Edinburgh Barock

Lawrence Dunn - baroque violin

Alasdair Mitchell - baroque cello

Jane Blackie - harpsichord

e-mail - edinbar@selville.abel.co.uk

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Edinburgh Barock was formed in 1987 by three professional musicians, to perform 17th and 18th century chamber music on period instruments. They give lively and brilliant recitals from their wide- ranging repertoire which includes the well-known (Vivaldi's cello sonatas and Corelli's violin sonatas), the rarely-heard (Marais' "Surgical operation"), the virtuosic (Tartini's "Devils Trill"), and the bizarre (Nisbet of Dirleton's squealing pig of which David Griffiths wrote in the Scotsman - "... not often that a critic can commend string players for being excruciating!")

The group performs regularly at Music Clubs, Art Galleries, museums and stately homes throughout Southern Scotland and gives an annual recital during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

They are always happy to build a programme around any historical theme, and have a special interest in early Scottish music which they research and edit themselves from manuscripts and early printed sources, e.g. the harpsichord sonatas composed for Hopetoun House, Carissimi's "Lament of Mary Queen of Scots" and the wealth of violin music written by 18th century Scottish composers.

Edinburgh Barock can also offer programmes with soprano Wilma McDougall.

"... marvellous sense of style ... " - Dundee Courier

"... tight ensemble-playing ... " - South Ayrshire Gazette

"... no-one could have failed to enjoy every moment ... " - Scotsman


Sample programmes:-

1) Music from Baroque Germany and Austria.

J.S. Bach, Buxtehude, Bohm, Kuhnau and Biber's sonata on animal and bird sounds. The inspirational generation before Bach which influenced Bach's thinking ... from the Bohm's sublime Prelude and Fugue and the profound "Rosary" Sonatas of Biber to his delightful "Sonata Representativa" - bird and animal noises (not to mention homo sapiens).

2a) Music from the 18th century concert programmes of Edinburgh's St. Cecilia's Hall.

Spanning a century of the Musical Society's favourites, from the revered Corelli and his pupils, through the late Baroque to the up-to-the-minute Stile Galant with Schetky and a 9 year-old child composer called Mozart. Programme includes works by Corelli, Mozart, Geminiani , Abel, Earl of Kelly and William McGibbon.

2b) Music from Georgian Edinburgh.

A marvellously eclectic but typical mixture of great names, Corelli and Handel, the pure folk-fiddle tunes collected by Niel Gow, and what might today be called "crossovers" ... the blending of two art forms by the many local Italians and native Scots. Hence "The Drunken Wives of Fochabers" keep company with General John Reid and Lorenzo Bocchi, and James Oswald's "Airs from the Seasons" with the crazy depiction of a squealing pig by respectable Edinburgh lawyer Wm. Nisbet of Dirleton.

2c) Italian baroque composers and their Scottish connections.

While musical Scotland revered Corelli, and Alan Ramsay sang his praises, Sir John Clerk of Penicuik actually went to Rome to study with him. This was the start of a century of Italian influence and style, with some fascinating "mixed genre" works by local violinists McLean and Munro, charming harpsichord lessons for Hopetoun House by visiting star Tenducci, and folk-song treatments by everybody! Programme includes works by Corelli, Geminiani, Marcello, Sir John Clerk, Corri etc.

3) Music from the library of the Aberdeen Musical Society c. 1750.

Founded in 1748 the Society ran weekly public concerts. An inventory of the music held in their own library shows the range of repertoire enjoyed, from the then established classics of Handel and Corelli to the latest London publications (Scarlatti and de Fesch), and works by Italian composers resident in Scotland (Barsanti and Bocchi) along with native Scots such as James Oswald.

4) Italian chamber music of the 17th century.

While opera was establishing itself as a major force there were no less dazzling developments in the world of chamber music. New genres emerged ... e.g. the unaccompanied toccata or ricercar, alternately flashy and introspective, and the solo sonata or variations over a continuo bass. New instruments were developed too, and we play one of the earliest sonatas known for violin, and what is probably the first composition ever for unaccompanied cello. composers include Vivaldi, Frescobaldi, Picchi, Fontana and Domenico Gabrielli.

5) Italian virtuosi of the 18th century.

