Here are some of the things that have been going on for the past few weeks in the world of Early Music since we have been locked down.

Many of the websites have ways that we can pay or donate, so we can use the money we would have spent on workshops and concerts to support the musicians (some are members of MEMF or have links with us), many of whom are freelance and have little or no way of earning money at present. In addition, Help Musicians UK has a special Coronavirus appeal.

Facebook is the easiest way to keep up to date with what’s new, as musicians and groups are updating their FB pages rather than their websites.(“Subscribe” or “follow” your favourite pages to get their latest posts). In addition you will find plenty to listen to on YouTube. 

There is much discussion online about safe distancing between groups of singers and  instrumentalists. There is a long article about it on I Fagiolini’s Facebook page.

Sections below cover TECHNOLOGY, SINGING, VIOL, LUTE, RECORDERS, MIXED INSTRUMENTS/CONCERTS AND DANCE. Recent additions are at the end of each section (unlike Facebook posts)

Technology

JAMKASAM We know that playing together on Zoom is not practical, because of the time lag, but I am told it is possible with Jamkasam. .It requires some basic technical ability to set it up, you need an ethernet connection, and some people say it only works within about 25 miles. It also takes almost all your wi-fi bandwidth, but an hour is probably as much as most people can sustain concentration. Have a look at a very detailed description here.

JAMULUS Some people are using a similar resource called Jamulus . There is a very useful video on YouTube made by the string quartet Vierimpuls, describing how they are using it to rehearse, which will give you an idea of what is involved.  If you’re up for it join OEMF Online Early Music Fora) below.

OEMF: Music in Lockdown with Jamulus meeting Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6pm

Well, now we can make real harmony online.  We have been testing Jamulus, which minimizes latency and enables us to sing or play together in very nearly the usual way.  We’d love you to join us.  Music can be fun again! From Robin of SWEMF and OEMF

  • Install Jamulus and run it.
  • Press Connect and choose OEMF from the list.
  • There is a Chat feature in case you are not being heard or don’t want to interrupt.

Jamulus has excellent documentation, helpful discussion fora, demos and a download page.  Setting it up can be straightforward or a struggle, depending on what technology you have.  The community is extremely helpful for those who need it.  The software has versions for Windows, Mac and Linux and a brand new Jamulus OS.

ZOOM is the way that online talks and workshops are transmitted. It is easy to set up and use.

Download the Zoom app. It will work on PCs, laptops,
tablets or smart phones but the larger the screen size the better the experience. Click where it says ‘join a meeting’.

Find the invitation email and click on the long underlined link or, if that doesn’t work, enter the ID and password information for the meeting and wait to be let in. You can’t join the meeting until the host has opened it.

Audio and Camera. Turn on your audio when prompted. Turn on your Camera when prompted (white video camera icon) or if you do not wish to be seen you can turn your camera off.

Gallery/Speaker View: Once you’ve joined the meeting choose between Gallery View (which shows small screens of all participants – good for seeing your friends and who else is present) or Speaker View (best once the presentation starts).

Mute/Unmute (the small microphone symbol). Your sound will be Muted by the Host once the presentation begins but you can Unmute yourself at any point eg, to applaud or ask a question at the end.

Chat (the white speech bubble symbol usually at the bottom of the black Zoom screen, or under 3 dots on IPads). This allows you to type a question to Everyone or just to one participant. Or can be used to send a message or question during the presentation.

Qs & As These are usually taken at the end of the presentation either from messages written into Chat or from participants raising an A4 piece of paper to attract the attention of the interviewer.

PLAYSCORE You may like to try PlayScore 2 currently for IPhone/iPad only. It allows you to take a photo of your music and it will play it, or you can import a PDF to play. It allows you to play at any speed you like, and you can set the instruments and transpose. It also exports MIDI if you want to do it that way.

Zoom Talks

PATRICK CRAIG Zoom Talks – these are proving to be very popular – Patrick is a Vicar Choral at St.Paul’s Cathedral and one of our popular Tutors. He is a very engaging speaker and his talks are full of choral music and photos. Below are the next two in the pipeline:-

Thursday 15th October – Cantiones Sacrae 1575, Tallis and Byrd at 8pm, Hosted by TVEMF

Friday 20th November – Bach and Handel Hosted by MEMF.

