French baroque cantatas by Rameau and Clérambault

with instrumental music by Rameau, Marais and Leclair

Stuart O’Hara - bass


Theresa Caudle - violin     Mark Caudle - viola da gamba

Alastair Ross - harpsichord

Friday 8th October 2021 at 7.00 pm.

The Church of the Ascension, Burghclere, Newbury, Berks. RG20 9HX

The tales and heroes of antiquity are the themes of the miniature dramas of the Cantates of Clérambault and Rameau from the beginning of the 18th century. The range of emotions that the bass voice is given to express in these works is extraordinary.

Stuart O’ Hara accompanied by the instruments of Canzona will sing of how Orithie was abducted by the violent Aquilon (alias Boreas or the North Wind) and how Thétis, the mother of Achilles was courted by Jupiter and Neptune who deploy thunder and the raging seas in their battle over her.  In the last days of Louis XIV, Clérambault created a cantata for him about Hercules, long a model for the noble ruler, but here poisoned and reflecting on the consequences of his life decisions.

Even  Marais and his basse de viole venture with Theseus into the Labyrinth through twisting passages of strange tonality to kill the Minotaur and celebrate with a grand chaconne. Leclair, master dancer and choreographer and the greatest violinist and composer for his instrument in 18th century France also ends his virtuoso violin work with a magnificent chaconne and Rameau, later in life and now in the course of composing his great operas, returns to the harpsichord and creates music to exhibit all the virtuoso and expressive possibilities of his instrument, but now complimented and partnered by the violin and viol in the newest and most fashionable manner.

Download a biography of Stuart O’Hara here.

Ticket price: from £5 to £25 per ticket at your discretion.  Up to two under-18s free with each paying adult.  Further booking details are available here.  To book contact theresa@burghclerebaroque.com or telephone 01635 276009.


Cantata: Aquilon et Orithie

Pieces de Clavecin en Concert no. 5

Cantata: Thétis

Sonata 4 in B flat Opus 5 
Le Labyrinthe (Pieces de viole Livre 4))
La Mort d’Hercule


Jean-Philippe Rameau


Jane-Marie Leclair

Marin Marais

Louis-Nicholas Clérambault