The Hythe with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Bingham 60th WORLD PREMIERE with OAE and Radio 3: The Hythe
Mesmerising Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) performs Judith Bingham’s The Hythe + her Jacob’s Ladder, Pergolesi’s beautiful Stabat Mater + a Handel organ concerto.
JAM and the OAE pair two great contemporaries of the early 1700s with one of the great contemporary composers of our time; Handel, Pergolesi and Judith Bingham. As part of Bingham’s 60th birthday celebrations, JAM has commissioned The Hythe, a partner piece for her organ concerto, Jacob’s Ladder, using the same number of strings, though without organ.
Bingham’s initial idea for The Hythe, was to find a theme that linked the different places of the proposed first performances: Hythe and London. She says, 'My first thought was the sea and harbours, and I discovered that the word Hythe was an old word for haven. The idea of the sailor coming home from sea is a powerful one in British culture and history.'
In Jacob’s Ladder, Bingham’s mesmerising, Poulenc-referencing organ concerto, the composer uses a small string ensemble to accompany the organ. Very similar forces were used by Handel 300 years earlier, in his beautiful ‘between act’ organ concertos, which were introduced to opera audiences in the 1730s.
Based around strings and organ, this concert concludes by adding two voices - soprano and countertenor - to the organ and strings, in Pergolesi’s achingly beautiful Stabat Mater. This work, first performed in 1736, is thought to be Pergolesi’s last; this brilliant composer died in the same year, aged only 26.
This concert is an outstanding opportunity to hear the wonderful OAE in such an intimate venue.