I have been uncharaterlistically negligent in my chronicling of my activitites and now find that I am six days behind. There is little explanation other than just finding more stimulating activity than writing the blog!
It was a busy and enjoyable week. Tuesday provided an opportunity to hear two Rameau pieces in the composer's important year - he died 250 years ago and when one considers that he was born two years before Bach and Handel, and died at the age of 80 in 1764, it is remarkable that this truly modern man has been so ignored by us in England. It is a bit late now to make amends, notwithstanding Glyndebourne's efforts with Hippolyte et Aricie in 2013 - but this week we had the opportunity to hear two delightful entertainments - Daphnis et Eglé and La naissance d'Osiris - written when this "late developer" composer was already 70, as well as the remarkable comic opera Platée, written a decade before.
We have much to thank William Christie for. His contribution to our knowlege about, and understanding of, French baroque music, as well as much more besides, is immense. And Les Arts Florissants were on parade at the Barbican on Tuesday with the double bill mentioned above. And of course it was a delight to hear these two pieces as vividly performed as always with Mr Christie.
But the real meat of this Rameau week was Platée in a concert version by the Early Opera Group which was to have been conducted by our dear friend Christian Curnyn. Alas Christian was unwell, but replaced by the superb Paul Agnew who also happens to be associate music director of Les Arts Flo. This wonderful piece was a revelation for many when given by the Royal Opera at the Barbican in 1997. And it was no less thrilling in St John's Smith Square on Thursday.
We heard a really well chosen cast with young Callum Thorpe a notable Jupiter, and a group of most experienced exponents of Rameau including Thomas Walker in the title role, Emmanuelle de Negri, Mark Milhofer, Emilie Rénard, and Martijn Cornet - a considerable team.
This week is also full with John Adams tomorrow at ENO, Mozart at the Royal College of Music on Wednesday, and Pelléas et Mélisande at the Royal Festival Hall on Thursday. I will try to keep up!