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Ensemble Chaconne: European Masters in 18th Century London

  • Stamford United Methodist Church 88 Main St Stamford NY (map)

On Sunday, November 19, at 3PM, Friends of Music of Stamford NY presents Ensemble Chaconne: European Masters in 18th Century London. Join the ensemble for a vivid, historically informed performance of music heard in the royal courts, salons, and great country houses of 18thcentury England. The concert will showcase the English guitar (popular in 18th century London but rarely heard today), with baroque flute, viola da gamba, and baroque lute. Repertoire will include masterpieces by Handel and Vivaldi, favorites of Londoners during the first half of the century, and selections by other great European composers who settled in London later:  J. C. Bach, Carl Friedrich Abel (the last great viola da gamba virtuoso), famed oboist Johann Christian Fischer, and illustrious violinist Felice de Giardini, among others.

After the restoration of Charles II to the English throne in 1660, the role of musicians in London began to differ from that of musicians elsewhere in Europe. The rulers of most European countries and states kept strict control over the arts in their domain. In London, however, while the royal court sponsored several musicians, other aristocracy and members of the upper middle class were affluent enough to support independent musicians through concerts, lessons, and sales of sheet music. What began in London in the 18th century as an opportunity for music to be produced and enjoyed as a free enterprise– not just private shows for the exclusive audiences at court– led to the creation of a great international music scene.  Modern audiences are fortunate to have a great body of masterworks surviving from that time– some well-known, and many still waiting to be rediscovered and appreciated.

Founded in 1985, Ensemble Chaconne concertizes internationally, with tours in England, Ontario, and across the United States.  This acclaimed group has performed at London's National Gallery, Atlanta's Spivey Hall, The Royal Shakespeare Company’s residency at Davidson College, the Edison Theatre in St. Louis, The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park Florida, Boston’s Jordan Hall, and the Yale Center for British Art, to name a few.

From April through December, Friends of Music of Stamford NY, Inc. presents a concert on the third Sunday of every month. Performances are generously hosted by the Stamford United Methodist Church, located at 88 Main Street, Stamford, NY. Admission is by donation; the suggested donation is $12 per person, and $6 for seniors & students. There is no charge for those under age 13. Cash or check only; no advance ticket sales or reservations. Complimentary refreshments by A Taste of Europe from Cobleskill will be served after the concert. The Stamford United Methodist Church is handicap accessible and has ample parking. For more information about Friends of Music of Stamford, and for a complete listing of concerts planned for this season, visit