Giants of the Baroque

13 March 2016

Today’s programme explores baroque repertoire for ‘recorder and basso continuo’. ‘Basso continuo’ was a distinctive feature of baroque music (music composed between roughly 1600 and 1760) and refers to the way in which the bass line in the music was organised as a chordal foundation, above which the melodic strands were composed. Typically the continuo was played by a keyboard instrument with the melodic bassline sometimes reinforced by a melody instrument such as a cello or a bassoon; sometimes the continuo consisted of keyboard alone. We will present sonatas by Handel and Telemann both ways today; the melody bass line will be played on a ‘basson de chalumeau’ (an instrument that was a precursor of the clarinet, believe it or not!) in two of the Handel sonatas at the beginning and end of the programme. The harpsichord makes a solo appearance in the first of Bach’s six French Suites.Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Sonata for recorder and basso continuo in G minor, HWV360

Larghetto – Andante – Adagio – Presto



Sonata for recorder and basso continuo in B flat major, HWV377

Corrente – Adagio – Allegro


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

French Suite no.1 in D minor, BWV812

Allemande – Courante – Sarabande – Menuet I/II – Gigue


Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)

Sonata for recorder and basso continuo in F, TWV 41:F2

VIvace – Largo – Allegro – Presto



Sonata for recorder and basso continuo in A minor, HWV362

Larghetto – Allegro – Adagio – Allegro


Jane Booth

Jane is a specialist in the early clarinet and chalumeau. In addition to her work as Head of Historical Performance at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London she has pursued a busy international career, playing all over the world with many of the world’s finest period orchestras and conductors including Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Tafelmusik, Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, The Academy of Ancient Music, La Petite Bande, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Anima Eterna and others. Her chamber recordings with The Eybler Quartet, Les Jacobins and Ensemble DeNOTE are receiving international acclaim.


John Irving

John Irving is Professor of Historical Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, a past Vice President of the Royal Musical Association, and Associate Fellow of The Institute of Musical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London. An internationally acknowledged authority on Mozart, he pursues a dual career as fortepianist and academic and his output as a recording artist include solo and chamber discs of works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven on harpsichord, clavichord and fortepiano.


James Brookmyre

A recent graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, James is a recorder player and period clarinetist. He teaches recorder at the Junior Department of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and at Cardiff University. His repertoire spans Machaut to Berio and has recently performed with DeNOTE Chalumeaux, WoodWork, Jeune Orchestre Atlantique and Concerto Cymru.


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