by Patricia Grandjean
Jun 10, 2011
02:35 PM
Box Office

Connecticut Early Music Festival


Early Music is the study and performance of European music written before 1800, including music of the medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods. Musical instruments and techniques of the period are used in the performance to reproduce sounds as close to the original as possible.

This weekend The Connecticut Early Music Festival begins a six-concert series, “Transalpina: Musical Exchange Between the European North and South,” which showcases music from five centuries. The Arcadia Players present Opera! Handel’s Serse (Xerxes) on July 11 at Connecticut College in New London. The group presents a fully staged production of the opera in the original Italian in which it was written (with English subtitles). The concert takes place at 8 p.m. in Evans Hall with a pre-concert talk by Dr. Eric Rice scheduled at 7 p.m.

The series continues on June 12 at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme where Ensemble Origo presents "From Avignon to the Sistine Chapel," a program of a cappella Renaissance music. The performance takes place at 5 p.m. with a pre-concert talk by Dr. Eric Rice at 4 p.m.

At Connecticut College in New London, the Sinfonia Players present Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater from the 13th century as well as Bach’s Ich Habe Genug on June 18 at 8 p.m and then on June 19 at 5, My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort performs a selection of works from the first song anthology published in England to offer works in four languages: English, French, Italian, and Spanish. The book contains songs by such court figures as Daniel Bachelar, Anthony Holborne, and the great lutenist and composer John Dowland (whose son Robert compiled the collection), as well as Giulio Caccini’s international hit Amarilli Mia Bella.

On June 25 at the La Grua Center in Stonington, Sylvia Berry demonstrates contrasting approaches to composition for the fortepiano by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Clementi in “The Pianos of Vienna and London.”  Stylus Luxurians closes the series on June 26 at Connecticut College with music by Gabrielli, Monteverdi and Schütz.

Tickets $24-$36. For more information, call (860) 439-2787 or visit

Connecticut Early Music Festival

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