DAVID ALLINSON Zoom Talks – these are very scholarly, but with David’s trade mark references to food and other amusements. He talks in depth about the chosen music with a chance to sing along to a recording

22nd October at 7.30Super flumina Babylonis – settings by Philippe de Monte and Giovanni Palestrina. Hosted by BMEMF. Booking opens 30th September.

DAME EMMA KIRKBY Zoom Talk

Saturday 10th October at 11am – Prima la Parola (in Praise of Speaking Harmony). Under this title, misquoting Salieri and stealing a phrase from Dowland, Emma aims to celebrate the power and joy of song lyric. She will share her ideas on ways to “embody” a lyric, and play tracks of singers she admires, both those who inspired her early on, and the new voices that excite her now. Book on this website on the events page or here.

WILL DAWES Zoom Talk

On Saturday 24th October at 11am – an exploration of Tallis’s Four 7-part pieces: Loquebantur, Suscipe quaeso, Missa Puer natus est nobis, and Miserere nostri. Details to follow soon.

Singing – Take part

I Fagiolini  

  • Sing the Score gives you an in-house recording of an Italian madrigal with the music alongside so that you can sing along with the ensemble. Released 6pm occasional Fridays on YouTube, and introduced by Robert, there is a good collection now. See them here .
  • Sing the Score Extra, initiated and hosted by our chairman Nancy Slessenger, is a webinar chat with Robert every other Saturday at 11am. You can see guests, ask questions via a chat box and join in some singing (with the music in advance if you need it).To join, send an email to Nancy (nancy@vinehouse.com) and she will send you the information. You are requested to donate a minimum of £5 to I Fagiolini each time (for members of the Ensemble who are currently unable to work) and encouraged to become a Friend for £30 or more a year.

The Kings Singers have a virtual performance of Tallis’s If Ye Love Me with the score displayed so that you can sing with them. Find them here.

Amilcar Enrique has a glorious video of Gesualdo’s Sacrae Cantiones I 18 Illumina faciem tuam with the score displayed so that you can sing with them. If you have autoplay turned on you will find other videos of music with scores displayed including Gesualdo’s Sacrae Cantiones I 17 Tribulationem et dolorem and responses from Tenebrae.

Following the success of Messiah at Home, the Self-Isolation Choir is putting on a virtual Summer School over 3 weeks in the summer. Week Three (17th – 21st August) is studying Vivaldi’s Gloria. Full details at https://www.theselfisolationchoir.com/summer-school-2020 . The other two weeks are a Celebration of John Rutter (22nd – 26th June) and the splendour of Church Anthems with a modern piece (20th – 24th July).

Much of David Hatcher’s “Consort Music Minus One” –  downloadable mp3 files of beautiful renaissance music recorded at A440 – is suitable for singers see his website here. It has expanded considerably to include newly edited Gassenhawerlin und Reutterliedlin (German street songs – listen to one below), madrigals by Palestrina and Cipriano de Rore and Savonarolan Motets. Contact David for advice at djhatcher@icloud.com

Sing along with the Tallis Scholars as they sing the wonderful Motet Tu Es Petrus by Palestrina, with the score scrolling on the screen.

Singing – Watch and listen

The Full Monteverdi, I Fagiolini’s most successful show was released online on May 15th to celebrate Monteverdi’s birthday. You can rent or buy it to download.

The Choral Chihuahua – a weekly conversation on Mondays between Harry Christophers of The Sixteen,  Robert Hollingworth of I Fagiolini and Eamon Dougann who sings with both. One is a very interesting discussion about vibrato – to do or not to do.

From the Conductor’s Stand- a regular illustrated talk by David Allinson for his choir, The Renaissance Singers, in his usual inimitable style (with references to food of course). It can be found on their Facebook page or on the Renaissance Singers website where you can donate.

The Sixteen have posted a number of videos called Quarantine with the Sixteen including Eamon Dougann’s Top Tips, a virtual performance of Sheppard’s Libera Nos and Lunchtime Soundbites on Mondays.

