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Musicke in the Ayre photo
The Performers
The Programme

Musicke in the Ayre, specialists in early vocal repertoire with plucked accompaniment, bring their highly popular programme “Treasures of the early Baroque” to Lauderdale House.

With works from 17th century Florence, Venice and Versailles for up to three female voices, this programme has delighted audiences from Bath and Frome in the Southwest up to Leeds and York in the Northeast. 

Musicke in the Ayre presents “Treasures in the early Baroque” on Sunday 9th June starting at 7.00pm in the Lower Gallery at Lauderdale House. Pay bar available from 6.30pm.

Musicke in the Ayre specialise in music from the 16th and 17th centuries for one or more solo voices accompanied by lute and other period instruments. Since 2011, they have given over 115 concerts across the country and on the Continent. Each concert involves lutenist and luthier Din Ghani (the group’s founder and primary accompanist) working with one or more singers from an ever-growing team spread across Europe.

Din has pulled together three of his veteran singers to bring this programme to London. York-based Helen Atkinson is a soprano who specialises in early music, and often accompanies herself on the lute. Jeni Melia combines an active career in music therapy with teaching and performing; she has released several CDs of early song. Melissa Scott found an affinity with Musicke in the Ayre which springboarded her from a background of singing with major choirs to the more intimate repertoire of solo voice/lute, performing in places like Handel House and the Foundling Museum.

The instrument Din will be using to accompany the singer is an archlute he made himself: this is a copy of an instrument by Magnus Tiefenbrucker which is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

The programme takes as a starting point some music written by Luzzasco Luzzaschi for the first-ever professional all-female singing ensemble, the Concerto delle Donne of the Este court in late 16th century Ferrara. The idea of writing for three sopranos persisted through the 17th century: it appears in examples from Venice by Claudio Monteverdi and Barbara Strozzi , and even found its way to France with Michel Lambert in the court of the Sun King. Unsurprisingly, both Strozzi and Lambert chose the Three Graces as a suitable subject for their trios.

Solo arias and duets by Girolamo Frescobaldi, Angelo Notari and Sebastian Le Camus, as well as Monteverdi, Strozzi and Lambert, and archlute solos by Alessandro Piccinini and Pietro Paulo Melli make up the rest of programme.