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12th November 2011

Concert Royal

Margarette Ashton (soprano)  
Peter Harrison (baroque flutes)  
Rachel Gray (cello)
John Treherne (harpsichord and square piano)



Concert Royal is one of Britain’s longest established early music groups, celebrating thirty-five years of music-making in 2009. Named after Couperin’s famous ‘Concerts Royaux’ which were written for Loius XIV of France, Concert Royal was founded by flautist Peter Harrison and harpsichordist John Treherne. Their aim was to recreate the musical sound world of the eighteenth centrury through research, study and performance on historic instruments, and to share with their audiences an enthusiasm for early music. Peter and John are joined by soprano Margarette Ashton and ‘cellist Rachel Gray.

The ensemble has developed a distinctive style, presenting unique perfomances of music from the eighteenth-century drawing-room in an entertaining and informative way. Concert Royal  has given hundreds of recitals in every corner of the UK, performing in festivals and for music and arts societies, in churches, schools and arts centres. The ensemble has toured in Europe, the USA and for the British Council in South America. Currently they are involved in an extensive initiative in the north-east of England to record and promote the region’s rich but neglected heritage of vocal music.

An enthusiastically reviewed recording, using historic instruments, of Blow the Wind Southerly, Bobby Shaftoe and a dozen or so favourite songs from the region, was recently released. More information about this project and Concert Royal’s work can be found on the websites and

Concert Royal records for Georgian Recordings. Extracts of their recordings can be heard at and CDs may be purchased in the foyer during the interval and after this concert.

The Instruments

Flute by Cahusac (c.1770)
Thomas Cahusac (1714-1798) was described in his obituary in the Gentlemen’s Magazine as “the oldest musical-instrument maker In London”. It also noted that the 84-year-old had married four times and supposedly fathered thirty children! Cahusac was honoured to work for the royal family and, with two of his sons, he formed the renowned firm of Cahusac and Sons. Their flutes were made in varous woods.

Harpsichord by Wooderson (1996)`
Andrew Wooderson is a fine harpsichordist from Bexley in Kent, and a reputed maker of early-styled keyboard instruments.

Violoncello (c.1770) A fine English instrument.


Song:  *The Highland Laddie                                    Trad. arr. F.J.Haydn

Song: *The Yellow Hair’d Laddie                           Trad. (arr. Kozeluch)
Variations on The Yellow Hair'd Laddie                                  J.C.Bach

Extract from ‘Lesley Castle’ : Lady Lesley visits a castle in Scotland
Song:  Ye Banks and Braes                                                              Trad.
 Extract from ‘Emma’ : Jane Fairfax performs for the gathered company
Two Country Dances   (The Merry Boys - Dribbles of Brandy)
Andante Grazioso                                                                      J.C.Bach
Extract from ‘Northanger Abbey’ : Catherine’s music lessons

The Mansion of Peace                                                               S. Webbe

Monday 5th September 1796:        Extract from a letter from Jane to her sister Cassandra
Two Country Dances  (Boulangeries - Burleigh Park)

Cantata -  *Cymon and Iphigenia                                            Dr.T.Arne
Recitative   -   Iphigenia sleeps in a leafy grove. Cymon, a rustic, arrives.
Aria (Andante moderato) -Cymon expresses his love.
Recitative        -          To Cymon’s consternation, Iphigenia wakes.
 Aria           -    Cymon continues his song.
 Recitative       -   Iphigenia, impressed by Cymon’s performance, suggests  they meet again the next day.
Aria (Andante) -                                  Love elevates the human soul.      

Song:   My Mother Bids me Bind my Hair                                F.J.Haydn

Song:   Non lo Dirὸ col Labro                                               G.F. Handel      
Extract from ‘Sense and Sensibility’: Marianne compares Edward’s lack of sensibility with Willoughby

Song:   Sensibility                                                                    F.J.Haydn

Extract from ‘Sense and Sensibility’: Marianne has been abandoned by Willoughby

Song:   The Saffron Morn                                                           S.Paxton

Air for the Season (Spring): The Crocus                                   J.Oswald
Aria (moderato)  -  Allegro assai

Sonata in G                                                                                 S.Paxton
Allegro moderato  -  Largo cantabile (*Peaty’s Mill) - Menuetto             

Extract from a letter from Jane to Cassandra - 27th December 1808: Just before the Austen family moved to their new home in Chawton, Hampshire
Two Favourite Country Dances                                                            T.Edwards
The Man of Devon - The Woodland Retreat                                                     
Extract from ‘Emma’:Mrs Cole tells of the mysterious arrival of a pianoforte for Jane Fairfax
*Air des Ballets de la Caravane from  ‘Caravane du Caἵre’ A.E.M.Gretry
*The Nightingale                                                                             anon.

The Irish Connection?
Song:   *Nobody Loves Like an Irishman                                        anon.

Items marked * are from Jane Austen’s music collection held by the Jane Austen Memorial Trust at her cottage in Chawton, Hampshire


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