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Saturday 30 January 2010

Denner Ensemble

Baroque Delights


Mark Baigent - oboe
Nathaniel Harrisson - bassoon
Rebecca Prosser - recorder
Ben Sansom - violin
Karen Glen - harpsichord

The Denner Ensemble was established in 2001 and was named after the celebrated family of Nuremberg woodwind makers. Using specialist copies of eighteenth-century instruments, the group has rapidly established itself in the forefront of the Early Music scene, and has appeared at numerous festivals and arts centres across the country. Carefully chosen for its immediacy, poignancy and vivacity, their repertoire is based around music for wind instruments from the Baroque to the Classical period. The Denner Ensemble, flexible in size, is led by Mark Baigent, a highly experienced chamber, solo and orchestral oboist.
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Mark Baigent (oboe) specialises in performing on period instruments. He freelances regularly with the Sixteen, the Scholars Baroque Ensemble, the Gabrieli Consort and the English Baroque Soloists.

Rebecca Prosser (recorder) studied at the Royal College of Music, and has performed, recorded and broadcast with many leading period-instrument ensembles including the English Concert, the Gabrieli Consort and Florilegium.

Nathaniel Harrison (bassoon) A former student of the Royal College and of Vienna University, Nathaniel is now on the teaching staff of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He plays regularly with The King’s Consort, Ex Cathedra, and the London Handel Orchestra.

Ben Sanson (violin) holds a MA degree in Architecture from the Royal College of Art. He also studied baroque violin at the Royal College of Music with Catherine Mackintosh and Andrew Manze.

Karen Glen (harpsichord) Having read French and Music at Southampton and at the University of Rouen, Karen also studied in Paris and the Royal Academy of Music. She now gives seminars at Trinity College and the London College of Music. She has performed with many ensembles including The Feinstein Ensemble, The Quintessential Sackbutt and Cornett Ensemble, and The Raglan Baroque Players. 



Concerto in D major RV 95 Vivaldi
Symphonies des soupers du Roy Delalande
L’Entretien des Muses  Rameau
Sonata in Bb Fasch
Concerto in A minor Telemann
Sonata in G minor Boismortier
Concerto in G minor RV 105 Vivaldi

Concerto in D major (“La Pastorella”) RV 95   -  Vivaldi 
 (Recorder, Oboe, Violin, Bassoon and Harpsichord)

Allegro; Largo; Allegro

Interest in the figures of Classical literature, as presented in the work of authors such as Virgil and Homer, saw a considerable revival during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Ideas based around Arcadian and pastoral themes from earlier times became extremely popular with composers, and ‘Pastoralles’ (or ‘Pastorallas’) became much in vogue. This concerto, a wonderful showpiece for recorder,  may well conjure up for us images of a shepherd’s pipe in this delightful composition which is full of Vivaldi’s characteristic charm and inventiveness.      


Symphonies des soupers du Roy    -    Delalande
(Recorder, Oboe, Violin, Bassoon and Harpsichord)

These ‘Symphonies des soupers du Roy’ (or ‘Symphonies for the King’s Supper’) were composed as important banqueting music in the court of Louis XIV of France. The pieces are very varied in character and were almost certainly heard originally in many different instrumental combinations, as Delalande left alternative versions of very many of his works.  


L’Entretien des Muses   -   Rameau

Rameau’s three books entitled Pieces de Clavecin (‘Pieces for Keyboard’) were published somewhere between 1706 and 1727, although the exact dates remain a matter of some debate. The second book (c.1724) contains two harpsichord Suites - one in E minor and one in D major. This beautifully expressive ‘Entretien des Muses’ (Conversation of the Muses) we hear tonight is the sixth of the ten pieces which comprise the D major Suite. By contrast, some listeners may be more familiar with the fifth piece from this same Suite - ‘La Follette’ (The Frolicsome Maid), famous for its sprightly dance tune. 


Sonata in B flat    -    Fasch
(Recorder, Oboe, Violin and Continuo)

Largo; Allegro; Grave; Allegro



Concerto in A minor    -   Telemann
(Recorder, Oboe, Violin and Continuo)

Adagio;  Allegro;  Adagio;  Vivace


Sonata in G minor    -   Boismortier
(Recorder, Oboe, Violin and Continuo)

Adagio;  Presto;  Adagio;  Allegro


Concerto in G minor  RV 105    -   Vivaldi
(Recorder, Oboe, Violin, Bassoon and Harpsichord)

Allegro;  Largo; Allegro

This concerto is one of Vivaldi’s later works, probably written around 1720. Despite its minor key, the music displays many of the composer’s characteristics of his mature style. With the inclusion of bold unison passages, charming lyrical melodies and some superb writing for the bassoon, this concerto is brim-full of wit and good humour.  

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