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Noon Edition

Night at the Theater: Lincoln’s Inn Fields

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[Begin Theme Music]

Welcome to Harmonia…I’m Angela Mariani.

Today, Lincoln’s Inn Fields is the largest public square in the United Kingdom. At the turn of the seventeenth century, however, “Lincoln’s Inn Fields” was a new theatre, recently converted from a tennis court. This hour on Harmonia we avoid the long lines and go directly into Lincoln’s Inn Fields theatre in London to hear music from some of its most popular shows. Then, we cross the English channel to France, to hear music from the time of Louis XIV, on our featured release The Versailles Revolution, performed by the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, directed by Barthold Kuijken.

 

MUSIC TRACK

The Versailles Revolution

Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra / dir. Barthold Kuijken

Naxos 2018 / B07JFQY7M5

Marin Marais

Tr. 14 Ariane et Bacchus Suite : Prologue: Ouverture (4:29)

That was the overture from the prologue to Ariane and Bacchus, music by French baroque composer Marin Marais. Barthold Kuijken directed the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, on their 2018 Naxos release, The Versailles Revolution. We’ll hear more music from the reign of Louis XIV from the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra later in the hour—but first, theater music from London at the turn of the seventeenth century, heard at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

 

Segment A: Box Office Hits

In London today, Covent Garden and Drury Lane may get all of our attention--but at the turn of the eighteenth century, the theater at Lincoln’s Inn Fields was all the rage. The hottest show at Lincoln’s Inn Fields was John Gay and Johann Christoph Pepusch‘s 1728 box office hit: The Beggar’s Opera. This comic ballad opera takes a critical and hilarious look at Italian opera, which was gaining popularity in London theaters. The show was so successful that Lincoln’s Inn Fields manager John Rich was able to use the profits to open up a new theater, Covent Garden.

First : two airs: “Over the Hills and Far away” – not to be confused with the Led Zeppelin song -- and “Would you have a young virgin,” music from The Beggar’s Opera.

MUSIC TRACK

The Beggar's Opera

The Broadside Band / dir. Jeremy Barlow

Harmonia Mundi 2003 / B00IOTZ4BY

Johann Christoph Pepusch

Tr. 2 The Beggar’s Opera: Act II: Airs 6 Over the Hills and Far away (3:02)

Tr. 4 The Beggar’s Opera: Act II: Airs 21 Would you have a young virgin” title (5:25)

“Over the Hills and Far away” and “Would you have a young virgin” from The Beggar’s Opera, music arranged by Johann Christoph Pepusch. We heard singers Patrizia Kwella and Paul Elliot with The Broadside Band, directed by Jeremy Barlow.

The Beggar’s Opera poked fun at the Italian operas that were fashionable at the time, many of which were by George Friedrich Handel. Handel’s operas and oratorios were remarkably successful, dominating the London scene for much of the eighteenth century. Like many Enlightenment era operas, Imeneo places pastoral, Classical themes center stage. The opera premiered at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in 1740. We’ll hear “Sorge nell’alma mia” from Handel’s Imeneo.

MUSIC TRACK

Handel, G.F.: Furore (DiDonato)

Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset, dir.

Erato - Parlophone 2008 / B001OBL7GK

Imeneo, HWV 41, Act II: Sorge nell'alma mia

Tr. 9 Imeneo, HWV 41, Act II: Sorge nell'alma mia (5:20)

“Sorge nell’ alma mia” from Handel’s Imeneo. Soprano Joyce DiDonato performing with Les Talens Lyriques, conducted by Christophe Rousset from the Erato – Parlophone release Handel: Furore.   

Although the new Covent Garden, built in 1732, eventually replaced the smaller Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a few productions took place there after manager John Rich’s departure. These were put on by the Opera of the Nobility, which operated briefly in the 1730s, a tumultuous decade for opera in London. Later, the Opera of the Nobility also mounted operas at the King’s Theatre at Haymarket, attempting to compete with Handel’s opera productions at Covent Garden. But -- rather than plan their shows on alternating nights, both the Opera of Nobility and Covent Garden held Italian Opera on Tuesday and Saturday nights, thus ensuring the ultimate financial ruin of Italian opera at both institutions. Here’s some music from the beginning of that decade--Nicola Porpora, from his 1733 opera Arianna in Naxo--premiered at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

MUSIC TRACK

Duel: Porpora and Handel in London

Le Concert de l'Hostel Dieu / dir. Franck-Emmanuel Comte

Arcana 2019 / B07NRF9PHC

Nicola Porpora

Tr. 2 Arianna in Naxo, Act I: Aria: Nume che reggi il mare (7:13)

The aria “Nume che reggi il mare,” from the opera Arianna in Naxo by Nicola Porpora. Mezzo-soprano Giuseppina Bridelli sang with Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu.

