Live From St Bride's, Fleet Street


01Radio 3 Live In Concert20120704Live from St Bride's, Fleet Street, London

Prsented by Louise Fryer

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment play Pergolesi, Handel and Bingham at St Bride's, Fleet Street as part of the City of London Festival.

This concert pairs Handel and Pergolesi, two great contemporaries of the early 1700s, with Judith Bingham, a major figure of our time. In Jacob's Ladder, an organ concerto, Bingham uses a small string ensemble to accompany the organ in the way Handel did Handel 300 years earlier.

As part of Bingham's 60th birthday celebrations, she has been commissioned to write a partner piece for Jacob's Ladder, using the same number of strings, though without the organ. Bingham's initial idea for the new piece, 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, and it seems to me that it has a spiritual counterpart in the idea of the soul returning to God.'

The concert concludes by adding two voices - soprano and countertenor - to the organ and strings, in Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. This work, first performed in 1736, is thought to be Pergolesi's last; he died in the same year, aged only 26.

Judith Bingham: Jacob's Ladder

Handel: Organ Concerto No 15 in D, HWV304

Judith Bingham: The Hythe (World première)

8.10: Interval

8.30: Pergolesi: Stabat Mater

Claire Seaton, soprano

Andrew Radley, countertenor

Daniel Cook, organ

Nicholas Cleobury conductor.