This is the Oxford leg of a UK tour by the French baroque ensemble, Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu, to celebrate the release of its 50/50 album on Aparthé. The 50/50 project is an imaginative fusion between baroque and minimalist elements scored for mezzo soprano, baroque wind instruments and strings; the award-winning French composer, David Chalmin, has composed four pieces in response to the music of Purcell, while Martyn Harry, Oxford University’s professor of composition, has composed four pieces in response to the music of Lully – to form a thrilling intersection of English and French, early and contemporary music.
The Concert de l’Hostel Dieu consists of a solo vocal ensemble and an orchestra playing on period instruments, who give about sixty concerts annually, which are mainly devoted to the baroque vocal repertoire. They are frequently invited to perform at international festivals and venues. The performances of the Concert de l’Hostel Dieu are always marked by a modern and dynamic approach to the baroque repertoire. Many of them involve different artistic disciplines. Innovative forms are developed and interfaces are created between oral traditions and ‘classical’ repertoire. In short, their artistic choices are bold and original. As well as creating and performing, the Concert de l’Hostel Dieu also supports young artists at the beginning of their careers and endeavors both to appeal to younger audiences, and to perform in outlying areas, where access to cultural events are often limited.