Four Nations Concert: Gainsborough's Music

Four Nations Concert: Gainsborough's Music


November 12, 2017

3:00 PM-4:30 PM

Michael Conforti Pavilion

The Four Nations Ensemble and Artistic Director Andrew Appel present a lively selection of music based on the paintings of Thomas Gainsborough, featuring Pascale Beaudin, soprano; Kathie Stewart, flute; Olivier Brault and Adriane Post, violin; Kyle Miller, viola; Jaap TerLinden, viol; Loretta O’Sullivan, cello; and Andrew Appel, harpsichord.

Join us after the concert for an English Tea, featuring gourmet teas and assorted sweets. Click here to purchase tickets.

The Clark’s collection includes one of Thomas Gainsborough’s most exquisite and touching portraits, Elizabeth and Thomas Linley. Thomas, a great friend of Mozart, drowned in a swimming accident in his early twenties after having written violin concertos, choral works, and songs for Shakespeare productions by David Garrick. Elizabeth married the brilliant playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, but the marriage was a strained one. Unfazed by her voice—said to be the best in England—Sheridan refused his wife access to the stage once married.

Four Nations, inspired by these two stars of the eighteenth century and the artist’s passion for music, has woven a program around the composers who passed through Gainsborough’s studio, the finest in eighteenth-century London. We add to the works of Thomas Linley, songs written specifically for Elizabeth Linley, and works by J. C. Bach, Johann Abel, Thomas Chilcott, and Franz Joseph Haydn. This moment in music history is marked with grace, eternal sunshine, and endless intelligence. 

Concerto in D for harpsichord and strings
J. C. Bach arr. Mozart
Allegro di molto
Andante di molto

Sonata for viol
Carl Friedrich Abel
(Allegro)—Adagio—Minuet—Allegro (1723–1787)

Chilcott, Linley, Jackson
Symphony #94 in G, Surprise
Haydn arr. Solomon
Adagio—Vivace assai
Menuetto: Allegro molto
Allegro molto

Founded in 1986, The Four Nations Ensemble brings together soloists, frontrunners from several generations, who are leading exponents of period instrument and vocal performance. With a core ensemble of soprano, harpsichord or fortepiano, 2 violin, flute, and cello, Four Nations’ repertory runs from the Renaissance through Viennese Classical masterpieces of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

For four decades, Four Nations has developed a leading presence on the early music scene in New York and across the country. Four Nations has performed at major houses and on prestigious series throughout the United States including The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. The Ensemble has participated in festivals including The Boston Early Music Festival, New York's Mostly Mozart, Amherst Festival, New Haven's International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Maverick Concerts in New York, Chautauqua, The Indiana Early Music Festival, and Brasilseguridade in Rio de Janeiro. Of special interest is Four Nations' resident ensemble status for both the Clark and the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut, where the rich holdings of the two art collections and the brilliant curatorial staffs are an inspiration for music programming.