The ensemble for a romantic century The Party released their debut album UK Tour 1860 on ZeD Classics today. ZeD Classics is very proud to issue such a powerful debut album in which ‘The Party’ performs a program as the original ensemble would have done then: obstinate, varied, passionate, expressive and above all spellbinding.
The story of The Party is simple: in the 1860s a group of musicians around the couple Mr. and Mrs. Lemmens-Sherrington – also known as ‘The Party’ – travels through the English counties. The group does not only visit cities like Manchester, Liverpool or Leeds, but also villages that can barely be traced on a map.
The ensemble, which calls itself ‘The Party’, performs almost every night during six weeks in the spring and the autumn. Sometimes they even give two concerts on one day with different programmes. Most concerts are miscellaneous: mixed concerts with an interval, consisting of a neatly divided alternation of diverse solos for the singers and the instrumentalists. After 1869 the programming shifts per tour to a Part I, with a selection of an opera or an oratorio and a Part II which is miscellaneous.
The superb musical company becomes renowned for its own musical arrangements and hosts resounding names such as Helen Lemmens-Sherrington, the famous English concert- and operasoprano, her Belgian spouse, the harmonium player-composer Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens, violinist Henry Vieuxtemps and double bassist Giovanni Bottesini.
Hendrickje van Kerckhove (soprano), Bart Rodyns (Harmonium), Eliot Lawson (violin) and Lode Leire (contrabass) bring this ‘Party’ back to life with a very unusual lineup with … harmonium.