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The first of two linked classes on continuo playing. These will be of great benefit to advanced level organists who are already doing some continuo playing, as also to those who wish to begin to do so. You can attend as a player or observer.
Five playing places are available for organists of diploma level who have at least some familiarity with figured bass playing. Those booking these places must book for both classes. Anyone can attend as an observer and can book for either or both classes.
In this first class, Thomas Allery introduces players to the essentials of continuo playing on the harpsichord. The class will explore harpsichord touch and technique, spreading chords, ideas of expression, creating dynamics, controlling and planning phrasing, and thinking about varying the pacing of movements and preparing for an improvised continuo accompaniment.
In the second class, players will work with solo recorder player Mary-Jannet Leith, taking forward the tuition received in the first class on to a practical level. Whether they perform from a written continuo part or an improvised realised performance, players will have the opportunity to explore the nuanced details and spontaneous elements of live accompaniment. The class will encourage experimentation in how keyboard technique can contribute to the direction, flow and stylistic impression of a piece of music.
What to prepare
Participants should prepare one slow movement and one fast movement of their choice taken from Handel's recorder sonatas in F major (HWV 369), C major (HWV 365), or A minor (HWV 362). You can choose to realise your own accompaniment from the figured bass part (which you may write out if you wish) or use a published realisation (which you can adapted if desired). The Bärenreiter edition comes with both a figured bass part and a separate realisation and so is ideal for the purposes of these classes.
Participants will perform on a copy of a 1667 anonymous French harpsichord built by Alan Gotto.
Thomas Allery is an organist, choral conductor and harpsichordist based in London. He enjoys a varied career spanning work as an organist and choral director in church music, continuo playing, research and teaching. As an experienced
harpsichordist and continuo player, Thomas is currently undertaking research of historical continuo treatises from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and exploring how they can be used in keyboard education today. He enjoys
performing regularly with his own period ensemble, Ensemble Hesperi. He is Organist of St Mary-Le-Bow in the City of London, and Assistant Director of Music at the Temple Church.
Fee: RCO Member (player) £66; RCO Student Member (player) £36; Full time student (player) £46; Non-member (player) £76. RCO Member observer £36; RCO Student Member (observer) £21; Full time student (observer) £31; Non-member (observer) £48