Medea Bindewald's repertoire comprises music from the early 17th to the late 18th centuries as well as selected contemporary works. Programmes can be designed or modified individually. Being a passionate ensemble player, Medea also offers a range of chamber music programmes featuring her trio, Vermilion, with Nicolette Moonen (violin) and Susanna Pell (viola da gamba).

France meets Italy
harpsichord recital

During the reign of Louis XIV, the harpsichord (clavecin in French) had established itself as one of the leading solo instruments in France. The distinctive French harpsichord style can be characterised as harmonically rich, rhythmically complex, subtle in expression and full of nuances. In the middle of the eighteenth century, the more emotional Italian style became increasingly fashionable in France, sign of a major change in musical taste. The last generation of the clavecinistes is clearly influenced by the Italian playfulness and virtuosity. This programme explores the interplay between the traditional French and the “modern” Italian style. It includes works by the Frenchmen Jacques Duphly, Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Forqueray and Christophe Moyreau. Italian composers are represented by the keyboard virtuoso Domenico Scarlatti, whose sonatas were published in Paris in the 1740s, and the violinist Francesco Geminiani, a student of the famous Arcangelo Corelli who spent a great part of his life living in London but temporarily resided in Paris. Remarkably, he published his first volume of harpsichord music under the French title Pièces de Clavecin

London Sonatas
Nicolette Moonen (violin) and Medea Bindewald (harpsichord)

This programme paints a picture of the musical environment eight-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart encountered when he came to London in 1764. He was presented to King George III who let him sight-read music by Carl Friedrich Abel, Johann Christian Bach and George Frideric Handel, amongst others. London’s vibrant musical life and the various contacts to London’s musicians inspired young Mozart to write his own music. His six London keyboard sonatas with accompaniment by a violin or flute were dedicated to Queen Charlotte in 1765. He developed a special affection to Johann Christian Bach who, like Abel, at the time was music master to Queen Charlotte. Johann Christian Bach and Abel had just given their first public concert together and were about to set up a regular concert series that later became known as the Bach-Abel-Concerts. The programme includes one of the keyboard sonatas by Johann Christian Bach published in 1765 that Mozart later adapted as piano concertos and a sonata by Queen Charlotte’s harpsichord teacher, Joseph Kelway, whose six sonatas for the harpsichord were published in 1764.

Mr Jennens's Private Music
Vermilion: Nicolette Moonen (violin), Susanna Pell (viola da gamba), Medea Bindewald (harpsichord)

Charles Jennens, like many well-to-do music lovers in the eighteenth century, took advantage of the London 'season' each year to attend public concerts and private performances of the music of his friend and collaborator, George Frideric Handel. The summer months spent at home in Leicestershire would have seen him indulging his passion in a more practical and private way as an accomplished keyboard player both on the harpsichord and the organ which he installed at Gopsall Hall under Handel's supervision. In their programme, Vermilion explore Jennens's impressive music collection and present a choice selection of instrumental chamber pieces such as might have been heard during an intimate musical soiree at Gopsall in the mid-eighteenth century. Besides chamber music by Martino Bitti, Antonio Vivaldi and Georg Frideric Handel the programme includes two substantial harpsichord solos, amongst them an extremely expressive and audacious sonata by Joseph Kelway who at the time was a famous keyboard player and improviser.

Vermilion: Nicolette Moonen (violin), Susanna Pell (viola da gamba), Medea Bindewald (harpsichord)

The programme “Sonnerie” focuses on French baroque music of the eighteenth century. The title “Sonnerie” (bell-ringing) is taken from a piece of that name by Marin Marais, a fascinating work upon an ostinato bass consisting of only three notes that are part of only two different harmonies – some people say it has an almost mesmerising power. A number of pieces in the programme feature the unique French genre “avec accompagnement de violon”, among them three movements by the harpsichordist and composer Jacques Duphly and a sonata that is rather classical than baroque in style, by Armand-Louis Couperin, a cousin of François “le grand”.  In those pieces the harpsichord does not play a continuo part but appears as a solo instrument accompanied by a violin. The programme is framed by the probably best-known and most intriguing examples for this genre: Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Pièces de clavecin en concerts, in which the richly textured solo part of the harpsichord is supplemented by both a violin and a viola da gamba. Extremely rich in dynamic and affects, Rameau’s pieces are a jewel in harpsichord literature and a pleasure for both players and audience.