Madness, Magic and Ecstasy

Jane Chapman concert

Described in the Wall Street Journal as ‘one of Britain’s most distinguished classical harpsichordists,’ Jane Chapman is equally passionate about baroque and contemporary music, and is involved in cutting-edge collaborations with ground-breaking musicians and visual artists, exploring innovative approaches to performance.

In the second week of this year’s Arts & Humanities festival, Jane will be leading a concert of early music called The Transforming Power of Music: madness, magic and ecstasyperforming four unique pieces.

Joseph Kuhnau  (Bach’s predecessor at St Thomas Church, Leipzig)  paints a vivid and dramatic picture of Saul’s restored peace of mind from a state of melancholia and madness, through the magic of David’s harp playing in his Biblical Sonata. The harpsichord becomes a giant musical box in Walzing in the Ether by Stephen Montague. Philip Glass’s Metamorphoses, composed originally for a staging of Kafka’s work, induces an hypnotic trance, and Handel’s ornately decorated Air and increasingly virtuosic variations from Suite No.3 transforms a simple chord structure.

In this short podcast, Jane talks about her recent concert and symposium, held in the Strand Campus Chapel on Friday 18 May. Performing with her harpsichord, she played musical pieces from William Hamilton Bird’s Oriental Miscellany (1789). The publication was the first collection of Indian music transcribed from live performance into Western notation and adapted for harpsichord. Jane also explains that the Oriental Miscellany is a cross-section of art, culture and music and dance performance practice in late 18th and early 19th Century India.

Full details of this event and the many others that make up this year’s festival can be found on the King’s College London website. To book tickets, please see our Eventbrite page. But be quick: some events have already sold out!

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