As in past years, the Thursday evening concert could prove to be one of the memorable moments of the Pacific Baroque Festival. Audiences will be treated to an enlightening blend of Purcell, a contrast of the popular and the personal.
One of the leading interpreters of Purcell, Nancy Argenta, will brighten this evening with some of Purcell’s most popular Songs. Her recordings of these Songs have received widespread acclaim. “She is vibrant and fleet, intelligent and intuitive, delivering Purcell’s lines and his texts with poignancy, power, and humour when required. This is superlative Purcell singing at every turn…” (critic and scholar Richard Langham-Smith). An opportunity for Festival audiences to hear this Victoria treasure at her best.
Contrasting these Songs, Marc Destrubé and members of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra will perform some of Purcell’s sublime Fantazias – probably the composer’s most personal and profound statements, a pinnacle of polyphonic thought to which only Bach’s Musical Offering and Art of the Fugue may be compared. These remarkable works were written by a young Purcell at the age of twenty-one and were likely for his own personal use as they were never published. Yet they continue to draw many of the world’s leading musicians to them because of their variety and challenge.
Henry Purcell: Fantazia viii (performed by Taverner Consort):
Read more about Nancy Argenta and the Pacific Baroque Festival in this month’s Focus Magazine: