Our concert on Saturday 14 June commemorates the 250th anniversary of the death of two French composers, Jean-Philippe Rameau and Jean-Marie Leclair. It's given by the exciting Baroque group "Follia", led by harpsichordist Yeo Yat Soon, who was brought up in Tunbridge Wells.
To book tickets at the discounted price of just £10, click here http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/109190.
It was on or about 23 October 1764, in Paris, that the renowned violinist and composer Leclair was found mysteriously murdered, at the age of 67. Six weeks earlier, Rameau has died of a fever. And among the other deaths in Paris that year were those of Madeam de Pampadour, Louis XV's mistress, described by Voltaire as "a beautiful woman, in the midst of a splendid career", and the Parisian poet Pierre Charles Roy, who had made an enemy of Rameau by writing a critical poem about him.
In the same year, Voltaire published bu Philosophical Dictionary, and Walpole wrote The Castle of Otranto. Mozart visited Bach's youngest son, Johann Christaian, in London. Haydn, by then vice-kappellmeister for the Esterházy family, composed his 22nd symphony. Gluck wrote his most successful comic opera La rencontre imprévu in Vienna, a few years before moving to Paris for a while. And in Rome, Edward Gibbon was deciding to write a long book.
It may seem strange now, but in 18th century Paris music and what constituted 'good taste' were the subjects of enormous controversy and national argument, involving kings, philosophers, poets and musical theorists. Perhaps little of this is evident from the music itself in isolation, but I am sure that the music of the time will be brought to life in this concert, fresh as the day it was first heard.