The Tallis Scholars have a Marathon Playlist which you can access from their website . There is a large list of streaming services where you can play it and they get royalties for every track you listen to. You can also donate on the home page.

Tenebrae gave a virtual workshop on June 4th and are planning more.  They also have videos of past performances on their Facebook page and have a new CD of music by Gesualdo and Couperin.

Stile Antico have produced a virtual performance of Tallis’s Spem in Alium and Will Dawes has recommended a beautiful recording of Cantiones sacrae I: Ne irascaris Domine by Byrd.

The Gesualdo Six have an interesting collection of videos on their Facebook page including Robert Pearsall’s  beautiful “Lay a Garland” with Andrew Cooper singing all parts.

The a capella Fieri Consort have a number of videos on YouTube. Visit them on Facebook or their website www.fiericonsort.co.uk.

Steven Devine and Kate Semmens  have produced a couple of amusing videos: Viral Video (don’t think you’ve got the wrong link!) and What Did You Do in Lockdown. They have serious videos on YouTube as well.

James Gilchrist accompanied by David Hatcher on viol, perform a sublime song from Gassenhawerlin und Reutterliedlin which was due to be part of the 3 Choirs Festival this year.

Lizzie Gutteridge, a specialist in Mediaeval music, sings a catch by Ravenscroft with the live-looper and some extra words of her own! See more on her Facebook page.

The Complete Works of Shakespeare madrigal to the music of Thomas Morley!

Armonico have recreated their popular Oz and Armonico Drink to Music concerts on YouTube (recorded live in the Court House. Warwick), in which Oz Clarke talks about wine and Eloise Irving, William Towers and the Armonico Consort provide some glorious music. Part one is English, part two German, part three Italian and part four Spanish. Watch them all here. Don’t be put off by hearing the same introduction for all four parts. Their performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas recorded live in Warwick’s Court House is still available on their Facebook page.

Armonico have a live recording of William Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices under the guest direction of their Associate Artistic Director, Geoffrey Webber on their Facebook page

A really gorgeous performance of Ave Maria a7 by Philippe Verdelot sung by the Renaissance Singers, directed by David Allinson.

Ensemble Pro Victoria (8 voice a capella group): 1. have released 5 tracks from a day of recording at Castle Howard, free to download (donations invited) here. You can buy the whole album for £5.00. 2. have begun a series of live hour-long concerts from St.Mary’s, Bourne Street, London. The first one including Morales, Taverner, Sheppard, Fayrfax and Victoria can be found on their Facebook page here. Please donate here if you listen to it.

Stile Antico’s 2014 concert of Motets by Giaches de Wert was streamed on Facebook on 30th August and is still available here

Stile Antico sing John Taverner’s Christie Jesu  as part of the Bitesize Prom Series – Classical Music in miniature). Please donate in aid of Help Musicians.

16th September at 2pm Stile Antico presents an exciting new programme, ‘The Journey of the Mayflower’, with extraordinary music and readings. It’s a film version for release in mid-September, coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the famous voyage across the Atlantic when William Bradford and his fellow pilgrims set out on their fateful journey across the Atlantic in the Mayflower, seeking freedom from persecution. England in 1620 was a country rife with religious and political division, standing on the brink of civil war. But the age also spawned some of the finest music ever composed in the land, with Gibbons, Tomkins and the aged Byrd overseeing the late flowering of the English musical Renaissance. This programme explores the journey the pilgrims took using music of the time, interspersed with extracts from Bradford’s diary and dramatic accounts from the pilgrims themselves, newly written for us. More details here and watch it here at a cost of £15 for 3 months rental.

Sunday 20th September at 6pm Au Naturel: concert about the Seasons by I Fagiolini live streamed from Kings Place, London. Programme includes Monteverdi, Howells, Brahms, Schütz, Poulenc, de Wert and two semi-staged pieces by Janequin, one of them “La Chasse” which some of us attempted to sing at Robert Hollingworth’s last workshop. Details and Online tickets (£12,50) available here

Part of ThisChoirNerd series – conversation with Tallis Scholars director Peter Phillips and Byrd Ensemble director Markdavin Obenza about Peter’s book, “What We Really Do: The Tallis Scholars.” They talk about the Peter’s inspiration for starting The Tallis Scholars, the sound, interpretation, tempo, authenticity, recording, ideal singers, Renaissance polyphony on the main stage, and a short Question and Answer session

A short delightful song by Josquin about knitting, performed by La Fiamma on YouTube!

