by Mike Telin
The Cleveland-based early music ensemble Les Délices will open the Signature Series at Lorain County Community College on Thursday, September 24 at 7:30 pm with their newest program, titled Toutes Suites. “The program is all about the genesis of the French baroque instrumental dance suite,” the ensemble’s creative and resourceful artistic director Debra Nagy told us by telephone. The concert, to be held in the Cirigliano Theater, will include music by Lully, Marais, and Couperin performed by Debra Nagy (baroque oboe), Julie Andrijeski (baroque violin), David Ellis (viola da gamba), and Simon Martyn-Ellis (theorbo).
“Toutes Suites is all about the development of the instrumental suite. I’ll talk about how it began with a pairing of traditional dances like a pavane and gaillard during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and how that concept developed into the standard format that we have today, with a prelude followed by a very specific series of dances like an allemande, courante, minuet, and gavotte,” Nagy explained. “I’ll also talk about how the instrumental suites were not necessarily meant to be danced, but rather they were composed for solo instruments like the harpsichord, the lute, or for a small ensemble.”
The program will include a suite by Jean-Baptiste Lully from a manuscript called ‘From the King’s Chambers,’ as well as music by Marin Marais. “Marais was the first person to publish trios in France. His Pieces en trio dates from 1692, and we’ll play the very beautiful suite in g minor, which has a fantastic passacaglia.”
The other major work on the program is François Couperin’s rarely heard Ritratto dell’Amore (Portrait of Love). “Each movement is written to reflect the various traits of a lover. It is funny because some of the movements have titles like ‘je ne sais quoi,’ and the two minuets at the end are titled ‘etcetera.’” Smaller works on the program will include a violin sonata in the Italian style, as well as a theorbo solo.
Thursday’s Signature Series performance is the first of four opportunities to hear Les Délices this week. On Friday, September 25, from 6:30 pm until 9:00 pm, the ensemble will present a free Pop-Up concert at the Robert Hartshorn Studio and Gallery in Tremont. “This will be a different kind of performance that is meant to be informal,” Nagy said “We’ll play short sets over the course of several hours, and it’s designed for people who are in the neighborhood either before or after dinner. Pop-Up’s also allow us to engage with an audience that might not go to a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon performance.”
On Saturday, September 26 at 3:00 pm, audiences are invited to join Les Délices for a free 45-minute interactive program designed for families at the Bop Stop. (No tickets required, but registration is recommended.) The concert will include some of the music from Toutes Suites, but the focus will be on Marin Marais’ suite in g minor, specifically the passacaglia. “We’ll introduce all of the instruments and talk about the different mood and textures that can be found in the music. We’ll also explain how performers make the musical choices that they do.”
The weekend of concerts will conclude with a free performance of Toutes Suites at Lakewood Public Library at 2:00 pm.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com September 22, 2015.
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