Avison Ensemble 'The Concerto in England' concert, Kings Place, September 2016
The Avison Ensemble rehearsing at Kings Place, 30th September 2016.
Our 'Concerto in England' concert was presented at Kings Place London on 30th September 2016.
The solo concerto was a form in which England followed rather than led, the notion of a virtuosic soloist pitted against an orchestra being less favoured than the more collaborative forms of Concerto Grosso and Sinfonia.
In a fascinating survey of the concerto in 18th Century England the Avison Ensemble explored some highlights of the genre including two examples by Handel and Stanley of the uniquely English phenomenon of the organ concerto. Originated by Handel for punctuation in his oratorio performances and featuring his formidable talents as an improviser this form was taken up by John Stanley among others and was often a test whereby would-be chapel masters would be auditioned.
Before being made Private Astronomer to King George III and achieving fame with the discovery of the planet Uranus, William Herschel, originally an oboist in the military band of Hanover, collaborated for one season with Charles Avison in Newcastle. While in that city it's very likely he would have played his very rare and striking violin concerto, first recorded by Pavlo Beznosiuk and The Avison Ensemble. He would also undoubtedly have heard the Durham cellist John Garth whose varied and engaging set of concerti for that instrument which exploit its expressive qualities in a unique way. These concerti also received their world premiere recordings with the Avison Ensemble and our soloist Richard Tunnicliffe.
Bookended with Concerti Grossi by Avison and Handel our concert was marked by colour and variety throughout.
The Avison Ensemble is the outstanding period instrument orchestra based in Newcastle upon Tyne, which plays and popularises the music of Charles Avison (1709-1770) and other English classical composers of the Baroque period, such as Garth, Arne and Herschel. The Ensemble also performs Purcell, Handel, Vivaldi, Corelli, Geminiani, Pergolesi, Teleman, Rameau, Bach, Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven.