The Oxford 'Early Music by Candlelight' Summer Festival 2024

7.30pm 7 July — 25 August 2024

Exeter College Chapel, Turl Street, Oxford University OX1 3DP

Charivari Agréable's annual summer festival is the highlight of Oxford's cultural cornucopia

'Every series consists of six or so different programmes, repeated several times each. Ng picks pieces to fit a theme, and then chooses ensembles from among his enormous pool of talented musicians, with readings or introductions which tie the pieces together. They're laid back and professional, irreverent yet learned, and make for an evening that's both calm and stimulating. It is a pleasing irony that these concerts are Oxford institutions, organised by someone with such an international background: Ng was born in Malaysia and came to Oxford by way of Melbourne and Frankfurt.' — Daily Info Oxford

Please scroll down for programme synopses/details and links to tickets

Hausmusik des Barock

Tue 16/7, Tue 23/7, Fri 2/8/24

Hear O Heav'ns

Fri 12/7, Sun 11/8, Fri 23/8/24

Game of Queens

Tue 9/7, Sun 21/7, Wed 7/8, Wed 21/8/24

The Two Sibyllas

Fri 19/7, Tue 30/7, Fri 16/8/24

Sonnerie et Carillons

Sun 7/7, Fri 9/8, Sun 25/8/24

Le Roi Danse

Wed 24/7, Tue 6/8, Sun 18/8/24

Your Festival Calendar

Game of Queens

Machiavellian Machinations & Survival Strategies

An enthralling narrative of Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I & Catherine de' Medici which includes assassinations, poison, the occult, religious wars and massacres, and (in Catherine's own words) 'passion, hatred, and vengeance', illustrated with music (by Attaignant, Arbeau, Bataille, Caccini, Dowland, Guedron, Strozzi), readings from contemporary correspondence, as well as the sonnets and speeches of W. Shakespeare.

Charivari Agréable

Isobel Collyer—reader & soprano

Layil Barr—recorders & bass viol

Kah-Ming Ng—virginals

Game of Queens £17, £16 (seniors), £10 (students <25)

Hausmusik des Barock

Virtuosic chamber music of the Age of Enlightenment

Vivaldi, Bach, Heinichen, Handel, Fasch, Telemann & Zelenka

Charivari Agréable

Nicola Barbagli—baroque oboe & recorder

Matthew Lewis—baroque bassoon

Edmund Taylor—baroque violin

Kah-Ming Ng—harpsichord

Hausmusik: £18, £17 (seniors), £10 (students <25)

Sonnerie et Carillons

Cross-channel confabulation between the sonorous yet uncommon pair of

gut-string instruments of antipodal heritages

Matthew Locke: Consort of Two Parts for several Friends

Henry Butler: Triosonata #19 in G major

Henry Purcell: Triosonata for Violin, Bass Viol and Thorough-bass Z.780

Jean-Philippe Rameau: 4eme Pièces de clavecin en concert

Louis Couperin: Les Carillons de Paris

Marin Marais: Tombeau pour Monsieur de Lully; Sonnerie de Ste Genevieve du Mont de Paris

Charivari Agréable

May Robertson—baroque violin

Sarah Small—viola da gamba

Kah-Ming Ng—harpsichord

Sonnerie: £17, £16 (seniors), £10 (students <25)

Le Roi Danse

Courtly dance music inspired by Louis XIV, the dancing king who initiated the development of dance notation and founded the world's first ballet school.

Jean-Baptiste Lully: Passacaille d'Armide & Chaconne de Phaeton

Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Prélude & Passacaille from Le Concert pour quatre parties

Henry Purcell: Chacony

Johann Joseph Fux: Ciaccona

George Frideric Handel: Overture & Passacaille op.5/4

Jean-Philippe Rameau: dances from Les Indes Galantes & Dardanus

Charivari Agréable

Edmund Taylor & Hannah Parry—baroque violin

William Anderson—baroque viola

Kate Conway— baroque cello

dir. Kah-Ming Ng—harpsichord

Le Roi Danse: £20, £19 (seniors), £10 (students <25)

The Two Sibyllas

The story of two young widows, both Duchesses of Württemberg named

Sibylla, who played crucial roles in supporting the musical careers of two giants of the Middle Baroque, Froberger &  Pachelbel. Also music by L. Couperin, Purcell, Balbastre, and Duphly.

A candlelit harpsichord recital by Kah-Ming Ng

'Dazzling display of keyboard prowess'—The Independent 

'Undoubted technical virtuosity and intellectual grasp'—Early Music News

Two Sibyllas: £15, £14 (seniors), £10 (students <25)

Hear O Heav'ns

Choral gems from the Reformation to the Restoration:

mass, hymn, metrical psalms, and Chapel Royal verse anthems

William Byrd: Mass for four voices

William Mundy: O Lord, the maker of all thing

John Blow: Who shall separate us — O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands

Pelham Humfrey: Hear O heav’ns — Have mercy upon me

William Lawes: The lamentation of a sinner

Henry Purcell: O God, the King of Glory

Charivari Agréable

Olwen Lintern Smyth—soprano

Sam Mitchell & Julian Hartley—countertenor

Colin Danskin—tenor

Benjamin Watkins—bass

dir. Kah-Ming Ng—chamber organ

Hear O Heav'ns: £20, £19 (seniors), £10 (students <25)

Tickets in June from The Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street OX1 2LW, Tel: 01865-305305,

or at the door (cash only)