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LeStrange Viols & Claire Preston: Life and Music in 17th-century England

Electric Earth Concerts will present a mixed–media concert at the Jaffrey Meetinghouse on Sunday, August 7 at 4pm. Renaissance scholar Claire Preston and the musicians of LeStrange Viols will draw upon rich connections between literature and music to conjure a fascinating view of the 17th century English cultural landscape. Preston will place music of composers William Cranford, Thomas Dowland, Orlando Gibbons and Henry Purcell in context with observations and readings from 17th century sources, weaving together a virtuoso presentation that engages listeners on multiple levels. The musicians of LeStrange and Ms. Preston will begin with the Elizabethan era, taking listeners on an artistic journey through 17th century England that includes courtly masque music and tumultuous civil war.

The 18th-century Jaffrey Meetinghouse is one of the region’s architectural and gems, a venue that is well-known for its superior acoustics.

Musicians Zoe Weiss, Douglas Kelley, James Waldo, John-Mark Rosendaal, Loren Ludwig, and Kivie Cahn-Lipman first came together in 2014 to record the modern premier of William Cranford’s consort music. By that time the musicians of LeStrange had already established themselves as a crack team of American consort players. Their many previous appearances together in diverse musical combinations and their experience in acclaimed American ensembles allow LeStrange to craft refined and vigorous performances of intricate gems of the consort repertory. Members of LeStrange Viols have been featured performers with ACRONYM, Arcadia Viols, Amherst Early Music Festival, The Newberry Consort, Folger Consort, The King’s Noyse, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Trio Settecento, The Oberlin Consort of Viols, Helios Opera, Quaver, Hesperus, Sonnambula, New York Consort of Viols, Parthenia, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and Brandywine Baroque.

Claire Preston is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University, London. She has held posts at Oxford, Cambridge, and the University of Birmingham. She has received research awards from the British Academy and the Guggenheim Foundation, and currently holds a major Arts and Humanities Research Council grant supporting the Complete Works of Sir Thomas Browne (Oxford, 2015-2019), of which she is the general editor. She was awarded the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay Prize in 2005. She is the author of a book on the poetics of early-modern scientific investigation, and articles on soils, earths, and the geological writing of the seventeenth century, and on the poetics of early-modern orchards and apples. She has written and appeared widely on the subject of the cultural history of bees. Recent television and radio work includes The Century that Wrote Itself (with Adam Nicolson);For the Love of Honey (with Martha Kearney); and radio interviews on BBC Radio 3, National Public Radio (USA) and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Supported by

The Waldo and Alice Ayer Trust, Citizens Bank  |  The Bean Family Foundation  |  The Lizzie Cheney Trust  |  Citizens Bank & Getz Charitable Trust  |  The Putnam Foundation  |  The Madelaine Von Weber Trust  |  The National Endowment for the Arts  |  The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation  |  The JWK Trust  |  Terra Nova Trust

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