I’m happy to announce that the Marais CD that I recorded earlier this year will be released at the end of August 2019 on Resonus Classics. It’s currently in the editing process, and is sounding very exciting with loads of contrasts and colours – can’t wait for you all to hear it!
I was very happy to learn that my recording of the Telemann Fantasias got reviewed in Early Music journal back in 2018.
With this recording, Smith masterfully blends introspective sonorities with bold virtuosity, capturing the very essence of the fantasia genre.Early Music 2018, VOL.2.
In the beginning of March 2019 I will record a new CD of music by Marin Marais. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE support me, if at all you can, by visiting this crowdfunding page (available in English and Dutch). It’s a well known Dutch arts funding platform called VoorDeKunst. This recording will only be possible with your help. In return for donations, you can receive various items, but most exciting of all will be the finished product of beautiful music, much of which has not been previously recorded. THANKS!!!
I will record four suites of Pièces de Viole that span Marais’ entire oeuvre. The solo viola da gamba is accompanied by the basso continuo. In this case that will be a rich group of harpsichord, theorbo and another viola da gamba played by my extremely talented friends and colleagues.
- Suite in F-Sharp Minor (Livre 1)
- Suite in A Major (Livre 2)
- Suite in G Minor (Livre 3)
- Suite in E Minor (Livre 4)
- Theorbo & baroque guitar: Israel Golani
- Harpsichord: Olivier Fortin
- Viola da gamba: Joshua Cheatham
On Saturday the 15th September I played as one of three acts at the Nachtklang event at the Musikfest Erzgebirge. The event invites crossover acts between baroque music and music from other cultures. I spent rather a large proportion of the summer arranging 30 minutes of music from styles including baroque, tango, japanese koto and heavy metal. It was a pleasure to finally perform the result of this work. The event happened in a rather flashy factory for Mühle shaving equipment. The other acts were a trio with two keyed-violins and guitar playing Bach arrangements, together with a jazz quintet using Bach cantata arias as a basis for their compositions. I found both of these acts were incredibly refreshing and tastefully done.
One gimmick to the evening was that the public got to vote on who they though most deserved to win a recording with Deutschlandfunk Kultur radio. And, well, they chose me which is very flattering but I think it could have easily also gone to one of the other acts, which were all so different from each other.
The concert will be broadcast on Deutschlandfunk Kultur Radio this Friday, 21st September at 20:03pm central european time, and is accessible via the following link:
I’m having a whale of a time with La Folia Barockorchester and the circus in Annaberg-Buchholz. It’s part of the Musikfest Erzgebirge and the show will run for a few days in a beautiful wooden historical mirror tent. Thankfully much of this performance has been immortalised in a YouTube video which you can find below. I feel very inspired by the circus artists as well as the other musicians, and best of all I got to arrange Metallica’s One for viola da gamba solo and baroque orchestra accompaniment. This happens right at the end of the YouTube video and accompanies a spectacular display of Handstanding from Florian Zumkehr.
(click through to real YouTube website)
My ensemble, Fantasticus, has today released a brand new recording of Louis Gabriel Guillemain’s Op.12 Quartets. The pieces are written for Baroque Flute, Violin, Viola da gamba and Harpsichord. For this recording we enlisted the help of traverso-superhero Wilbert Hazelzet and, as can be expected, it was an absolute pleasure to work with him. Check out some samples of the recording in this short video, or get yourself a full copy from the Resonus website.
Tomorrow I’m performing a solo concert on the island of Mallorca. I’ll be playing works for viola da gamba by Telemann, Abel and Marais.
It’s always a challenge to play a solo concert and the culmination of many hours of work. I decided to organise a last minute try-out concert to help my preparations. But because it was SOOO last minute, all I could manage was to perform in our neighbourhood playground and invite the entire street. Surprisingly, it was a wonderful evening as you can see in the photo! Many people turned up and stayed for the whole hour 😁
The March edition of the German early music magazine, concerto, carried several reviews of recent Telemann recordings. There were kind words for my Telemann Fantasias:
Smith betont die klassiche Noblesse der kompositionen under findet den dazu passenden eleganten Ton.
Smith emphasizes the classical nobility of the compositions and finds the appropriate elegant tone.
On the 31st December, BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show broadcast a solo concert of Telemann and Abel that I played at the Little Missenden Festival in October. You can listen back to the broadcast for the next month here: