Oh, Lead me to some peaceful gloom,
Where none but sighing lovers come,
Where the shrill trumpets never sound,
But one eternal hush goes round.

Henry Purcell went down in history as one of the greatest English composers of all time. Especially his extraordinary talent for putting poetry to musical expression was – and still is – applauded. No wonder Capriola di Gioia has a weakness for Purcell’s solo songs, in which words effortlous seem to find their natural melody and rhythm.

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In this brand-new performance All for Love this symbiosis between text and music is driven to its maximum. A soprano, a word artist and three baroque musicians lead you through a musical story in which the great agonies of love  reign supremely. Therefore Purcell’s songs form an alliance with text excerpts from All for Love, a tragedy of his contemporary and librettist John Dryden. The story of the fatal love between Antony and Cleopatra speaks already for centuries to the imagination. It also inspired Dryden to write moving verses, and Benno Barnard wrote a powerful contemporary adaptation of this text. Echos of All for Love, performed by Marieke De Maré, function as poetic recitatives in this ‘modern semi-opera’ in which the spoken – and sung word find and strengthen each other, sometimes melancholic, sometimes catchy or soaked in a compellingparlando.

All for Love is a new step in the artistic journey of Capriola Di Gioia, an ensemble that since its creation is driven by a passion for baroque music and a great fascination for the theatrical aspects of this repertoire. The performance will be created in november 2011 within the SCOOP series of the Concertgebouw in Bruges and will tour in Western Flanders in the spring of 2012.

Text: Text excerpts from John Drydens All for Love (1678), a contemporary adaptation by Benno Barnard (Love Anger, 1993)

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Performers:

soprano, harpsichord & organ, archlute & chitarra, viola da gamba & spoken word