The Gardens of Versailles: Musical Glories of French Baroque

Music Appreciation

Residential course

Colin Booth

20 February 2021 to 22 February 2021

From £233 Non-resident fee

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Steven Devine and Colin Booth, leading harpsichordists and regular tutors at Dillington, will explore the music and culture of the French court, from 1650 to 1750. The personalities responsible for the astonishing Palace of Versailles fostered an upsurge in musical creativity, in a distinctly French vein. Dance, opera, and instrumental music of all kinds flourished, while styles continued to change, as the palace itself expanded and developed.

This weekend course will culminate, before lunch on the final day, in an informal concert by the tutors, featuring music by Louis and Francois Couperin, D’Anglebert, and Rameau.

Residential Fees From: £348.   Non Residential: £233

Tutor information

Colin Booth has combined the careers of harpsichordist and harpsichord-maker for more than 30 years. As maker, he has more than 300 customers to his credit, including a large number of Early Music professionals. Steven Devine owns three of his instruments.
As a player, Colin has performed as soloist and continuo harpsichordist in a number of countries from Denmark to South Africa. He taught and played annually for 25 years at the Dartington International Summer School and has recorded 12 CDs of solo harpsichord music. His collaboration with Steven Devine, exploring the two-harpsichord repertoire, is now nearly two decades old.
Colin’s book Did Bach Really Mean That? – an investigation of baroque notation and the conventions underpinning it, has been praised both for its detail and insights, and for being a highly readable guide for all who are keen on playing early keyboard music, whatever their chosen instrument. To accompany the book, he released a critically praised recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
Colin had the good fortune, two years ago, to acquire and restore an original French harpsichord dated 1661. The first recording on it, Grounds for Pleasure, featured English music of the 17th century, and on a second CD he played music by the great 17th century French master Louis Couperin. For further information visit Colin’s website

Covid information

Dillington House wishes to reassure everyone that we are working closely with Somerset County Council to ensure every measure is being taken to make Dillington House a safe place for everyone.

All course participants will be sent further guidance prior to the course date.

Dillington House is following Government guidelines and adhering to new guidance including local or national lockdowns.

All places booked can be transferred or refunded in the event this course is cancelled. Individuals who are affected by local lockdowns will be able to transfer to an alternative course. All other terms and conditions apply.