love: Handel 2023

love:Handel 2023 -  Travels in Time and Place

The great George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) was the first ‘celebrity’ composer of the eighteenth century, and his music is still cherished today, woven into the fabric of our lives in the form of familiar tunes such as the Hallelujah chorus and ceremonial music including Zadok the Priest, performed at the recent Coronation.

In love:Handel 2023 - Travels in Time and Place, The Brook Street Band brings to life a complicated man, publicly adored but highly private, scrupulously fair to working musicians but not above a bit of professional rivalry, financially astute and rich beyond most musicians’ dreams, an entrepreneur, an innovator, a loyal friend, and a generous benefactor.

[Handel] “did bestride our musical world like a Colossus”.

We pair Handel’s music with compositions by his celebrated contemporaries including JS Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann, a musical travel guide to fabulous cities including London, Hamburg, Leipzig, Rome, and Venice. We’ll introduce you to some of the star musicians that Handel worked with including tenor John Beard and soprano Margherita Durastanti, with programmes showcasing this wonderful music, expertly crafted for their voices, giving it new life today.

Prepare for the unusual and unexpected, as we create different sound worlds with special instrumental combinations, including a rare chance to hear lots of ‘doubles’, with music for two harpsichords, plus double concertos for violins and cellos. Wide-ranging events - including talks with world-renowned experts - provide something for everyone, a musically creative journey from the eighteenth to twenty- first centuries, a chance to discover something new, immerse yourself in Handel’s world and enjoy the benefits of baroque music in a relaxed and friendly environment.

“Can I just say how much I enjoyed love:Handel... To have a world class festival on our doorsteps and in such wonderful surroundings is nothing short of miraculous, particularly in a pandemic!” AUDIENCE MEMBER


£10, £15, £20 (depending on event type)





Friday 13th October

Event 1 • Concert

Music for Mr Beard

David de Winter  Tenor
Lisete da Silva Bull Flute
Rachel Harris & Kathryn Parry Violins
Tatty Theo Cello
Carolyn Gibley  Harpsichord

We open love:Handel 2023 with a thrilling programme of arias composed by Handel for his favourite tenor, the fabulous John Beard, who dominated the London musical landscape during Handel’s time.

Music for Mr Beard sets the scene for an action-packed festival weekend packed with stunning music, colourful instrumentation and guest appearances by some of our favourite musical friends.

7:00pm - 8:00pm • The Octagon Chapel £15

George Frideric Handel 1685-1759
Love in her eyes sits playing (Acis and Galatea, HWV 49)
Meine Seele hört im Sehen HWV 207
Descend kind pity (Theodora, HWV 68)
Waft her angels (Jephtha, HWV 70)
Un momento di contento (Alcina, HWV 34)
Die ihr aus dunkeln Grüften HWV 208
Thus when the sun (Samson, HWV 57)
Total Eclipse (Samson, HWV 57)
Where ‘ere you walk (Semele, 58)

Friday 13th October

Event 2 • Concert

As Steals the Morn upon the Night

Rachel Harris & Kathryn Parry Violins
Tatty Theo Cello
Carolyn Gibley  Harpsichord &
Chamber Organ

Suspend reality for an hour, and travel with us through the night, a place of wonder and creativity where different worlds, centuries and the musical influences of Bach, Handel, Telemann and Montéclair collide.

Central to this night is Nitin Sawhney’s “Early Transitions” which in Nitin’s own words explores “connections between Eastern and Western classical ideas with particular reference to my love of Baroque music, Indian classical raga and mathematical interactions through the taal system, phrasing and diatonic expansion”.  A real chance to dream...

9:00pm - 10:00pm • The Octagon Chapel £15

Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665)
Ciaccona in C major op. 12 no. 20

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704)
Ciacona in C major from “Der Nachtwächer”

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Modéré from Paris Quartet No. 12 in E minor TWV:43e4

Michel Pignolet de Montéclair (1667-1737)
Sommeil from Sérénade Ou Concert

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Trio Sonata in c minor BWV 526

Nitin Sawhney b. 1964
“Early Transitions”

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Larghetto; Allegro; [from Organ Concerto in F Major HWV 296 ‘The Cuckoo and the Nightingale’]; Adagio; Allegro; Minuet [from Trio Sonata in F major op. 5 no. 6 HWV 401]

François Couperin (1668-1733)
Le Réveil-Matin (The Alarm Clock)

Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665)
Ciaccona in C major op. 12 no. 20

Saturday 14th October

Event 3 • Concert

The Bassoon Abroad

Jennifer Harris Bassoon
Rachel Harris Violin
Tatty Theo Cello
Carolyn Gibley  Harpsichord & Chamber Organ

A rare chance to revel in the sensual sonorities of the baroque bassoon, an instrument championed by Handel.