Quomodo Cantabimus by William Byrd sung by the Fieri Consort. A Bite Size Prom on Facebook raising money for Help Musicians UK – please donate if you listen.

The Marian Consort, directed by Rory McCleery (who is booked to Tutor a MEMF workshop in January 2021), has launched a major new strand of digital work. The headline feature of this is six 50-minute programmes available on-demand. Centred around vocal music, they’ve collaborated with poets, artists, actors, academics, filmmakers, and writers to shine new light and bring you something different. These are available pay-per-view via their website. For under a fiver you get carefully-crafted films shot in stunning spaces, featuring seraphic performances, incisive commentary, and beautiful visual art.

All things Viol – take part

Online Lessons

Many viol teachers are now giving lessons online using zoom or other platforms – see below. The UK Viola da Gamba Society has a lot of information about this and is a very useful source of knowledge. Their link section will tell you where you can get replacement strings if one breaks and lots of other useful information. You don’t need to be a member to access the majority of the site.

Jacqui Robertson-Wade (MEMF member) of the Rondo Viol Academy is in the process of recording 150 lessons at 5 different levels, so it’s possible for complete beginners can learn the viol, as these are progressive lessons.  She has nearly completed 30 lessons for the Elementary Level, with 10 lessons on each viol.  She has also created a Progressive Viol Lessons page with links to lessons from Alison Kinder, Sam Stadlen and herself.  This is to help players find the right lesson for their ability and you can also search by piece or teacher.

Alison Kinder has created her own YouTube channel where if you become a patron you can have access to “The Clinic” which looks at all aspects of viol playing. In the latest she is talking about different arrangements of broken consorts. She anticipates a new video each week. You can also access it from the Rondo Viol Academy above and follow her on Facebook.

Claire Horacek (MEMF member) will also give lessons online: email clairehoracek@gmail.com

Alison Crum another experienced teacher will also give beginner lessons online. Sshe has a new website here and has produced a series of videos on Viol technique – 16 so far.

Alison Kinder has recorded a virtual Medieval Cantiga Workshop in which any instrument at A440 can take part. The music for the session, a Cantiga from the Red Book of Montserrat, can be printed off from LosSetGotxs.pdf and the video can be watched on the SWEMF website here.

Consort Playing

When you need someone to play with then the following resources have been produced enabling you to play along with a pre-recorded consort, with whichever part you want to play missing (There are more on the VdGS website):

David Hatcher’s “Consort Music Minus One” –  downloadable mp3 files of beautiful renaissance music recorded at A440 – see his website here. It has expanded considerably to include newly edited Gassenhawerlin und Reutterliedlin (German street songs – listen to one below), madrigals by Palestrina and Cipriano de Rore and Savonarolan Motets. David may also give lessons online  –  email him at djhatcher@icloud.com

The Chelys Consort of Viols are also recording consorts minus one. Follow them on Facebook to hear when new videos are released.

Sam Stadlen: play along videos and tutorials online can be found here or with a link from the Rondo Viol Academy above. 

Thomas Gettys has created a website of Midi files of consort-minus-one music for viola da Gamba and recorders to play along /practice with. He explains clearly what a Midi file is and how you can alter the speed and pitch and even download the music.

Viol – Watch and listen

Search on YouTube for viol consort music. Well known ensembles are Fretwork, Chelys Consort of Viols. and of course David Hatcher’s Linarol Consort.

Look for the Early Music Group and the Viola da Gamba Society on Facebook for posts by members.

Asako Morikawa has a series of Multitrack videos for you to listen to or play along with.

James Gilchrist accompanied by David Hatcher on viol, perform a sublime song from Gassenhawerlin und Reutterliedlin which was due to be part of the 3 Choirs Festival this year.

