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Baroque Ensemble Sequenza relaunches with Courtly Love program

After a long pandemic hiatus, Sequenza is delighted to resume a Tasmanian touring program with a program of lush courtly love ballads from the French, English and Italian Baroque traditions. The program includes songs by Couperin, Dowland, Caccini and more.
The program, entitled Amour Courtois, comprises songs which draw on the enduring literary idea of love in an age of nobility and chivalry. Courtly love was an experience of erotic desire and spiritual attainment combined: “a love at once illicit and morally elevating, passionate and disciplined, humiliating and exalting, human and transcendent”, according to F.X. Newman. “So in plainer language,” explains Quin Thomson, the group’s soprano, “the overarching theme of these works can more or less be boiled down to something like — I worship you because you’re amazing in every way, and obviously I am well out of my league; but also wow you are super mean!”
From this timelessly relatable starting point, Sequenza’s chosen composers — among the premier practitioners of the Baroque era — tease out a dazzling breadth of emotional range, the works from each nation incorporating stylistic elements which are peculiar to their respective geographical region, making for a lively and varied listening experience. The delicacy and flair that Sequenza brings to the interpretation of the work will be sure to delight.

Thomson and Malone Complement the Classic with the Cutting-edge

Two top-flight musicians (classical soprano and composer Quin Thomson, and David Malone on classical guitar) are touring an innovative and beautiful program of high Romantic repertoire around their favourite Tasmanian venues, paired with new works by illustrious Tasmanian composer Maria Grenfell and the world premiere of a suite of works by Thomson.
“We’re really proud of this program,” Thomson says. “It’s joyful, beautiful, accessible, varied, time-honoured, brand-new, fun, serious. It’s very satisfying to play and sing, and we hope it’ll be equally satisfying to listen to.” 19th century favourites by luminaries such as Brahms and Villa Lobos sit very comfortably alongside the new-composed works. Grenfell’s Waldheim Songs, commissioned in honour of Gustav and Kate Weindorfer, form a delightful trilogy incorporating texts on themes of grief (in a favourite poem of Weindorfer’s, Suspiria by Longfellow), humour (hilarious extracts from the Waldheim visitor’s book, plaintively documenting relentlessly inclement weather) and advice on how to live well, penned by St Francis of Assisi. Grenfell’s other recent work includes music for the ABC documentary Quoll Farm, her work is regularly performed by the TSO as well as many other ensembles nationally and internationally. “We are so fortunate to have one of Australia’s premier classical composers write specifically for the two of us,” says Thomson. “The sound world of the work is a brilliant encapsulation of the themes of the text, wonderfully cohesive with extraordinary use of musical light and shade.’
        Two classical concerts at Eaglehawk Neck Hall in September
The second new work is another triptych, this time both composed and sung by Thomson. As well as an untested piece based on the concept of a musical palindrome, the suite consists of settings of two complementary poems on the theme of creative work.


Quin (formerly Helen) Thomson (they/them) I [email protected]
Art Music I Composition I Musical Direction I Vocal Coaching I Queer advocacy I

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