Forthcoming Concerts

Monteverdi and the Golden Age


Claudio Monteverdi, 1567 – 1643

Friday 7 April, 6 PM-7 PM

St Mary’s cathedral Crypt, St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney

Sunday 9 April, 2.30 PM – 4:00 PM

Blessed Sacrament Church, Clifton Gardens, Sydney

Wendy Gillespie, (USA), Guest Musical Director, treble viol
Josie Ryan, soprano
Brooke Green, Artistic Director, treble viol
Fiona Ziegler, Catherine Upex, Imogen Granwal, Laura Moore; viols
Jacques Emery, double bass (9 April)

We are delighted to welcome Wendy Gillespie, one of the world’s leading viol players, as Guest Music Director for these concerts. Wendy played for many years with the iconic viol consorts Fretwork and Phantasm, has shared three Gramophone Awards and has made more than 100 recordings.

This is a rare opportunity to hear a programme with music for 6 viols. The 17th century was a golden age for music in England with the ‘Grave Music’ of viol fantasies being hailed for their ‘Divine Raptures’, ‘Pathettical Stories’, and ‘Sublime Discourses’. In this program we present the peak of this repertoire: some sumptuous six-part viol fantasias by the venerated John Jenkins, Orlando Gibbons and William Lawes. 

Monteverdi’s Stile moderno with its expressive word painting and achingly bitter-sweet dissonances was an important influence on the development of the late English viol fantasia.  We celebrate Monteverdi’s 450th birthday with his large-scale Sestina from his Sixth Book of Madrigals; Coppini’s sacred re-texting for Passiontide of Ecco Silvio from the Fifth Book;  and the heart-rending Lamento della Ninfa from the Eighth Book. 

The program includes the premiere of Brooke Green’s Batoh (a remix of Elena Kats-Chernin’s The Rain Puzzle). This work is dedicated to Batoh, one of the refugee children still in limbo on Nauru.