14th - 23th August 2014
The courses will start at 4 p.m. on 14th of August in Music
The final performance will be at 8 p.m. on 23th of August in
Croatian National Theatre
The ÆSTAS MUSICA Summer School invites students and young
professional musicians and dancers from all over the world
to explore historically aware performance practices under
the guidance of top international specialists, in the unique
Baroque surroundings of Varaždin, Croatia.
Music by Henry Purcell
Libretto by John Dryden
Suite from Naïs
Born in 1659, Henry Purcell was the finest and
most original composer of his day. Unfortunately he was to
live a very short life (he died in 1695) but he was able to
enjoy flourishing in the period that followed the
Restoration of the monarchy after the Puritan Commonwealth
period and make full use of the renewed flowering of music.
Purcell spent much of his short life in the service of the
Chapel Royal as a composer, organist and singer. With
considerable gifts as a composer, he wrote extensively for
the stage, particularly in a hybrid music-dramatic form of
the time, for the church and for popular entertainment, a
master of English word-setting and of contemporary
compositional techniques for instruments and voices. He
wrote music in a number of genres. His opera Dido and Aeneas
(1689) is notable for achieving a high degree of dramatic
intensity within a narrow framework.
This he followed with the “semi-operas” King Arthur (1691),
The Fairy Queen (1692), and The Indian Queen (1695).
He also wrote much incidental music, some 250 songs, 12
fantasias for viol consort, and many anthems and services.
He is regarded as the greatest English composer after
William Byrd and before the 20th century.
King Arthur, or The British Worthy (Z. 628), is a
semi-opera in five acts with music by Henry Purcell and a
libretto by John Dryden. It was first performed at the
Queen's Theatre, Dorset Garden, London, in late May or early
The plot is based on the battles between King Arthur's
Britons and the Saxons, rather than the legends of Camelot
(although Merlin does make an appearance). It is a
Restoration spectacular, including such supernatural
characters as Cupid and Venus plus references to the
Germanic gods of the Saxons, Woden, Thor, and Freya. The
tale centres on Arthur's endeavors to recover his fiancée,
the blind Cornish Princess Emmeline, who has been abducted
by his arch-enemy, the Saxon King Oswald of Kent.
King Arthur is a "dramatic opera" or semi-opera: the
principal characters do not sing, except if they are
supernatural, pastoral or – in the case of Comus and the
popular Your hay it is mow'd – drunk. Secondary characters
sing to them, usually as diegetic entertainment, but in Act
4 and parts of Act 2, as supernatural beckonings. The
singing in Act 1 is religious observance by the Saxons,
ending with their heroic afterlife in Valhalla. The
protagonists are actors, as a great deal of King Arthur
consists of spoken text. This was normal practice in 17th
century English opera. King Arthur contains some of
Purcell's most lyrical music, much of it inspired by French
dance rhythms and adventurous (for the day) harmonies.
25 September 1683 – 12 September 1764) was one of
the most important French composers and music theorists of
the Baroque era.
He replaced Jean-Baptiste Lully as the dominant composer of
French opera and is also considered the leading French
composer for the harpsichord of his time, alongside François
Little is known about Rameau's early years, and it was not
until the 1720s that he won fame as a major theorist of
music with his Treatise on Harmony (1722).
He was almost 50 before he embarked on the operatic career
on which his reputation chiefly rests. His debut, Hippolyte
et Aricie (1733), caused a great stir and was fiercely
attacked for its revolutionary use of harmony by the
supporters of Lully's style of music. Nevertheless, Rameau's
pre-eminence in the field of French opera was soon
acknowledged, and he was later attacked as an
"establishment" composer by those who favoured Italian opera
during the controversy known as the Querelle des Bouffons in
the 1750s. Rameau's music had gone out of fashion by the end
of the 18th century, and it was not until the 20th that
serious efforts were made to revive it. Today, he enjoys
renewed appreciation with performances and recordings of his
music ever more frequent.
Naïs is an opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau first
performed on 22 April 1749 at the Opéra in Paris. It takes
the form of a pastorale héroïque in three acts and a
prologue. The librettist was Louis de Cahusac, in the fourth
collaboration between him and Rameau. The work bears the
subtitle Opéra pour La Paix, which refers to the fact that
Rameau composed the opera on the occasion of the Treaty of
Aix-la-Chapelle, at the conclusion of the War of the
Austrian Succession. Its original title was Le triomphe de
la paix, but criticism of the terms of the treaty led to a
change in the title.
C. M. Girdlestone has listed instrumental music that Rameau
borrowed from his own Les Fêtes de Polymnie and Les Paladins
for Naïs, and in turn the music that Rameau took from Naïs
for Hippolyte et Aricie. Graham Sadler has discussed various
facets of Rameau's orchestration for Naïs.
Aestas Musica is a Registered UK
Charity (No. 1063202)