2013 is a year of new departures for East Cork Early Music. Quite a lot of new ventures make their appearance on this year’s Programme – and outside it, too! With only three weeks to go until the 2013 Festival, our new Artistic Director, Marja Gaynor, has written a message to make you all feel welcome:
Timeless music, fresh approach: welcome to the new decade of East Cork Early Music Festival! I am honoured and excited to be the new Artistic Director of ECEMF, and at your service to make historically inspired music performance flourish in Cork City and County.
For many a student, music pre-1800 means solo Bach, tediously learned for exams and auditions. With all due love and respect for that repertoire, for me the essence of early music is playing together. Listening, looking, reacting to each other’s gestures. Bouncing off the bass line in a punchy Vivaldi concerto. Blending the sound of your instrument or voice with that of your colleague in a choir or consort. Picking up ideas mid-flight, imitating your friend’s improvised ornaments. Be it two players or a big orchestra, it is possible to make a piece of music breathe and talk and sing from the first note, when you truly listen, communicate, have a conversation through music.
This year celebrates this dimension of Early Music. Be it the sublime Renaissance blend of perfectly matched sounds and parts, or duelling violins in a high Baroque concerto, ECEMF 2013 is all about collaboration. As well as welcoming established groups and artists, this year’s festival will bring players and singers together for the first time, and thanks to the nature of the repertoire and the ethos of its practitioners, we will be able to witness the magic of creative music-making, fresh and accomplished.
We’re delighted to have our first group from Spain, More Hispano. Well-known Renaissance gems from the Spanish and Italian repertoire are given a new twist with stylish improvisations, with all the excitement of music-making on the wing. In addition More Hispano’s lutenist Miguel will collaborate with the excellent Irish cellist Aoife Nic Athlaoich to open our ears to the unusual combination of theorbo and Baroque cello.
This year’s most ambitious project is the creation of a whole new orchestra: say hello to the Cork Baroque Orchestra, ECEMF’s bright young band-in-residence! Our plan is to invite an outstanding guest conductor every year, and for our maiden voyage we’re honoured to have the proven intelligence and ability of German harpsichordist Jörn Boysen at the helm. Jörn will not only conduct the CBO but will play a duo concert with the orchestra’s leader, Ioana Petcu-Colan, one of the most respected violinists in the country.
We’ve even managed a partnership of Cork and Dublin, with the voices of the award-winning Cork Chamber Choir blending with the magical sonorities of The Dublin Viols. Last but not least, the waterside rooms of Cobh’s Sirius Arts Centre will host rising star soprano Molly Lynch, accompanied by Eimear Reidy on baroque cello and Anne Ralph at the harpsichord.
To keep things fizzing, we’ve added a fringe to this year’s festival. Apart from attending the masterclasses, you might want to mingle with the artists at the Festival Club while listening to 17th century Irish trad or 1920s jazz. Or if you get lucky shopping on a certain Saturday, you just might encounter an Early Music Flash Mob in your local supermarket!
I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everybody who made this festival possible and helped along the way, be it by donating money, spreading the word, or just offering an encouraging word. And, most importantly, thank you for coming to the concerts – for playing your part in the event. Let’s play, let’s listen, let’s enjoy!