Midpoint break:

You’re listening to Harmonia . . . I’m Angela Mariani.

 

MUSIC TRACK

Duel: Porpora and Handel in London

Le Concert de l'Hostel Dieu / dir. Franck-Emmanuel Comte

Arcana 2019 / B07NRF9PHC

Nicola Porpora

Excerpt of Tr. 7 Polifemo: Overture : [without tempo indication] (2:21)

 

Segment B: Game, Set, Match! and Feature: The Versailles Revolution

Welcome back! This hour we’re listening to music from Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London.

Lincoln’s Inn Fields wasn’t always a theater. Originally built as a tennis court—and yes, the original version of the game we call tennis is hundreds of years old -- the building was converted into a theater in 1661. The 1660s was a time of building, reopening, and expansion of theaters, which had been closed for over a decade under Cromwell’s Commonwealth. We’ll hear music from one of the earliest successful productions at the converted tennis court, advertised as “The LOVES OF MARS & VENUS. A play set to Music, As it is acted at the New Theatre, In Little Lincolns Inn-fields.” We’ll hear the overture, an aria, and chorus from The Loves of Mars and Venus: “Symphony,” “To Double the Sports,” and “Come all.”

MUSIC TRACKS

Dido & Aeneas

La Risonanza / dir. Fabio Bonizzoni

Challenge Classics 2016 / B01LP5F9I6

John Eccles and Gottfried Finger

Tr. 27 Symphony (2:41)

Tr. 33 To Double the Sports (2:06)

Tr. 28 Come all, Come all (1:11)

“Symphony,” “To Double the Sports,” and “Come All,” from The Loves of Mars and Venus with music by John Eccles and Gottfried Finger. La Risonanza was directed by Fabio Bonizzoni.

The fiercely competitive theatre scene in London meant the sudden success and equally rapid decline of companies, productions, and performing artists in London. It’s remarkable that despite this environment, modern versions of both Covent Garden and Drury Lane still thrive today, perhaps speaking to their manager’s abilities to constantly change with the times.

We travel now across the English channel to France, where seventeenth-century masters transformed orchestral music. In their 2018 Naxos release The Versailles Revolution, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra and their director Barthold Kuijken explore this radical musical change, taking us through the tragédie en musique of Jean-Baptiste Lully to works by two composers he influenced: Georg Muffat and Marin Marais. Here are three dances from Lully’s 1685 tragédie en musique, Roland.

MUSIC TRACKS

The Versailles Revolution

Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra / dir. Barthold Kuijken

Naxos 2018 / B07JFQY7M5

Jean-Baptiste Lully

Tr. 3 Roland (excerpts) : Act II Scene 5: Gavotte – Air – Gavotte (da capo) (2:37)

Tr. 4 Roland (excerpts) : Act II Scene 5: 2nd Air (2:44)

Tr. 6 Roland (excerpts) : Act IV Scene 3: Menuet I-II-I (da capo) (1:38)

We heard three dances—a Gavotte, an Air, and a Menuet from Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Roland. That was music from our featured release, The Versailles Revolution. Barthold Kuijken directed the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra.

Lully’s death in 1687 made space for other composers to be successful at Versailles. Marin Marais, who performed at Versailles under Lully’s direction, rose to the forefront as both a viola da gamba virtuoso and composer. This is a gigue from Marais’ opera, Ariane and Bacchus.

MUSIC TRACKS

The Versailles Revolution

Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra / dir. Barthold Kuijken

Naxos 2018 / B07JFQY7M5

Marin Marais

Tr. 17 Ariane et Bacchus Suite : Prologue: Gigue (1:17)

A gigue from Ariane and Bacchus by French baroque composer Marin Marais, from this hour’s featured release, The Versailles Revolution.  Let’s end with the Chaconne from Lully’s Roland.

MUSIC TRACKS

The Versailles Revolution

Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra / dir. Barthold Kuijken

Naxos 2018 / B07JFQY7M5

Jean-Baptiste Lully

Tr. 7 Roland : Act III Scene 6: Chaconne (6:38)

A Chaconne from Roland, by Jean-Baptiste Lully. Barthold Kuijken led the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra.

