In a programme which ranges from early Medieval dance music to elegant baroque music for the royal courts of Europe, the new season of six concerts from the Totnes Early Music Society (TEMS) features its usual mix of musical styles, sounds and instruments, strange and familiar. This year’s programme has some outstanding young performers, who organisers say are destined for the top.
Former KEVICC student Katie Cowling will be performing a baroque programme in October with her quartet Convivio.
This is the inaugural concert in an exciting new collaboration between TEMS and the Royal College of Music to bring the best of their students and former students to Totnes.
TEMS chair Jill Tomalin said: “It took some time to set up the relationship with the Royal College of Music through Head of Historic Performance Professor Ashley Solomon, so you can imagine how pleased we were when they offered us a concert which involves Katie, whose parents still live locally.
“Katie recalls coming to TEMS concerts when she was growing up, and we hope other young budding musicians will come to hear her perform in St Mary’s.”
Prize-winning young harpsichordist Masumi Yamamato is joined by flautist Boris Bizjak for Class of 1685 which features music by Bach, Handel and Scarlatti, all born in that special year. Masumi has already appeared at the Purcell Room, the Royal Albert Hall, St. John’s Smith Square and Cadogan Hall as soloist and continuo player, while recent concerts have taken her to France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Italy.
Ensemble Moliere are an outstanding quartet who met up originally at the Dartington Summer School in 2013, have already appeared at the Brighton Early Music Festival and the London Baroque Festival, and are quickly gaining wider recognition. Their programme Telemann and Friends in Paris recalls the visit to Paris by Telemann in 1737, when he met up with prominent French musicians of the time.
Elsewhere, the TEMS programme has a strong emphasis on the context of the music being performed. Rosafresca perform early Spanish music from the time of Ferdinand and Isabella (c1520) in December, and in March, Passamezzo return with a concert of music from the English Restoration, featuring everything from tavern rounds and theatre songs to ballads describing the Great Fire of London and other contemporary events.
All TEMS concerts are open to everyone, with special discounted prices for under 18s. The Society is once again grateful for its on-going association with the Arts at Dartington. Tickets for non-members are available in advance from the Dartington website. www.dartington.org, and Box Office (01803 847070) or on the door.
(image: Katie Cowling)
Philip R Buttall