In the years before his reputation as the opera composer du jour was forged, Handel poured his creativity into a series of increasingly adventurous cantatas, among the most ambitious of which is Apollo e Dafne. Inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, this ancient fable finds striking parallels with modern day power struggles, as Daphne fights to resist Apollo’s advances and transforms herself into a laurel tree, her branches watered forever by his tears. This extraordinary tale of passion and penitence is rendered by Handel in music of searing intensity, its rapturous obbligato writing by turns, playful, poignant and seductive.
Every chapter of history has its turning point, every revolution its leader. The revival of historically informed performance – the lifeblood of what we do at Dunedin Consort – owes much to Arnold Dolmetsch, a fanatical instrument collector who in pioneering the early music revival of the late-nineteenth century ‘opened the door to a forgotten treasure-house of beauty’. Join us as we recreate one of the performances that kick-started this remarkable revolution, where music by Purcell, Handel, Kuhnau and Rameau was rendered in full colour once more thanks to Dolmetsch’s unique insights into period performance.
BOOKING OPENS 01/09/2018
When Handel’s Messiah was first unveiled to the public in 1742, it caused a sensation. Dublin’s Musick Hall was so full that the men attended ‘without swords’ and the ladies were asked to wear skirts ‘without hoops’ to make room for more listeners. The press declared a triumph: ‘The Sublime, the Grand, and the Tender… conspired to transport and charm the ravished Heart and Ear.’ More than 250 years on, it still holds a remarkable place in the repertoire, its ability to delight and enthral virtually unparalleled, its powerful choruses and exquisite solo writing together creating a score that is as fresh and inspiring as ever.
This performance is preceded by a performance for school children at 3pm.
Fun for all the family is guaranteed in our interactive 45-minute concerts specifically devised for children which will include all the best tunes from Handel’s Messiah. You can even expect an appearance from Handel himself to introduce his most famous melodies…!
No age restriction.
The richness of five-part instrumental writing was not new to the 18th century: German, Italian and French composers had all been exploiting this sonority for decades. But it was Georg Muffatt, born in Savoy of Scottish parentage, who for the first time aimed to reconcile these styles into a single genre. His music, remarkable in its expressive range, combines the sophistication and rhythmic poise of the French, the vibrancy and colour of the Italians and the depth and richness of the Germans. Paired here with works by Biber and Schmelzer, both groundbreaking in their intricate, pictorial details, we celebrate the first tranche of composers to truly push the boundaries of technical ability on the violin.