 

 

Harmonia is a production of WFIU. Support comes from Early Music America which strengthens and celebrates early music by supporting the people and organizations that perform, study, and find joy in it. …on the web at EarlyMusicAmerica-DOT-org. Additional resources come from the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

We welcome your thoughts about any part of this program, or about early music in general. Contact us at harmonia early music dot org.

The writer for this edition of Harmonia was Sarah Huebsch Schilling. 

Thanks to our studio engineer Michael Paskash, and our production team: Wendy Gillespie, Elizabeth Clark, LuAnn Johnson and John Bailey. I’m Angela Mariani, inviting you to join us again for the next edition of Harmonia.

Drawing of the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theater from London in the 1860s.

Lincoln's Inn Fields Theater, London, 1865. (British Library, flickr)

In London today, Covent Garden and Drury Lane may get all of our attention--but at the turn of the eighteenth century, the theater at Lincoln’s Inn Fields was all the rage. One of the hottest shows at Lincoln’s Inn Fields was John Gay and Johann Christoph Pepusch‘s 1728 The Beggar’s Opera. This comic ballad opera takes a critical and hilarious look at Italian opera, which was gaining popularity in London theaters. The show was so successful that Lincoln’s Inn Fields manager John Rich was able to use the profits to open up a new theater, Covent Garden, which eventually replaced Lincoln's Inn Fields. Handel’s operas and oratorios also were remarkably successful, dominating the London scene for much of the eighteenth century.

This hour, we'll hear music from several successful operas of the period, as well as from a featured recording of seventeenth-century French orchestral music performed by the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra.

PLAYLIST

News Hole:
The Versailles Revolution
Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra / dir. Barthold Kuijken
Naxos 2018 / B07JFQY7M5
Marin Marais
Tr. 14 Ariane et Bacchus Suite : Prologue: Ouverture (4:29)

Segment A:
The Beggar's Opera
The Broadside Band / dir. Jeremy Barlow
Harmonia Mundi 2003 / B00IOTZ4BY
Johann Christoph Pepusch
Tr. 2 The BeggarÕs Opera: Act II: Airs 6 Over the Hills and Far away (3:02)
Tr. 4 The BeggarÕs Opera: Act II: Airs 21 Would you have a young virginÓ title (5:25)

Handel, G.F.: Furore (DiDonato)
Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset, dir.
Erato - Parlophone 2008 / B001OBL7GK
Imeneo, HWV 41, Act II: Sorge nell'alma mia
Tr. 9 Imeneo, HWV 41, Act II: Sorge nell'alma mia (5:20)

Duel: Porpora and Handel in London
Le Concert de l'Hostel Dieu / dir. Franck-Emmanuel Comte
Arcana 2019 / B07NRF9PHC
Nicola Porpora
Tr. 2 Arianna in Naxo, Act I: Aria: Nume che reggi il mare (7:13)

Theme Music Bed: Ensemble Alcatraz, Danse Royale, Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2 [ASIN: B000005J0B], T.12: La Prime Estampie Royal

:59 Midpoint Break Music Bed:
Duel: Porpora and Handel in London
Le Concert de l'Hostel Dieu / dir. Franck-Emmanuel Comte
Arcana 2019 / B07NRF9PHC
Nicola Porpora
Excerpt of Tr. 7 Polifemo: Overture : [without tempo indication] (2:21)

Segment B:
Dido & Aeneas
La Risonanza / dir. Fabio Bonizzoni
Challenge Classics 2016 / B01LP5F9I6
John Eccles and Gottfried Finger
Tr. 27 Symphony (2:41)
Tr. 33 To Double the Sports (2:06)
Tr. 28 Come all, Come all (0:54)
Tr. 29 Come all, Come all (1:11)

Featured Release:
The Versailles Revolution
Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra / dir. Barthold Kuijken
Naxos 2018 / B07JFQY7M5
Jean-Baptiste Lully
Tr. 3 Roland (excerpts) : Act II Scene 5: Gavotte Ð Air Ð Gavotte (da capo) (2:37)
Tr. 4 Roland (excerpts) : Act II Scene 5: 2nd Air (2:44)
Tr. 6 Roland (excerpts) : Act IV Scene 3: Menuet I-II-I (da capo) (1:38)
Marin Marais
Tr. 17 Ariane et Bacchus Suite : Prologue: Gigue (1:17)
Jean-Baptiste Lully
Tr. 7 Roland : Act III Scene 6: Chaconne (6:38)
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