Italy boasted many vibrant musical centres which attracted musicians from elsewhere. Italy also exported violins, innovative musical idioms ... and composers. But while Scarlatti enchanted the Royal court of Spain with his harpsichord and mandolin flamenco, and Bononcini dazzled opera-goers in London, many composers remained at home. Programme includes Vivaldi cello sonatas, Scarlatti solos for mandolin and harpsichord, Tartini's "Devil's Trill".

6) Music from Georgian London.

A small sample of the musical wealth which flourished under royal, aristocratic and private patronage in an international and magnetic city. Programme includes Handel's magnificent sonatas and keyboard suites, Benjamin Blake's Solos for viola and cello, and works by Purcell, Pepusch, Bononcini and Dr. Greene.



LAWRENCE DUNN studied violin with David Hume in Edinburgh and Malcolm Layfield in Manchester. He gives regular solo and chamber recitals during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and throughout Scotland on both modern and baroque instruments. As a freelance player he has performed with various orchestras including the Scottish Baroque Players, Newcastle Baroque and the City of Glasgow Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of Quernstane and Edinburgh Galante, and has recently taken over as director of Philomusica of Edinburgh, and leader of the Edinburgh Light Orchestra.

ALASDAIR MITCHELL graduated as Music Faculty Medallist from Edinburgh University, studying cello with the late Joan Dickson, and later at the Royal Academy of Music. After postgraduate conducting studies with Igor Markevitch, and at the Consevatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome, he won second prize at the International Conducting Competition in Copenhagen. As a conductor Alasdair has worked with the major Scottish Orchestras and has made several recordings with Chandos, notably of the large-scale works of John Blackwood McEwen. He also teaches conducting at The University of Edinburgh, Faculty of Musicand the RSAMD. As a cellist he has performed with the Scottish Early Music Consort and Edinburgh Galante.

JANE BLACKIE read Music and English Literature at Edinburgh University. She studied harpsichord and continuo with the late Michael Chibbett, then with Robert Woolley in London and David Roblou in summer schools, gaing her ARCM in harpsichord performance. Jane teaches harpsichord and piano, gives guided tours of the Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments at Edinburgh University, arranges 18th century dance music for the Edinburgh Early Dancers and performs as a freelance harpsichordist. She has researched the history of St. Cecilia's Hall, Scotland's oldest concert hall, and is a contributor to the new Dictionary of National Biography.


Programme details.

Programme 2a - Music from St. Cecilia's Hall.

Part 1 : the earlier 18th century

Violin Sonata in D minor Op 5 No 1 - CORELLI

Variations on "La Folia" - WILLIAM McGIBBON

Scotch airs played on the mandolin

Harpsichord suite in B minor (1716) - DOMENICO ZIPOLI

Chaconne on the Sarabanda of Corelli - FRANCESCO GEMINIANI


Part 2 : the later 18th century

Trio No 6 in F (adagio) - CARL FRIEDRICH ABEL

Harpsichord sonata in F with violin and cello (1764) - W. A. MOZART

Short pieces for harpsichord - THOMAS ERSKINE, 6th EARL of KELLIE

Rondo in Eb for violin and cello - JOHANN SCHETKY

Sonata in D minor for mandolin and continuo - DOMENICO SCARLATTI


Programme 2b - Music from Georgian Edinburgh.

Airs from the Seasons - JAMES OSWALD

Violin Pibroch - "A Highland Battle" - JAMES OSWALD

Variations on "Bonnie Jean of Aberdeen" - ALEXANDER MUNRO

Harpsichord Suite in G minor - GEORG FRIDERIC HANDEL



Violin Sonata in A Op 5 No 9 - ARCANGELO CORELLI


Cello Sonata - (either BOCCHI or BENEDETTO MARCELLO)

Harsichord Sonata No 2 on Burns song-tunes - STEPHEN CLARKE

The Hen's March o'er the Midden - ROBERT BREMNER



Programme 2c - Italian composers and their Scottish Connections.

Violin Sonata in D Op 5 No 1 - ARCANGELO CORELLI

Cello Sonata No 9 - LORENZO BOCCHI

Violin Sonata in G - SIR JOHN CLERK of PENICUIK

17th century dances for harpsichord by Burnett, Kinloch and anon.



Adagio for cello and continuo - GIUSEPPE TARTINI

Variations on "Black Jock" - CHARLES MacLEAN

Harpsichord lesson No 3 in F - FERDINANDO TENDUCCI

Harpsichord variations and tambour on Duncan Gray - DOMENICO CORRI

Chaconne on the Sarabanda by Corelli - FRANCESCO GEMINIANI


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