Dance of the Nations

Saturday 11 May 2019, 7.15pm

London Festival of Baroque Music: St John’s Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HA

The Bach Players join hands with Ricardo Barros’s Mercurius Company to present a concert that embodies the European idea in music and dance. Musicians and dancers have always travelled, both in mind and in body, and this programme will take you on a journey across the Continent: from Russia and Turkey, through Switzerland, Italy, France, and on to Spain and Portugal. Our performers come from Brazil, Britain, Germany, Austria, France and the Netherlands. The music will be both played and danced to, providing an enjoyable reminder that dance was fundamental to music in the baroque period, and part of the fabric of everyday life then. Telemann’s suite ‘Les Nations’, in which the characters of European countries are depicted in music, is followed by Rebel’s ‘Les caractères de la danse’: a compendium of the main dance forms of the period, performed by Ricardo Barros. Vivaldi’s passionate and hugely popular set of variations on ‘La Follia’ takes on fresh meanings when danced out. The concert concludes with Telemann’s ‘burlesque’ of Don Quixotte. The Spanish nobleman of Cervantes’s novel lives in an imaginary world in which he chases windmills and hankers after sweet Dulcinée. He prefers his fantasies to the reality of the world: a fable for the times in which we live? The concert will be presented in the round, in the main body of the church, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

The music

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767), Les Nations (orchestral suite in B-flat major, TWV 55:B5)

François Couperin (1688–1733), ‘Les Folies Françaises’ from Pièces de clavecin, troisième livre, treizième ordre

Jean-Féry Rebel (1666–1747), Les Caractères de la Danse

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741), ‘La Follia’ (op. 1, sonata no. 12 in D minor, RV 63)

François Couperin, ‘Les Petits Moulins à vent’ from Pièces de clavecin, troisième livre, dixseptième ordre

Georg Philipp Telemann, Burlesque de Quixotte (orchestral suite, TWV 55:G10)

The musicians

(Ricardo Barros dance and choreography, Gudrun Skamletz dance, Kath Waters dance, Anne Deller dance, Nicolette Moonen violin and director, Anna Curzon violin, Rachel Stott viola, Olaf Reimers cello, Silas Wollston harpsichord)

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