Originating as a sexy dance in South America, the ‘chacona’ crossed the Atlantic and established itself in Spain as an irresistible temptation. In 1615 it was banned from Spanish theatres for being ‘lascivious, dishonest, or offensive to pious ears’, but the attractions of the chaconne held sway. From the Ground Up traces its allure from early Spanish chaconnes, through the worlds of Purcell and Piccinini, to Bach’s magisterial example for solo violin. Reanimating the irresistible, Purcell’s ground basses furnish a harmonic groove for readings from Shakespeare accompanied by rapped commentary.
Directed by violinist Hugo Ticciati, the O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra is an integral part of O/Modernt. Comprised of top young players from all over Europe, the orchestra performs eclectic and adventurous programmes, with anything from arrangements of medieval motets to Bach, Webern and Metallica. The orchestra regularly collaborates with world-renowned soloists such as Evelyn Glennie, Steven Isserlis, Anne Sofie von Otter and Nils Landgren, as well as jazz artists, rappers, choreographers, rock-balancers and more!
Although only a few years old, the orchestra has gained an international reputation, with performances at the Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Wiener Musikverein and Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam. The O/Modernt players enjoy a wide range of outreach and educational projects in Sweden, the UK and further afield in India.
Westminster Abbey is not just the place where British monarchs were crowned, it's also the place where many English great men were burried. Among those was also Henry Purcell. This final resting place had a double meaning for him: firstly, with his status as a composer he deserved a spot in the abbey, but secondly this was also the location where he worked during the reign of Charles II and William & Mary. Most people will recognise the last aria of Purcell's beloved opera Dido and Aeneas: "Remember me, but ah! forget my fate." More abstract, but less trenchant are his brilliant Fantasias (for viola da gamba) which Purcell composed in the early 1680s. These are small, at times daringly expirimental works, which he carefully dated. Yet, Purcell mostly developed himself as a composer of vocal music, with numerous odes, 'welcome songs', motets (anthems), songs for domestic use (both sacred and secular, both monophonic and polyphonic) and music for theatre.
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.