"Solomon's Knot let off a firework of baroque exaltation" - Not the Christmas Oratorio in Regensburg
The Süddeutsche Zeitung praised the performance of our Not the Christmas Oratorio programme in Regensburg in October 2021:
On Saturday evening the British formation Solomon's Knot let off a firework of baroque exaltation with secular congratulatory cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach. Solomon's Knot turn the cantatas into fast-paced one-acters, with blaring trumpets and rolling drums as well as moments of the most intimate grace. ... It's so unashamedly unacademic and passionate - pure joy.
Read the full review in German HERE.
Our latest project features three secular cantatas which JS Bach wrote for the Saxon royal family in 1733/4. He subsequently reused a lot of the music in his Christmas Oratorio of 1734/5. These pieces are full of irresistible energy and invention.
We are delighted to kick off our four-concert residency at Wigmore Hall with this project, as well as returning to three of our favourite festivals: Newbury, Thüringen, and Regensburg.
10 September 2021 Wigmore Hall
15 September 2021 Georgenkirche, Eisenach
17 September 2021 St Nicholas, Newbury
9 October 2021 Dreieinigkeitskirche, Regensburg
Listen to our one-and-only performance of last year, which took place in Hamburg in the early music series 'Das Alte Werk' at the Laeiszhalle /Elbphilharmonie. Tune in on Thursday 7 January at 20:00 CET (7pm GMT) at the German NDR Radio.
Our programme, delivered with extreme distancing on stage, traces hen/stag-night revelries followed by a good night’s sleep and a blissful wedding celebration, with highlights from Purcell's Fairy Queen and extracts from King Arthur as well as lesser-known gems from Purcell's odes and welcome songs.
It was a miraculous oasis in an otherwise arid year.
Swap your trumpets for flutes, and join us for a sumptuous feast of French baroque Christmas music, live from St John's Smith Square last December. The story of the annunciation to the shepherds is vividly brought to life in a manner that is both highly entertaining and deeply moving.
Charpentier - In nativitatem Domini Canticum H416
Charpentier - Pastorale sur la naissance de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ H483
Get a little taste with Source de lumière et de grace from the final scene of the Pastorale, kicked off by Kate Symonds-Joy.
"This is more than the art of singing, this is a way of life" - wrote the Hamburger Abendblatt (€) on our Purcell Pageant following our performances on 26 October at the Laeiszhalle. We are immensely grateful we made it to Hamburg during this difficult time, and just before Germany announced stricter regulations affecting concert halls, which have to remain closed for the whole month of November.
It was truly wonderful to be back on stage together and we like to thank our promoter for making this possible. The good news is that our performance was part of the early music series 'Das Alte Werk', meaning it was recorded by the NDR Radio for deferred broadcast.
This is the fitting encore by which we thanked our audiences at the Laeiszhalle: Telemann's 1762 Hamburg setting of Luther's 'Mitten wir im Leben sind mit dem Tod umfangen' (In the midst of life we are in death).
In October, we firmly hope to get back on track for our debut at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg on Monday 26th. We’re keen to take Hamburg audiences into the fantasy world of Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Night's Dream' with its fairies and sleepy lovers by presenting highlights from Purcell's Fairy Queen. We'll also perform extracts from King Arthur and other, lesser-known vocal gems from Purcell's secular output. All in a subtly dramatised concert under the expert guidance of Globe Theatre director, Federay Holmes. This concert is part of the famous early music series Das Alte Werk and is intended to be recorded for deferred broadcast by NDR Radio (Norddeutsche Rundfunk).
In anticipation of our Hamburg debut, Jonathan Sells has been chatting to the head of programming for the series, Cathérine Dörücü:
In aid of Help Musicians UK, we recorded an uplifting aria for Bitesize Proms: Blast die wohlgegriffen
Flöten' (Blow the well-gripped flutes). The aria featuring the Roman goddess of War - Bellona - is part of Bach's cantata 'Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!' BWV 214 from our programme Not the Christmas Oratorio, which has been postponed to next year.
Bellona incites the martial flutes to a joyous celebration: "this festival demands rejoicing that feeds both spirit and mind" - something to truly take our minds off current circumstances.
Stay tuned on our YouTube Channel for insights from various members of our collective.
From our respective homes, we’ve been working on something; the setting of Luther’s chorale ‘Mitten wir im Leben sind’ appears like an oasis in the middle of Telemann’s rarely-performed late masterpiece, the cantata Dich rühmen die Welten for St Michael and All Angels 1762.
We would have sung this chorale on 13 March with Les Passions de l'Ame in Bern, but the concert was cancelled on the day. Instead, we’ve now chosen to perform it a capella (as we would have done in concert) from our homes, to reflect human vulnerability and helplessness in the face of death, which leads many to turn to spirituality.
Photo: Daniel Joy
6 March 2022
20 March 2022
24 March 2022
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