Alchemy performs regularly on original and replica instruments of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the art of harmony in music expressed perfect happiness, inner peace and was enjoyed by the heart on earth, and the soul in heaven.
From the archiepiscopal city of Salzburg to the imperial court at Vienna, from the northern reformers to the English eccentrics and American colonists, this was a time when the western world went mad for music. The spirit of its people had, since the rebirth of humanism in Europe, gradually reinstated a love of life, which had been cherished by the ancients and expressed through its music.
Baroque music united all with great splendour and mechanical ingenuity and both splendid sacred and secular works were written. Many consider the operas and musical performances of this period have never been surpassed. Musical gestures were filled with pathos; musical melody exploited by the human voice in powerful performances of both sensuous beauty and soaring vitality. Marvelous music, it revealed all by its purity and swept all before it.
Based on the same principles of proportion and harmony present in architecture and gardens, Baroque music (circa 1600 – 1750) was a triumph of structured symmetry, the manifestation of an ideal and a model for the community and its life. It is all at once bold, harmonious, witty, delicate, poetic and delightfully decorative. It was meant to charm, to entertain, and to move, without tears and violent passions, just gently exploring the very depths of the spirit, mind and soul.
During this very stylish period the enthusiasms and exuberances of an epoch manifested itself in the sounds and songs of such composers as Vivaldi, Corelli, Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Telemann, Merula and Falconiero. They strove to produce works that exuded ‘noble simplicity and quiet greatness’, qualities it seems at the time enlightened’ men and women were seeking to gather unto themselves.
Cellist Louise King says about Alchemy’s players “All of us share a natural affinity for the music of the Baroque”, which is considered a golden age for classical music.
Versatile and adaptable Alchemy is a small intimate ensemble, able to recreate all the joys, the drama and musical fireworks of a time when literature, art, drama and music was of incomparable brilliance. Alchemy’s players regularly perform both internationally and here in Australia, especially for Australia’s classical music festivals, professional orchestras and tertiary institutions.
Bridget Crouch (violin) teaches at the Queensland Conservatorium. She has a vast wealth of international experience, including engagements with The London Sinfonietta and the Academy of Ancient Music at London
Sarah Symes (violin) performs both modern and baroque violin with Sista Music, Musica Prima Medieval Ensemble and is a Royal College of Music London graduate.
Janet Brewer (harpsichord) is a member of Pacific Chamber Players and an active member of many classical music groups based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Louise King (cello) has a wealth of international experience, including The Halle, BBC Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. She performs with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Endeavour Trio, Carisma, The Queensland Orchestra, Southern Cross Soloists. Louise also tutors the Australian Youth Orchestra.
ALCHEMY CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS
Celebrate the magic of Christmas and experience the best of Baroque music for strings and harpsichord with special guest Shelli Hulcombe, one of the simply sensational Sirens of Song.
Dates and Locations
10th Dec – 5:30pm Flaxton Gardens, 313 Flaxton Drive Sunshine Coast Ph – 5445 7450 www.flaxtongardens.com.au
11th Dec – 7:30pm Butter Factory Arts Centre, Cooroy Sunshine Coast Ph – 5472 0222
12th Dec – 3pm Simply For Strings, Red Hill, Brisbane. Ph -1300 739 293 www.simplyforstrings.com.au
Contact venues for all bookings
Download the Baroque Flyer
ALCHEMY COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS
Cello Dreaming’s Community Christmas Carols Concert
Eudlo Hall, Rosedbed Street, Eudlo featuring Eudlo School Strings, Siena Catholic Sting Ensemble, Stella Maris String Ensemble, Noosa’s The Mad Hatters, Cello Dreaming Youth and Adult Cello Ensembles.
4th December 6:30 pm to 8 pm
Entry by Gold Coin Donation
Saturday 8 January-Sunday 23 January 2011
National Music Camp Australian Youth Orchestra www.ayo.com.au
Carolyn McDowall, November 2010