The Spencer Consort will present "Music from the Court of the Sun King" at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Central Court of the Spencer Museum of Art.
The ensemble performs on period instruments such as those used during the 17th and 18th centuries, including wooden flutes, early oboe, recorders, cello and harpsichord.
The "Sun King" was King Louis XIV of France, who reigned from 1643 to 1715. Famous for building the magnificent palace at Versailles, Louis XIV employed a large group of musicians and made music an important part of his image and life. He loved to dance, and the music to which he danced became as influential elsewhere in Europe as was his taste in architecture.
The Spencer Consort will present a variety of works primarily written by composers who worked for the French crown. Featured will be excerpts from the "Spanish Suite" by FranÃ§ois Couperin (1668-1733), who was harpsichordist to Louis XIV. Excerpts of works by the king's opera composer, Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), will be sung by mezzo-soprano Katrina Mitchell, including a lament from Lully's "George Dandin" and segments from "Alceste." The program also includes a suite of dances for flute and continuo by Michel de la Barre (c 1675-1743/44) and a sonata for three treble instruments and continuo by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1682-1765).
Musicians involved in the concert include: Joy Laird, a baroque flutist and recorder player who has a private teaching studio in Lawrence; baroque flutist John Boulton, KU professor emeritus of flute and a member of the Topeka Symphony; baroque oboist Susan Cannan, a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry at KU who has studied baroque oboe and recorder at the Guildhall School of Music in London; mezzo-soprano Katrina Mitchell, a KU doctoral student in musicology who also has degrees in voice; Elizabeth Egbert Berghout, assistant professor of organ and carillonneur at KU; and baroque cellist Paul Laird, professor of musicology and director of the Instrumental Collegium Musicum at KU.
The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call Paul or Joy Laird at 865-5946.