Caledonia to the Capital

Caledonia to the Capital

Ensemble Hesperi

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Supported by a generous grant from the Continuo Foundation, Ensemble Hesperi presents a concert of charming chamber music and song by Scottish eighteenth-century composers, inspired by the soaring folk melodies and dance rhythms of Scotland itself. At the centre of the programme is the Fife-born Scottish composer James Oswald (1710-1769): join us on Oswald's artistic journey from Edinburgh to London, with vocal music from his rarely performed song collections, alongside delightful miniatures from his "Airs for the Seasons" and his Divertimenti for the English guitar. Other works include a string symphony by another Scottish composer, the eccentric aristocrat Thomas Erskine, 6th Earl of Kellie (nicknamed "Fiddler Tam"!) and vocal works by Oswald's contemporary in London, Handel. 


James Oswald (1710-1769)

Airs for the Autumn/Summer (1755/56):The Sweet Sultan – The Honeysuckle  

A Collection of the Best old Scotch and English Songs (1761)                               

Pinkie House - Bessie Bell and Mary Gray

Twelve Divertimenti for Guitar (1759): Divertimento I

George Frederick Handel (1685-1759)

HWV 134: Nel Dolce, dell' oblio                                                             

Thomas Erskine, 6th Earl of Kellie (1732-1781)

Six Symphonies in four Parts (1764): Quartetto No. 1

James Oswald (1710-1769)

Colin’s Kisses (1743): The Feast - The Parting Kiss

Twelve Divertimenti: Divertimento IV

George Frederick Handel (1685-1759)

HWV 57 from Samson: Aria: Total Eclipse          

James Oswald (1710-1769)/Charles Burney (1726-1814)

Six Songs compos’d for the Temple of Apollo (1747): Beauty in Music - The Adieu   

James Oswald (1710-1769)

A Curious Collection of Scots Tunes (1740): A Sonata on Scots Tunes


Ensemble Hesperi

Recorders: Mary-Jannet Leith

Baroque Violins: Magdalena Loth-Hill & David Lopez

Baroque Viola: Francesca Gilbert

Baroque Cello: Florence Petit

English Guitar: Elias Sibley

Harpsichord: Thomas Allery

With guest singers Angela Hicks, Soprano & Rory Carver, Tenor

With special thanks to the Continuo Foundation and St Mary-le-Bow Church.

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Ensemble Hesperi is a dynamic and innovative London-based Early Music ensemble, dedicated to showcasing the infectious c...harm and dazzling virtuosity of eighteenth century Scottish music through imaginative programming and collaboration with other art forms. In 2019, the ensemble embarked on a unique project, ‘The Pheasant’s Eye’, featuring Highland dancer Kathleen Gilbert, supported by a Lottery grant from Arts Council England. In February 2019, the ensemble was featured by Classical Music Magazine and recorded in studio for Classic FM; they were also selected as Britten Pears Young Artists for 2020 on the ‘Chamber Music in Residence’ programme and as ‘Take Note’ artists for Chiltern Arts Festival. In November 2020, they were delighted to win first prize at the London International Festival of Early Music’s Young Ensemble Competition, and in September 2021, third prize at the prestigious International Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht. Also in 2021, the ensemble was honoured to be one of the first grantees of the Continuo Foundation, and the first Early Music group to be chosen as City Music Foundation Artists.

Ensemble Hesperi performs regularly for those who have no opportunity to hear live classical music through the prestigious outreach scheme ‘Live Music Now’. The ensemble has also developed a strong relationship with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s charity, CW+: they were honoured to be invited to present two Handel Concerti Grossi at the celebration service for the Tercentenary of the hospital in May 2019 at Westminster Abbey. From March 2020, the ensemble have created regular online content, live-streaming weekly to an enthusiastic audience arounds the world, and recording music videos and full concerts in isolation. In April 2020, the ensemble received an Emergency Coronavirus Response grant from Arts Council England, which supported a new online dance and Scottish music project, “Highland at Home with Hesperi”.
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