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A note from Artistic Director Marc Destrubé

Programming a festival presents a wonderful opportunity, for musicians and listeners, to explore and discover one place, one period or one style in the giant trove of ‘classical’ music composed in past centuries. Even within the baroque period (roughly 1600 - 1750) there were many different currents and styles, some driven by political events, others by the fashion of the day or by local tastes.

Much as a generation coming of age in the 1970s reacted to previous times with ‘peace and love’ and social experiments of all kinds, and now finds itself in quite differently afflicted times, the early 17th century was a time of exploration and experimentation in Europe (and later plagues…). This was especially so in the Italian ‘Seicento’, when, despite political turmoil, scientific invention and musical exploration thrived, thanks to increasing patronage and the aftereffects of the Counter-Reformation. The composer Claudio Monteverdi reacted against the overly florid musical style of the Renaissance with a wish for vocal music to more directly express the meaning of the text. At the same time, instrumental music flourished with the introduction of new instruments and more opportunities for performance in church and court.

The 2024 festival concerts will provide a rich sampling of the emotionally-immediate and intimate instrumental and vocal music from this thrilling period in music-making. We look forward to sharing with you our discoveries and pleasure in performing this music.

Marc Destrubé

Tickets are on sale now for concerts running from Tuesday, February 27 to Saturday, March 2. Please also join us at the Festival's Choral Evensong service on Sunday, March 3 - a free-offering event.

Learn More and Purchase your Tickets:

Did you know? Monteverdi was at the center of a famous controversy when his 'modern style' of composition was attacked by the theorist Giovanni Maria Artusi. Monteverdi ended one of his responses with the riposte: 'Believe me, the modern composer is building upon the foundations of truth. Live happily


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