German-based Jennifer Harris is one of the world’s premiere soloists and is joined here by members of The Brook Street Band for chamber music by Handel, Telemann and a few of their fellow ‘abroad’ composers.

11:00am - midday • The Octagon Chapel £15

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Trio in Bb major for violin, bassoon and bc TWV 42:B6  
Trio in F major for violin, bassoon and bc TWV 42:F1   
Sonatina for bassoon in A minor, TWV 41:a  

Johann Ernst Galliard (1687-1747)
Sonata III in C major

Luigi Merci (1695-1750)
Sonata VI in G minor op. 3 no. 4

Violin Sonata in A major, HWV 361

Saturday 14th October

Event 4 • Concert

Double Trouble

Robin Bigwood & Carolyn Gibley  Harpsichords 

What could be better than a single harpsichord? Two harpsichords! Enjoy this opportunity to wallow in the rich sound of music by JS Bach, Mozart, and Armand Louis Couperin for four hands played on two beautiful instruments by local maker Alan Gotto.

2:00pm - 3:00pm • The Octagon Chapel £15

Armand-Louis Couperin (1727-1789)
Simphonie de Clavecins

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Trio Sonata in Eb major BWV 525

Wolfgang  Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Sonata for two keyboards in D major, KV 448





Saturday 14th October

Event 5 • Talk

Painting Magic: Handel and the Art of Staging Sorcery

Peter Kerber  Speaker

Noted scholar Peter Kerber investigates how Handel’s characterisations of sorceresses and magicians relate to the visual portrayals created by the best Venetian and Roman artists of his day. Peter Kerber is Director of the Picture Gallery at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

3:30pm - 4:30pm • The Martineau Hall at the Octagon Chapel £10








Saturday 14th October

Event 6 • Concert

Concerti per Multi Stromenti

Lisete da Silva Bull Flute & Recorder
Rachel Harris & Kathryn Parry Violins
Tatty Theo & Kate Bennett Wadsworth Cellos
Robin Bigwood & Carolyn Gibley  Harpsichords
Jennifer Harris Bassoon
Lucy Theo Viola
Plus Friends  

We expand our chamber group to a small orchestra for an evening of exhilarating music for multiple instruments, including music by Handel, Telemann, Bach’s popular Concerto for Two Violins, and Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos.

7:00pm - 9:00pm • The Octagon Chapel £20

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Concerto Grosso in G major op. 3 no. 3 HWV 314

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Double Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1043

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Concerto for two cellos in G minor, RV 531

Movements from concerto grosso op. 6

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Concerto for bassoon and recorder in F major, TWV 52:F1 

Concerto for two Harpsichords in C major, BWV1061

Sunday 15th October

Event 7 • Concert

The Elements

Lisete da Silva Bull Flute & Recorders
Rachel Harris & Kathryn Parry Violins
Tatty Theo Cello
Carolyn Gibley  Harpsichord

A firm and much-loved free festival favourite with families and our younger audiences. A chance to find out more about our instruments and some of our favourite baroque music, conjuring up sounds of water, fire, wind and birdsong with a relaxed and chatty concert featuring music by Handel, Telemann, Matteis and Biber.

10:45am - 11:45am • The Chapel Park Lane FREE

Sunday 15th October

Event 8 • Talk

Handel in Italy, 1707-1710

Jonathan Keates Speaker

Indulge yourself with a little armchair travel to the Italian cities Handel worked in, setting the musical scene for this afternoon’s concert. Renowned Handel biographer Jonathan Keates offers a glimpse into the Roman world of patronage, Popes and Cardinals, and the operatic magic of Venice, “La Serenissima”, a city he has written extensively on, as former Chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund.

2:00pm -3:00pm • The Assembly House £10

Sunday 15th October

Event 9 • Concert

Margherita Durastanti – Handel’s Italian Muse

Anna Cavaliero Soprano
Rachel Harris & Kathryn Parry Violins
Tatty Theo Cello
Carolyn Gibley  Harpsichord

Italian soprano Margherita Durastanti enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with Handel, their musical lives together spanning several decades and countries. Our programme celebrates Handel’s secular and sacred vocal writing, renowned for its virtuosity and the agility it commands, with works including the powerful dramatic cantata La Lucrezia, alongside the recently-discovered Gloria from Handel’s youthful early years in Rome. These are paired with magnificent chamber music composed at the height of his fame in 1730s London and provide a perfect conclusion to love:Handel 2023.

3:30pm - 5:30pm • The Assembly House £20

George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759)
Crudel Tiranno Amor HWV 97
Sinfonia in B flat major HWV 339
Bel Piacere HWV 7a

La Lucrezia HWV 145
Trio Sonata in F major op. 5 no.6 HWV 401
Gloria HWV deest