It’s not early music, but fun and played on viols by David Hatcher!

Lute – take part


If you are interested in learning to play the lute, or just have an interest in the instrument the first port of call is the Lute Society website . MEMF has a 7 course Renaissance lute in G for loan, in the custody of our Secretary (yatesdp@gmail.com) in Sutton Coldfield, and instruments can also be hired from the Lute Society.

On their homepage there is now “Lute in Lockdown” which gives a list of teachers who can teach via Skype or Zoom, and lists of upcoming events. Also their own YouTube channel where among other things you can play virtual duets with Lynda Sayce. This is very new but is expanding rapidly.

Lute – Watch and listen

Jacob Heringman has made a series of 5 videos on YouTube entitled Lockdown Lute, which are illustrated talks about the Renaissance lute.These can be found at the Early Music Shop here.

Jacob Heringman and Clare Wilkinson play Dowland.

Dowland’s Now, O Now performed by Les Canards Chantants (Lute and voices) 

Lynda Sayce has posted a youtube video on the history of the lute.

There is plenty of lute music to be found on the Lute Society Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as searching YouTube for Lute.

11a Peacock Yard is a new YouTube channel created for renowned Lute makers Stephen Barber and Sandi Harris. As well as making beautiful lutes they have made a huge contribution to research into historical instruments. The first video explains that Stephen is now disabled and in a wheelchair and they need to move their workshop. Subsequent videos will be of lute related material, much of it from customers and friends, and a Fund-raising campaign has been started by Lynda Sayce to help with the costs of moving. Please donate here if you can.

Friday 25th SeptemberCarolyn Sampson – soprano and Matthew Wadsworth – lute give an online concert from the Wigmore Hall at 1pm. They will perform some of their favourite C 17th songs by such as  Dowland, Johnson and Purcell.

Recorders – Take part

Online Lessons

Mary Tyers (usually teaches at the Early Music Shop) – mary@marytyers.co.uk  or 0776 2374638

Alyson Lewin 01785 716957 or 07751 964156

Linda Hardwick FCTL (MEMF Member) linda.204@hotmail.co.uk or 01684 564203

Visit the Society of Recorder Players (SRP) website for lots of information and a variety of links including David Moses  see below:

David Moses has produced a series of backing tracks, but so far almost the only early music is a jazz accompaniment of  Handel’s Sonata in F Op1 for treble recorder and some Playford dances for descant, accompanied by a lute. His link is on the SRP website.

Emma Murphy has all sorts of useful stuff in her shop including consorts minus one to play along with.

Sarah Jeffrey has a Team Recorder YouTube channel with a large number of videos about playing the recorder  including a couple of play-along ones. She also runs a 4 week online course to improve your playing., though the May one has just finished.

Helen Hooker is creating weekly videos, along with the sheet music, so players can join in with the sound of a real consort. These include a conducting track in each video along with some hints and tips about playing the music. All the resources can be found here – sign up to receive notifications – or follow her on the SRP Facebook page

Much of David Hatcher’s “Consort Music Minus Oneis suitable for recorder ensembles.

Thomas Gettys has created a website of Midi files of consort-minus-one music for viola da Gamba and recorders to play along /practice with. He explains clearly what a Midi file is and how you can alter the speed and pitch and even download the music.

Consorts.co.uk is a new independent business supplying high quality ‘play-along’ recordings for the recorder playing community. It will be launching on the bank holiday weekend and as a special opening offer, Consorts are offering free access to the whole site for that weekend (29th-31st August). At launch they are aiming to have about 80 works available. Each will have a webpage providing some basic information about the piece along with links to the score and parts and a complete recording of the piece as well as versions with all individual parts missing as well. This should total around 600 recordings! To find out more, Consorts have an introductory webpage  with details and a video montage of some of the pieces.

Alison Kinder has recorded a virtual Medieval Cantiga Workshop in which any instrument at A440 can take part. The music for the session, a Cantiga from the Red Book of Montserrat, can be printed off from LosSetGotxs.pdf and the video can be watched on the SWEMF website here.

