10 May – 18 May 2013
From rare treats to familiar masterpieces the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music brings the finest artists to London for nine very special days.
For its 29th edition, the Lufthansa Festival will explore music inspired by celebrating nature in all its forms.
Handel's delightful and too-little-performed oratorio L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato opens the 2013 Festival on 10 May in a performance by Paul McCreesh and his world-renowned Gabrieli Consort & Players. A setting of Milton's ode expressing opposing facets of human personality, it frequently turns to the imagery of town and country to make its point, resulting in some of the most delicate tone-painting Handel ever wrote.
The Festival also includes Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, for the first time at Lufthansa since 1990! Expect a fresh take on the most famous works of the entire Baroque era, as the ever brilliant and spontaneous soloist Enrico Onofri and his ensemble Imaginarium set it in the context of a variety of Baroque works on nature themes.
The concert forms the second leg of a “Seasons Double Bill”, following an afternoon performance of Christopher Simpson’s gently evocative ensemble piece The Seasons by violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk and Friends (11 May).
Andreas Staier – one of the world’s most admired performers on historic keyboards – is giving a rare London solo harpsichord recital at St Peter’s, Eaton Square (12 May).
The world-famous Westminster Abbey Choir under James O’Donnell perform two of Purcell’s greatest court odes, Welcome, welcome glorious morn and Hail, bright Cecilia, both of which enlist nature in praise of their respective subjects (15 May).
The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, widely acknowledged as one of the very best in the world, return to the Festival in the company of star soprano Carolyn Sampson for a celebration of “Baroque on the High Seas” – a salty selection of arias and orchestral works by Vivaldi, Handel and Telemann (18 May).
There will also be visits by: soprano Maria Keohane and the European Union Baroque Orchestra (12 May); Ensemble La Fenice and Jean Tubéry (17 May); and the exploratory viola d'amore/cello duo of Garth Knox and Agnès Vesterman. In addition, the 2013 Lufthansa Lecture will be delivered by the UK's most admired nature writer, Richard Mabey.