We offer a flexible line-up to suit all tastes and budgets. Many of our programmes are possible with as few as two musicians, but our standard ensemble consists of four or five players allowing for a full and sumptuous ‘continuo’ sound. Many of our programmes are also available with soprano solo.
Featured programmes, from 2017:
Vivaldi, as popular in the baroque period as now, was unashamedly imitated, borrowed-from and re-arranged by composers across Europe. In this invigorating and colourful programme, suitable for all kinds of audiences, leading baroque ensemble Passacaglia explores Vivaldi’s music as it masquerades in various different guises…
Celebrating Telemann’s 250th Centenary in 2017:
Telemann at the Tuileries
A special re-creation of Telemann’s celebrated trip to Paris in 1737
Georg Philipp Telemann was one of the very few composers from outside France to have his works performed in the famous series of Concert Spirituel at the Tuileries Palace in Paris. Hearing his Nouveaux Quatuors for flute, violin, viola gamba and continuo performed by some of the greatest Parisian virtuosi of the day was one of Telemann’s lifetime highlights, and these powerful pieces remain some of the most popular chamber works in the baroque repertoire today. Our programme recreates two of these quartets, played alongside other French chamber music by the likes of Forqueray, Leclair and Blavet.
More Programme Choices
The Grand Tour
A feast of elegant, sophisticated baroque music from all the main cultural centres of eighteenth century Europe. Featuring music from Handel’s Georgian London to JS Bach’s home city of Leipzig, our menu also offers courtly trios from Versailles, a dash of virtuosity from Vivaldi in Venice – topped off with a helping of folk songs from Scotland. A veritable smorgasbord of baroque delights!
The Sun King’s Paradise
The magnificent court of the Bourbon Kings at Versailles formed the backdrop for some of the most beautiful and enigmatic music of the baroque period, where the soft, intimate sounds of the flute, viol and harpsichord were particularly beloved of the Sun King. More eclectic tastes prevailed under his successor, Louis XV, encouraged by the inimitable Madame de Pompadour. In this programme, experience the two sides of French baroque, from the dark and sensuous music of King’s inner chambers, to the country and courtly ‘fetes galantes’ beloved of the French aristocracy.
Music ‘a la mode’:
Entertainments for an English Gentleman
The eighteenth century saw a rapid rise in ‘genteel’ music-making in England, fuelled both by an easy availability of sheet music and a new fashion for amateur instrument playing. Popular arias from London’s opera houses and pleasure gardens were eagerly recreated in the domestic setting, whilst the larger country houses could play host to some of the famous musicians of the day. Our programme includes small-scale music by both native and ‘adopted’ English composers (including Arne, Handel and Geminiani), together with a helping of music in the highly fashionable Scottish folk style.
Gottfried Zimmermann’s bustling coffee house in Leipzig formed the perfect venue for a series of public concerts – the first anywhere in Europe – in the early 1700s. The brainchild of the entrepreneurial GP Telemann, then still a student in Leipzig, and later overseen by his compatriot JS Bach, these concerts ran successfully for nearly forty years. Music from all genres was presented, with chamber music to the fore. Our programme recreates a typical evening’s entertainment from the Café, with music by Telemann, Bach and their friends and contemporaries.
The Secret Concertos
Thought you knew Bach’s Brandenburgs? Think again! We present Bach’s own alternative versions of concertos no 4 and no 5, each with prominent harpsichord solo parts. Our programme also features a stunning, recently re-discovered recorder concerto by Fasch, as well as Telemann’s fabulous concerto for recorder and viola da gamba.