Top early music ensemble London Baroque are coming back to Totnes once more for a concert on Friday 31 January. Totnes Early Music Society (TEMS) concert organiser Jill Tomalin comments: “It is more than six years since we last heard this wonderful group of performers here in Totnes, and we are delighted to be able to host them once more with their concert Les Amours Baroque, a programme of 17th century songs and instrumental music from London, Paris and Rome.”
Virtuoso viol player Charles Medlam founded London Baroque with Ingrid Seifert in 1978, and has played some 2,700 concerts with the group world-wide. He plays on a bass viol made in London in 1689, which has had a seventh string added for the French repertoire. Charles captivates all who hear him when he plays, as TEMS members can testify – one highlight of the night is likely to be a set of virtuoso bass viol pieces from France’s foremost ‘maître de viole’, Marin Marais.
Charles is joined by his daughter Hannah, a soprano, and theorbo player Alex McCartney. Their concert will feature vocal works by William Lawes, Purcell, and Marc-Antoine Charpentier, as well as a cantata in French written during Handel’s sojourn in Rome. There will also be some wonderfully rich pieces by Robert de Visée, Louis XIV’s favourite lutenist to savour.
Hannah Medlam studied violin and piano at the Purcell School, but took up singing while studying violin in Vienna. After two years study in Paris, and time in Amsterdam and London, she won a place at the National Opera School in Marseilles, and has since had engagements in England, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey and Belgium, as well as a recent debut in Japan.
Alex McCartney has released three albums and also has a busy performing schedule. His second solo album Elizabeth’s Lutes (2016) was followed by an album of theorbo music in 2017. Alex performs as a soloist with artists such as Iestyn Davies, Ensemble Libro Primo (Sabine Stoffer), The Gabrieli Consort, and Poeticall Musicke. He holds principal positions in La Nuova Musica and Poeticall Musicke, and teaches the lute at the University of Aberdeen.
For more information, see www.totnesearlymusic.org.uk. Tickets for all TEMS concerts are available in advance via the Dartington website, www.dartington.org, and box office (01803 847070), or on the door. Advance tickets are £13, and £5 for under 18s. Tickets on the door are £14/£5
London Baroque will be in Totnes on Friday January 31 in the United Free Church, Fore Street, Totnes, at 7.30pm
Philip R Buttall