Recorders – Listen

Go to YouTube and search for recorder music whether solo or ensemble, renaissance or baroque. Well known  ensembles are The Flanders quartet, The Royal Wind Music,  Palisander and Fontanella.

There are also some jewels on the SRP page and on the Early Music page on Facebook.

The Early Music Shop is running Recorder 31 throughout August – daily news, events, concerts, interviews, offers and more from the world of recorders and recorder players.

Mixed Instruments – Take part

Cat on the Keys Music has downloadable backing tracks of renaissance and baroque music for all sorts of instruments at various pitches.

Corona Consort Karaoke Play-Along Store has been created by City Musick, the Renaissance Wind Band . They have recorded music ‘minus a part’ in whole and mixed consorts  of recorders, cornets, shawms, dulcians and sackbuts for you to play along with on any instrument. For £5 a piece you can download a quality audio file of the full piece, an audio file of the piece minus the part you want to play and a pdf score (with parts where necessary)

Jude Rees is offering online tuition on modern and early woodwind including recorders, shawms, English border bagpipes, curtal/dulcian, crumhorns. Contact her here. MEMF have crumhorns available for loan.

20th September: The Early Music Retreat – a Day of online tutorials for Renaissance music. Six Tutors in the UK present a variety of online sessions for voice (Deborah Catterall), viol (Elizabeth Dodd), lute (Hugh Cherry and Richard MacKenzie) and recorder (Michael Piraner and Philip Gruar). They will cover aspects of performance practice, two and three part ensembles in a ‘minus-one’ arrangement, technique for voice, viol, lute, recorder and choral work, ending with a qigong and voice workshop. Open to participants anywhere in the world. One hour classes at £15 per session run from 9.30 to 5.00 – you can choose as many or few as you like. Details and booking here

Alison Kinder has recorded a virtual Medieval Cantiga Workshop in which any instrument at A440 can take part. The music for the session, a Cantiga from the Red Book of Montserrat, can be printed off from LosSetGotxs.pdf and the video can be watched on the SWEMF website here.

Mixed Instruments / Concerts

Ensemble Échos (flute, violin, viola da Gamba and Harpsichord) have a number of videos of baroque music to listen to on their website. They have also recorded a virtual performance of a Bach trio.

Academy of Ancient Music: Streaming Sundays a full length concert from the recent past is shared every Sunday afternoon on YouTube.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment directed by Steven Devine, have a monthly series of illustrated talks called “Bach, the Universe and Everything”. Now recorded live in their home in the King’s Place, London. See them all here.

Hespèrion XXI directed by Jordi Savall have numerous videos on YouTube,

Eboracum Baroque have a series of virtual coffee concerts (solos) on YouTube. They are Zoomed live on Facebook and YouTube when you can ask questions. Follow them on Facebook to find out when the next one is.

The Orchestra of the Age of Isolation, with musicians from France, England, Scotland and Switzerland  play the beautiful  Entrée de Polymnie by Rameau.

Hesperi Ensemble are giving a live concert with a talk on Facebook every Friday at 1pm, called “Hesperi at Home”. You will find their past videos here and you can donate to their secure PayPal account here  

The Early Music Shop had a variety of musicians performing Monday to Friday in April and May which are still available. See the full list here.

Sounds Baroque mini concerts:  solos performed by Julian Perkins on keyboard and duets with Emma Abbate (not all are baroque!)

Weekly Music from Worcester at 6.30. A variety of performances (not all early) from a variety of people including Martin Perkins and Kate Fawcett and Christopher Allsopp. Follow them on Facebook to find out what they are playing for the week.

Angel Music, a charity supporting Early Music Education and performance, have sponsored a number of illustrated talks and concerts on YouTube including Alison Kinder talking about Tobias Hume, Fieri talking about Marenzio and Halcyon performing on harp and Lute. Find them here Subscribe to the Angel Music mailing list here and you will be notified about new videos.

