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Thu, 04 May


St John Smith Square

"Suites Caroline: Restoration Dances" with Endelienta Baroque

Time & Location

04 May 2023, 13:05

St John Smith Square, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA, UK

About the event

John Blow Suite from Venus and Adonis

Henry Purcell Suite from Abdelazer

Matthew Locke Music from The Tempest

Endelienta Baroque perform three suites by foremost composers of the English Restoration; Henry Purcell, John Blow, and Matthew Locke.

The music of this programme inherited the French tradition, typified by that of Jean-Baptiste Lully, a style that had proliferated in England upon Charles II’s return from exile.

Locke, as Composer-in-Ordinary to His Majesty, was pivotal in satisfying the Francophile King’s tastes, and his incidental music to The Tempest exhibits all the colour and grace one finds in Lully.

Though Aphra Behn wrote her play Abdelazer, or the Moor’s Revenge in 1676, Purcell’s incidental music was written for the 1695 revival at Drury Lane. Unlike much of his later output, Purcell’s music for Abdelazer does not ostensibly show the hallmarks of the Italian style which had taken hold in England in the 1680s.

John Blow’s Venus and Adonis comes closer to what we might think of as “opera” than any English work up to that point. Blow’s music is hugely varied: there is outlandish “hunting” music, music of great tenderness and sultriness, encapsulating the temperamental extremes of the titular Goddess of Love and her sporting admirer. We have compiled a suite from the individual dances that Blow provided for the entertainments during this court masque.

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