8 January 2016
The matchless man
On Friday 15 January 2016, the AAM will perform “The matchless man”, a programme of English music that will take place in Poland’s recently renovated NOSPR Concert Hall. Directed by Pavlo Beznosiuk, leader of the AAM, the concert will begin with Henry Purcell’s iconic ‘Rondeau’ from Abdelazar, before charting the post-Purcellian world of English music in the 17th and 18th centuries. The death of Purcell at just 36 years of age had a monumental impact as to what English music would now be, and who would be its next proponents.
It is ironic that a concert of English music is made up almost entirely of foreign composers. Handel and Galliard hailed from Germany, whilst Geminiani and Roman came from Italy and Sweden respectively. However, these composers spent substantial parts of their lives in England, and it was to English music that they devoted their efforts. Galliard, for example, was the choir-master of Somserset House, one of the royal residencies, and helped to found the very first Academy of Ancient Musick. In fact, the Grove Dictionary of Music describes Handel as an ‘English composer of German birth’; his works are considered English in spite of his nationality, a conclusion that can also be applied to Galliard, Geminiani and Roman.
“From the time of my first appearance in London, to the hour, I have enjoy’d the Happiness of your Countenance and Favour.” – Francesco Geminiani, dedicating a set of works to the very first Academy of Ancient Musick.
“The matchless man” takes place on Friday 15 January 2016 in NOSPR Concert Hall, Katowice, Poland.