The Oxford Early Music Festival 2020


'Early Music by Candlelight' Summer Festival 

August—September 2020, 8.00pm
Exeter College Chapel, Turl Street, Oxford OX1 3DP

Charivari Agréable's annual summer festival — of over twenty intimate candlelit concerts — is the highlight of Oxford's cultural cornucopia.


Tickets at the door or from the Oxford Playhouse Tel: 01865-305305
For group concessions (15% discount for 10 or more) please email us directly.

"Every series consists of 7 or so different concerts, repeated a couple of times each. Ng picks pieces to fit a theme, and then chooses ensembles from among his enormous list of talented musicians, with readings or introductions which tie the pieces together. They're laid back and professional, irreverent and 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 2017

PROGRAMME for 2019

Wednesday 10 July, Wednesday 31 July, Friday 9 August

G.B. Pergolesi: Stabat mater
D. Scarlatti: Salve Regina

Sonate da chiesa by Vivaldi & Rosenmüller

Charivari Agréable
Olwen Lintern-Smyth—soprano
Roderick Morris—countertenor
Sam Kennedy—baroque violin
Edmund Taylor—baroque violin
Kah-Ming Ng—chamber organ

Tickets @£20, £19 (seniors > 60), £10 (students < 25)



Tuesday 9 July, Wednesday 24 July, Wednesday 14 August

Sacred Choral Music by Recusants

Marian Hymns, Antiphons, Motets, and Keyboard Music
by Bull, Dering, Gibbons, Philips & Tallis
featuring William Byrd’s Mass for Three Voices

Charivari Agréable
James Armitage—countertenor
William Anderson—tenor
Michael Hickman—bass
Kah-Ming Ng—chamber organ

Tickets @£20, £19 (seniors > 60), £10 (students < 25)

Sunday 14 July, Tuesday 6 August, Sunday 18 August

Fiddlers without Borders

‘The famous and nearly most distinguished violinist in all of Europe’ Schmelzer’s iconic Sonatae Unarum Fidium is a pun on fides. ‘One faith’ vs ‘one fiddle’ sums up this collection of virtuosic violin music by Bach, Vivaldi, Francoeur & Schmelzer, incl. Corelli’s famous La Folia variations.

Charivari Agréable
Oliver Cave—baroque violin
Kah-Ming Ng—harpsichord

Tickets @£16, £15 (seniors > 60), £10 (students < 25)


Wednesday 17 July, Friday 26 July, Sunday 4 August, Friday 16 August


To mark the 500th anniversary of the ‘Black Queen’ Catherine de Medici’s birth we portray the survival strategies employed by the rival queens of C16th Europe.  This enthralling play of matriarchs includes assassination, duplicity, religious warfare, 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 Shakespeare.

Charivari Agréable
Isobel Collyer—reader & soprano
Layil Barr—recorders & bass viol
Kah-Ming Ng—virginals

Tickets @£18, £17 (seniors > 60), £10 (students < 25)


Friday 12 July, Tuesday 23 July, Wednesday 7 August

The beguilingly beautiful pairing of two dulcet winds

Telemann: Trio sonata in D from Tafelmusik TWV 42:D5
Quantz: Trio sonata in C for recorder, flute & b.c.
Handel: Trio sonata in F for two flutes & b.c. HWV 405
Locatelli: Sonata in a for flute & b.c.
C.P.E. Bach: Sonata in G for flute & b.c.
J.S. Bach: Trio sonata in G for 2 flutes & b.c. BWV 1039
Vivaldi: Concerto for two flutes RV 533

Charivari Agréable
Dan Watts—baroque flute
Mafalda Ramos—traverso & recorder
Kah-Ming Ng—harpsichord

Tickets @£18, £17 (seniors > 60), £10 (students < 25)



Friday 19 July, Friday 2 August, Tuesday 13 August

Italian harpsichord music from Lisbon to London

Vivaldi (arr. Bach), Merula, Drahhi, Frescobaldi, Storace, Picchi, Paradisi & Scarlatti

A candlelit harpsichord recital by Kah-Ming Ng

'dazzling display of keyboard prowess'—The Independent
'undoubted technical virtuosity and intellectual grasp'—Early Music  News

Tickets @£15, £14 (seniors > 60), £10 (students < 25)



Tuesday 16 July, Tuesday 30 July, Sunday 11 August

Chamber music in Stuart England

Two queens named Anne bookended the Stuart dynasty: Anne of Denmark (d. 1619, consort of James I), and her great-granddaughter Queen Anne (of the Oscar-nominated film ‘The Favourite’). Both were plagued by debilitating illnesses; yet they were generous patrons of music, dance, and theatre, and of composers such as Dowland and Handel.

Dowland: Mr Collier his Galliard with Two Trebles
Blow: Prelude in C
Eccles: A Ground for ye H’chord
Lawes: Ayre & Almaine
Matteis: Aria Amorosa
Tomkins: A Verse of 3 parts
Purcell: Sonata VI & ‘Golden’ Sonata VIII from ‘Sonatas of Four Parts’ (1697)
Handel: Trio sonata op. 2/6 HWV391

Charivari Agréable
Sam Kennedy—baroque violin
Edmund Taylor—baroque violin
Mark Walkem—baroque violoncello
Kah-Ming Ng—harpsichord

Tickets @£18, £17 (seniors > 60), £10 (students < 25)

Festival Diary 2019

Exeter Chapel Interior

The Chapel of Exeter College, Oxford University

                     ©2017 Charivari Agréable