This list shows some of the Band’s most popular chamber music programmes. Of course, The Band is always happy to create a programme for your own special event.
All programmes can feature an illustrated pre-concert talk (given by BSB cellist and musicologist Tatty Theo) delving deeper into the history behind the pieces and its social and historical context.
Handel – friends, foes and flattery
Today Handel dominates any conversation about English musical life in the eighteenth century. But it wasn’t always the case. During his lifetime, Handel’s music was often overshadowed by that of native English composers, as well as fellow musical immigrants. Some of these characters, such as Veracini and Cervetto, were huge personalities; you’ll gain a strong sense of this through their sonatas in this programme. In addition, Royal patronage and political sensitivities all played their part in determining what was popular, as well as the need to write music for profit and for the burgeoning domestic music scene.
Tatty Theo explores the colourful music scene in London from 1710-1759, with an illustrated talk touching on Royal patronage, political intrigue, and the lives of some the musical characters who were part of Handel’s London world.
Friends, foes and flattery abound, making for a rich tale to be told!
An imagined slice of weekly musical life in Leipzig, built around two of the city’s most illustrious musicians Bach and Telemann and its prime musical location, Zimmerman’s Kaffeehaus. Musical ideas and caffeine flow.
Coffeehouse culture is rapidly becoming as popular now as it was in the eighteenth century. Tatty Theo explores the history of music in European coffeehouses, focusing on London and Leipzig, Handel and Bach’s respective cities.
Listen to Tatty's interview from In Tune on BBC Radio 3 about 18th century coffeehouse culture:
Margherita Durastanti – Handel’s Italian Muse
Durastanti’s connection with Handel extended for thirty years, in Italy and London. Margherita Durastanti – Handel’s Italian Muse is an all-Handel programme, featuring music first sung by Durastanti in Rome and then during her time in London, alongside instrumental works from the same period. The programme spans Handel’s informative early years in Rome to the height of his fame in 1730s London.
Margherita Durastanti enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with Handel, their musical lives together spanning over 30 years. In fact, of all the sopranos that Handel worked with, his connection with Durastanti endured for the longest time.
Tatty Theo sheds new light on this singer, about whom surprisingly little is known.
Signor Corelli’s Violin
Italy was at the centre of the baroque musical world, radiating innovations through Europe. Corelli’s fiery influence stemmed far and wide, determining virtuoso violin fireworks in Handel, Vivaldi and Leclair’s stunning trio sonatas.
From Leipzig to London
A fictional meeting between the two greatest musicians of the baroque era, contrasting Bach’s strict Lutheran Germany with Handel’s decadent London. This programme shows the enormous variety within each composer’s works; neither was limited by their working environment. Bach and Handel’s spirituality and joie de vivre combine, creating an unforgettable event.