln was deleted from the German Harmonia Mundi CD catalogue some time ago.
Reserved Nave Seats, Front – £25 Centre £18 – Rear £12. Unreserved Side Aisles – £10
Tickets are available online via: www.blackdownsearlymusic.co.uk
Or from the box offices at the following venues. Exeter Phoenix Theatre – 01392 667080 Exeter Northcott Theatre – 01392 493493 Exeter Tourist Information – 01392 265700 Taunton Tourist Information – 01823 336344
More information from 01844 849192 or by Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org