Arts & culture, Musicology, Performance practice, Postgraduate research

Early Classical Music Workshops

PhD student Simone Laghi writes about how he shares his expertise in Early Classical Music with students at the School of Music…

logo REMA EU Day of EMFor the second consecutive year I’ve managed to run this little adventure of Early Classical Music Workshops at the School of Music.

21 March, the birthday of J.S. Bach, has been chosen as the European Day of Early Music. Our students will celebrate the day by performing the pieces they have studied and rehearsed with me during four workshops (from February to March).  The National Museum of Cardiff is willing to open its wonderful Art Galleries to our music, and we will have the chance to play with amazing paintings from the 18th– and 19th-centuries as a background. The concert begins at 1pm and entry is free.

In this second edition of the ECMW I’ve the pleasure of coaching four groups composed ofthree to five elements: there are two trios with oboe, violin and bass (it was quite challenging to find a piece for both of them, but G. F. Händel and W. F. Bach luckily provided stunning musical material), a trio for keyboard, oboe and bassoon (composed by G. P. Telemann), and the wind quintet Il Tempo, which will perform some lovely music by the Italian composer G. Cambini.

This is the program for the final concert:

G.F. Handel: Trio sonata in G minor for oboe, violin and continuo

Lucas Berton (violin)
Manon Bonneville (oboe)
Augustus Guan  (harpsichord)

G.P. Telemann: Trio Sonata for oboe, harpsichord and bass TWV 42:Es3

Zoe Ewers (bassoon)
Olivia Sterlini (oboe)
Tawny Charles (harpsichord)

W.F. Bach: Trio sonata in C maj for violin, oboe and bass

Victoria Thomas (violin)
Olivia Sterlini (oboe)
Zoe Ewers (bassoon)

G. Cambini: Wind Quintet n.1

Wind Quintet “Il Tempo”

The workshops were open to all the students attending the School of Music. The repertoire considered consisted of works from the baroque to the early classical period: we have been exploring the appropriate style and the connections of the composers with their historical context, as well as the links with other more celebrated composers.

During the meetings we discussed instrumentation, organology and historical performance practice (in particular articulation and ornamentation). The students were then encouraged to undertake further independent research about the history of their own instruments and the chances offered by the lesser-known repertoire.

It has been a lovely experience, and if the student have learned as much as I did while coaching them, they have learned a lot! Once again, as last year, I felt deeply gratified by the experience and by the enthusiasm everybody showed. I can’t wait to start again next year!


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