Spain’s Golden Age Comes to York Early Music Festival

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Spain’s Golden Age Comes to York Early Music Festival

(Thursday 10–Saturday 19 July 2014)

York Early Music Festival is an annual world class event which brings many of the world’s finest early music artists to perform in York’s beautiful and historic venues. This year’s Festival Age of Gold, Age of Enlightenment explores a wealth of intermingled themes. Artists of the calibre of Jordi Savall’s Hespèrion XXI, The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Ensemble Gilles Binchois and Les Sacqueboutiers, Andrew Carwood’s The Cardinall’s Musick, The Zapico brothers from Spain and Yorkshire Baroque Soloists will take audiences on a musical journey through the warmth and colour of the Spanish medieval music from around the Mediterranean through to the Spanish Golden Age.

In contrast to the glorious Catholic colour the Festival also celebrates the rich tradition of German Protestant music, epitomized by CPE Bach in the 300th anniversary year of his birth – including a rare performance of his astonishingly beautiful oratorio Du Göttlicher – alongside a host of other important anniversaries including Jomelli, Locatelli and Leclair.

Delma Tomlin, YEMF Administrative Director, says: “In addition to the abundance of anniversaries we are able to celebrate during this year’s Festival we are also delighted to take the opportunity to round off the festivities with a celebration of youth. Thalia Ensemble, winners of the 2013 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, makes a very welcome return to York for their Prize Concert with a programme of Bohemian wind music by Anton Reicha. And three exceptional violinists – Bojan Čičić, Huw Daniel and Cecilia Bernardini, supported by the Netherlands based Jumpstart Jr Foundation, present a day of concerts in three superb venues. All in all – this is a celebration of talent throughout the ages.”

Highlights include:

Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI

Kalenda Maya: Folias and Dances from Palace and Desert

East meets West in this colourful evocation of medieval music from all around the Mediterranean as the outstanding Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI recreate the lost sounds of medieval Spain, Provence and Italy in the context of traditional music from Armenia, Persia and Turkey.

Thursday 10 July at 7.30pm, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers

Voice of the Turtle Dove

The Sixteen revisit the golden age of Renaissance polyphony with a stunning programme of gems by three of the finest English Tudor composers: William Mundy’s monumental Vox patris caelestis; John Sheppard’s setting of the sacred prose of Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria and the sublime Libera nos I. Perhaps the most extraordinary music of all comes from the earliest of the trio, Richard Davy’s remarkable O Domine caeli terraeque which was reportedly written in just one day.

Friday 11 July at 7.30pm, York Minster

Yorkshire Baroque Soloists

CPE Bach: Du Göttlicher A Passion Cantata

CPE Bach, best known today for his symphonies, concertos and keyboard works, was also a prolific composer of choral music. The Passion cantata Du Göttlicher, heard here in a rare performance, is one of the best and most uplifting oratorios he created. A dramatic and expressive sharing of Christ’s last sufferings in which Bach’s original and characterful genius shines out in every bar.

Saturday 12 July at 7.30pm (Please note – no interval), St Michael le Belfrey Church, Petergate

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Of Births and Deaths, Angels and Devils

2014 is the anniversary of four of the most respected musicians of the18th century: CPE Bach and Nicolò Jomelli, a star of the Neapolitan opera scene, and two virtuoso violinists – Frenchman Jean-Marie Leclair and the Italian Pietro Locatelli, once dubbed the ‘angel’ and ‘devil’ of the violin respectively. Their contrasting roles are taken by OAE leader Kati Debretzeni.

Sunday 13 July at 6.30pm (NB start time), Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

Ensemble Gilles Binchois with Les Sacqueboutiers

Nunca fué pena mayor: A Mass and Motets by Francisco de Peñalosa

Leo X – Francisco da Peñalosa was one of the illustrious composers of the Spanish Golden Age, as well as one of the most prolific. Ensemble Gilles Binchois make a welcome return to York with his Missa Nunca fué pena mayor, based on one of the best known Castilian songs of its time, set amongst a selection of his glorious motets.

Monday 14 July at 7.30pm, The Quire of York Minster

María Cristina Kiehr soprano with Ariel Abramovich lute, vihuela

Andad pasiones, andad

Argentinian born soprano María Cristina Kiehr, one of today’s leading Baroque vocal artists, performs with the outstanding Seville-based lute and vihuela player Ariel Abramovich, who has painstakingly reconstructed the beautiful but unwritten songs of the Cancionero de Palacio and the Segovia Manuscript.

Wednesday 16 July at 7.30pm NCEM, St Margaret’s Church

The Cardinall’s Musick – Andrew Carwood director

Spain, Defender of the Faith: Masterpieces from the greatest Empire of the 16th century

The music produced by Spanish composers during the height of Spain’s powers in the 16th century was colourful, expressive and intense. The great Tomàs Luis de Victoria’s music is at the heart of this programme and includes his magnificent Missa Salve regina, several fine motets and a thrilling Magnificat, set alongside works by his contemporaries and compatriots Guerrero, Esquivel and Lobo.

Thursday 17 July at 7.30pm, The Quire of York Minster

Forma Antiqua

Daniel Zapico theorbo Pablo Zapico baroque guitar Aarón Zapico harpsichord

Concerto Zapico: Fandangos, Folias and Passacaglias

The three Zapico brothers have a ball in a scintillating mix of their own transcriptions and originals of dances and other pieces for harpsichord, guitar and theorbo from 16th, 17th and 18th century Italy and Spain, with music by Kapsberger, Scarlatti and Santiago de Murcia.

Friday 18 July at 7.30pm NCEM, St Margaret’s Church

Jumpstart Jr Day Saturday 19 July

A unique showcase to round off the Festival featuring three fine young violinists supported by The Netherlands Jumpstart Jr Foundation – Cecilia Bernardini, Bojan Čičić and Huw Daniel – and three superb old instruments. This represents a great opportunity to see and hear the future with leading young lights in the field of historical performance as they present four fantastic concerts across one day:

Full programme details are available at: