August 5, 2014
Colonial Williamsburg Hosts Early Music Festival Sept. 23-26WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Colonial Williamsburg hosts its fifth Early Music Festival, “From England to America: Music, Musicians and Musical Events in Colonial Virginia,” Sept. 23-26.
Music played an important role in the cultural history of America.
This four-day festival includes performances on rare instruments such as 18th-century violins, a 16th-century viola and an 18th-century violoncello, in addition to the Palace harpsichord and organ, which also date to the 18th century.
Selections will include music from the surviving inventory of music teacher and London concertmaster Cuthbert Ogle, who briefly resided in Williamsburg in 1755. Performers include the members of Colonial Williamsburg’s resident ensemble, The Governor’s Musick, and guest artists.
Wednesday night’s concert at the Capitol will feature music for several violas de gamba played together – a rare treat! Thursday night features an evening of musical theater. “Thomas and Sally,” first performed in Williamsburg in 1770, is a charming fully-sung play in which Sally must resist the advances of the squire as she waits for her Thomas to return from the sea.
The closing night of the festival presents a spectacular re-creation of a 1766 concert held in Fredericksburg with the largest advertised ensemble ever to perform in 18th-century Virginia. The performance features 10 musicians on full strings, flutes, oboe, horn and harpsichord, and concludes with a reception – just as it did in 1766.
2 p.m.: Peter Pelham and Cuthbert Ogle: Rivals or Colleagues?
7:30 p.m.: Palace Concert: from the Collection – “The Ogle Inventory”
2 p.m.: Music of Virginia: the First 100 Years
7:30 p.m.: Music for Viols in Concert
2 p.m.: Thomas Arne’s “Thomas and Sally” and Theatre Music in 18th-century America
7:30 p.m.: “Thomas and Sally; or the Sailor’s Return”
2 p.m.: George Washington: Music for the First President
7:30 p.m.: Palace Concert: The 1766 Concert in Fredericksburg
Single event ticket prices range from $5 to $35. Program details, locations and tickets are available by calling 855-296-6627 or visiting Colonial Williamsburg’s website at www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/plan/calendar/early-music-fest/.
Barbara Rust Brown