A very exciting and quite intriguing concert formed the latest of the Prelude in Tea series, The Marais Project and Elysian Fields in TIMES AND SEASONS .
The first half celebrated the twenty years since The Marais Project was founded and also heralded the release of a new CD on Marin Marais’ 363rd birthday on May 31. (1656-1728) From humble beginnings in 2000, The Marais Project has become a national leader in the creative presentation of music for the viola da gamba. Led by Jennifer Eriksson, while specialising in the French baroque period, the ensemble’s repertoire has expanded to include new Australian works and sophisticated arrangements of folk music as documented in 6 CDs, several of which were launched at The Independent Theatre .For this performance the Marais Project consisted of Belinda Montgomery ( soprano), Leif Henrikson ,( viol) Tommie Anderson ( lute/theorbo), Jennifer Eriksson ( viol), Catherine Upex( cello) and Susie Bishop ( soprano, violin) . Continue reading PRELUDE IN TEA : MARAIS PROJECT : TIME AND SEASONS→
Any concert event from The Marais Project is joyous as well as being a richly educational and diverse entertainment. ‘A Bass Affair’ at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music celebrated this tradition and historically informed performance goals. Gambist Jennifer Eriksson once more assembled early music performers of high calibre and nicely contrasted music from the seventeenth and eighteenth
The music was presented for us using a wealth of timbres from the combination of guest Tim Blomfield’s bass violin, Jennifer Eriksson’s viola da gamba, Josie Ryan’s soprano voice, and from Tommie Andersson playing no less than two lutes, baroque guitar and theorbo.
Above: (left to right) Susie Bishop, Tommie Andersson and Jennifer Eriksson perform a bracket of Swedish Music. Photo credit : Geoff Sirmai. Featured image : (left to right) concert ensemble members Emily-Rose Šárkova, Susie Bishop, Jennifer Eriksson, Steve Elphick and Shaun Ng. Photo credit Philip Pogson.
In her programme notes, founder and director of The Marais Project, Jennifer Eriksson commented that it is ‘hard to know how to add anything to the mix’ of Christmas concerts. During the final ‘Prelude in Tea’ chamber music concert at The Independent Theatre in North Sydney, such concern was shown to be totally unwarranted. Not only was a highly international programme presented capturing the history, essence and celebratory nature of Christmas, but key goals of any Marais Project concert were also satisfied. Continue reading THE MARAIS PROJECT: A CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE @ INDEPENDENT THEATRE→
The tension between master and student is a complex and fascinating one as the upcoming generation learns from, and sometimes pits themselves against, the established leaders of their field.
The famous French novel and film Tous les matins de monde (All the mornings of the world) which starred the legendary actor Gérard Depardieu and featured virtuoso viola da gambist Jordi Savall on the sound track, is an acutely sensitive, fictional exploration of the relationship between two great artists: Marin Marais, after whom The Marais Project is named, and his distinguished mentor, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe. The latter was a composer, teacher and innovator without peer, while the former became known as perhaps the greatest viola da gambist of all time. Adding spice to the mix was a “love triangle” between Sainte-Colombe’s two musician daughters and the ambitious Marais. Continue reading THE MARAIS PROJECT 2016 CONCERT 1 : MASTER AND PUPIL @ INDEPENDENT THEATRE→
Classical music lovers have the opportunity to partake in an afternoon of fine French baroque music with The Marais Project’s upcoming concert succinctly titled, “Marais and the operatic muse”
The Marais Project turns their attention to Marais’ long-neglected operas which were much acclaimed at the Court of Louis XIV. On the menu will be excerpts from Marais’ best known opera, Sémélé and a cantata by another favourite composer, Michel Pignolet de Montéclair.
Regular Marais Project soprano and French music specialist, Belinda Montgomery, will be joined by up and coming baritone Alexander Knight for an afternoon of the kind of musical rarities The Marais Project is renowned for.
Founded in 2000, The Marais Project recently turned 15, and each year presents Early Music with a number of highly regarded concerts making it Australia’s longest continuously running “viola da gamba” ensemble.
For the past fifteen years the Marais Project has augmented their continuing exploration of the 600 works composed by Marin Marais with concerts and recordings of considerable diversity and innovation.
The Project’s fifth CD, SMÖRGÅSBORD! is no exception. Recently released on the Move Records label, it shares aspects of the Swedish musical tradition from pastoral hymn tune through folksong and Baroque instrumental music to 21st century composition.
A stellar cast of a male vocalist and period instrumentalists bring to life a work from Marin Marais’ oeuvre as well as the variety of Swedish music. Fine arrangements by Tommie Andersson in the Baroque guise make up an impressive thirteen of the twenty-four tracks. Continue reading The Marais Project CD -Smörgåsbord!→
2014 is a special year for viola da gambist, Jenny Eriksson as her group The Marais Project celebrates 15 years of continuous operation. The theme for The Marais Project’s anniversary year is Re-imaginings, which is also the title of their final concert for 2014.
The striking setting of Sydney University’s Refactory suitably housed this special tribute to composer John Dowland. The aesthetic suited the styles of the music, and the acoustic was a true gift for this birthday bash.
Special guests attended this party. Virtuosi Tommie Anderson (lute) and Daniel Yeadon (treble viol) augmented the solid ensemble. Soprano Belinda Montgomery beautifully brought Dowland’s emotional and joyous intensities to life, and freshly to our time, above a range of accompaniment textures.