Live From London:– an Online Festival of the world’s Finest Music by Voces8. I Fagiolini, Stile Antico, The Swingles, The Sixteen, The Gesualdo Six, Apollo5, Chanticleer and the Academy of Ancient Music. Ten weeks of Saturday concerts from 1st August – 3rd October streamed live, but available to listen to until the end of October.  Here’s a trailer. Hosted by Voces8 Foundation, Voces8 Ensemble and I Fagiolini. Tickets £15 per concert, or £80 for a season ticket for all 10 concerts, available from Voces8 Foundation website or email I Fagiolini at london@ifagiolini.com (who only have season tickets).

Did you ever wonder what a consort of crumhorns sounded like? Early Music in a Different Way have a wonderfully pictorial video of Susato’s Pavane “La Battaille” with drums, viols and crumhorns (and a lot else!)

Christopher Monks, director of Armonico, plays Bach’s Goldberg Variations as part of their “Unlocking Musical Memories” series for people suffering from Dementia. All on their Facebook Page.

Les Arts Florissants celebrate their fortieth birthday in William Christie’s stunning garden at dusk with a really sumptuous concert of Handel, Lully, Purcell and Rameau. There is a long introduction before the concert begins.

Now Hear This: Handel Italian Style here – a fascinating exploration by Scott Yoo, violinist and conductor of the Mexico City Philharmonic, of Handel’s four years in Italy and it’s influence on him. Illustrated by fabulous buildings, music played by Scott and friends, a comedy duo, wine and pizza . One of a series of four, the others featuring Bach, Vivaldi and Scarlatti.

The National Centre for Early Music, York, have produced highlights of their recent Festival to download and stream for £4.99. Artists include Iestyn Davies and Liz Kenny, Steven Devine, Richard Boothby, Matthew Wadsworth and Stile Antico.

The Oxford Bach Soloists (OBS) is a Baroque ensemble whose ambition is to perform, in sequence, the complete canon of J. S. Bach’s vocal works over 12 years. This has been somewhat interrupted during the Coronavirus Pandemic, but they have a few videos on their YouTube channel.

Malaysia Bach Festival have released a series of documentaries about Bach, his life, and his music entitled Encountering Bach . Join Artistic Director David Chin encountering Bach at important landmarks throughout Germany, where he speaks with scholars, researchers, historians, and musicians at various venues where many Bach’s compositions were first written and performed.

Bach’s Ascension Oratorio: Professor Ashley Solomon, Head of Historical Performance, directs the Royal College of Music’s Baroque Orchestra and RCM Chamber Choir in an uplifting rendition of this oratorio here.Recorded on 12 February 2020 in the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall at the Royal College of Music in London.

BBC Prom: Thursday 3rd September live from the Royal Albert Hall Violinists Nicola Benedetti and Alina Ibragimova join period-instrument group the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for a celebration of Baroque concertos by Handel, Vivaldi, Avison and Bach. On Radio 3 at 7.30 and BBC 4 at 8.00 and afterwards on BBC Sounds.

Stour Festival of Music in East Kent will be streamed online 11-13 September, and actually ‘in person’ for a lucky few from 4-6 September. Artistic Director Robert Hollingworth’s trio of treat-filled days includes The Marian Consort, Jonathan Manson performing Bach’s solo Cello Suites, and ‘Music for a While’, a Purcellian perfection of Anna Dennis, Hugo Hymas, Freddy Long and the Academy of Ancient Music – all for a snip at £30.To book your tickets please visit the website

Variazioni Stravaganti: (The virtuoso violin in 17th Century Italy and Austria). Violinist Maxim Del Mar presents music by two of the greatest Austrian composers of the 17th Century, H.I.F. Biber and J.H Schmelzer, whose adoption and transformation of the new Italian style left us with some of the most extraordinary music ever written for the violin. The concert will be live streamed on 3rd and September at 7.45 from Sands Music Room . Full details at Eventbrite, though the concert is free.

Monteverdi and his Constellation: Podcast series | Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra John Eliot Gardiner presents a new podcast series exploring Monteverdi’s role at the centre of seismic shifts and tumultuous advances in all the arts and sciences during the early 1600s, spearheaded by his contemporaries – Galileo, Kepler, Bacon, Shakespeare, Caravaggio and Rubens. Across eight episodes, with the help of specially recorded musical illustrations and a handpicked team of experts, Gardiner guides listeners through an in-depth investigation into the development of the early-modern mind.Released every Friday – four now available.

