Illustration by Dennis Bolt

From Versailles to the English Court

March 9–13, 2022

England and France might be separated by just 20 miles of water, but their musical traditions are utterly distinct, and never more so than during the Baroque era, as demonstrated by this concert showcasing music from each. Skip Sempé makes his guest conducting debut with PBO.

Music by LULLY, COUPERIN, MARAIS, ALBINONI, MUFFAT and PURCELL
Skip Sempé, conductor
Marc Schachman, oboe
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

French flamboyance that you'll want to hear again and again.”

Gramophone

About From Versailles to the English Court

England and France might be separated by just 20 miles of water, but their musical traditions are utterly distinct, and never more so than during the Baroque era, as demonstrated by this concert showcasing music from each.

The French side here is made up of Lully (actually Italian!), Couperin and Marais, all of whom reflect the opulence of the French Court and the lavishness of Versailles in their highly ornamented music.

Muffat and Purcell make up the English side, with Purcell in particular having an eye on success both at Court but also commercially. His music has an immediate appeal, achieved through infectious tunes (Abdelazar) and through a very un-English emotional directness.

Completing our program is a diversion to Italy, where Albinoni, like Purcell, knew how to compose music of almost visceral appeal. Favoring melody and rhythm over technical display, his Oboe Concerto No. 2 is best known for its Adagio of almost haunting beauty. We welcome another PBO debutant, conductor Skip Sempé, for these performances.

The Music

LULLY Ouverture to Atys
Suite from Les Plaisirs de L’Ile Enchante
Passacaille from Armide
COUPERIN Concert dans le goût théâtral
MARAIS Suite from Alcione
ALBINONI Concerto for Oboe in D minor, Op. 9, No. 2
MUFFAT Chaconne from Armonico tributo Suite No. 5 in G major
PURCELL Sinfonia “Now does the glorious day appear” from Ode for the Birthday of Mary II
Round O from Abdelezar
Ouverture en sol mineur, Z. 762
Sinfonia “My heart is inditing”
Suite from The Fairy Queen

Program Notes

The program notes for this performance will be available here one week before the first performance. Refresh the page for the latest updates.

From Versailles to the English Court

WED 3/9/22
7:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto
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FRI 3/11/22
8:00 p.m.
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
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SAT 3/12/22
8:00 p.m.
First Congregational Church, Berkeley
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SUN 3/13/22
4:00 p.m.
First Congregational Church, Berkeley
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