The Suffolk Villages Festival under the direction of Peter Holman, has an online concert in lieu of their postponed Summer Festival:- Helen Charlston (mezzo-soprano) & Terence Charlston (harpsichord) perform Purcell, and Handel; Mark Caudle (viola da gamba) plays Bach and Steven Devine (harpsichord) plays Böhm, Pachelbell and Bach.   If you feel able to make a donation having listened, please click here

Angela Hewitt plays Bach on Saturday 19th September (preludes) and Monday 28th September (the Art of Fugue) online from the Wigmore Hall at 7.30.

8th – 14th SeptemberBayreuth Baroque is streaming live performances from the fabulously ornate Margravial Opera House on their Facebook page. Includes a recital by the stunning Delphine Galou and Academia Bizantina (Vivaldi, Porpora, Corelli and Stradella), performances of two operas – Carlo il Calvo by Porpora, and Gismondo, re di Polonia by Leonardo Vinci – recitals by Vivica Genaux and Romina Basso (mezzo sopranos) and a concert by Jordi Savall on the last night. Their website says welcome to Baroque Heaven!

Sigismundus Lauxmin International Harpsichord Contest is taking place on Facebook. Watch it here. More details on their website.

Il Bianco e Dolce Signo, a renaissance madrigal by Arcadelt is here sung by the Kings Singers and here arranged by Banchieri, an early Baroque composer, for two dulcians

Early Music Sources Online have a wealth of interesting material on their website including a series of video talks, including ones on vibrato, countertenors, false relations, musica ficta and all sorts of things one has heard of, but didn’t quite know what they were.

Dance

Follow the Historical Dance Society on Facebook for teaching videos (released each week) and webinars and find their Virtual Elizabethan Revels on YouTube.

Consort de Danse Baroque – Online Beauchamp- Feuillet Notation Reading Classes with Philippa Waite. Three levels of classes on Thursdays and Sundays

Courses

Benslow Courses: Baroque Trio Sonatas onlinewith Da Camera 22 – 23 Aug; Baroque Ornamentation Demystified online with Oliver Webber, 7th – 9th September; Lutes (not online) with Jacob Heringman 14th – 17th September; Magnificat:Sacred music by Charpentier for chamber choir and baroque orchestra, with Theresa Caudle and William Carslake 21st-24th September; Recorder Consorts with Consortium 5th – 7th October

HISS (Historically Informed Summer School) 2020 is online 17th to 21st August. Featuring pre-recorded performances, live Q&A interview sessions and a live folk workshop.These events are all free to access via the website.

Medieval Music in the (Virtual) Dales is online from 11th -13th September. There will be a mixture of live performance, pre-recorded videos, workshops, talks and informal gatherings via Zoom or Facebook. It’s all free, but donations are invited. You can join in that weekend via the website.

City Lit have an online course of 10 weeks on Handel London (Italian) Operas on Wednesday afternoons from 16th September to 25th November. Cost is £209 (£167 seniors). Full details on their website.

Burghclere Baroque is an organisation formed by Theresa Caudle in 2020 to promote the performance and study of baroque music in the beautiful, peaceful surroundings of the village of Burghclere in rural North Hampshire. Chamber Days and Orchestral Days will provide the opportunity for keen amateurs to get together to play baroque music, coached or directed by well-known baroque violinist Theresa Caudle, either in her lovely music room at home or in the larger space of Burghclere’s village hall, The Portal Hall. Find out more here.

Projects

The Ghost in the Machine is an intriguing project which Angel Early Music is supporting with a major grant. Emily Baines, a professional recorder player and scholar, has spent the last 10 years researching the music that is preserved on mechanical musical instruments, particularly in England during the 18th century, including music by Handel. The music is highly embellished and therefore gives a new perspective on performance practice of the time. Some of it does not exist in manuscript or printed copies. At AEM we felt it had a very important contribution to make in the whole debate around historically informed performance. Emily and a stellar team are due to record this music starting tomorrow and the CD distribution has already been taken by First Hand Records. If you would like to know a little more about it, and possible pre-order the CD, you can find out more here .