Kingsbury Ensemble to perform music from the French Baroque

TiVo or tape the Academy Awards and step out to hear a unique performance of brilliant music that marked the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

St. Louis’ own Kingsbury Ensemble will perform Music Fit for a King: Theatre Music and Cantatas From the French Baroque at 7:30 p.m. March 5 in Holmes Lounge.

The program will feature:

Second Suite for the King’s Supper, by Michel-Richard Delalande. This piece was one of many performed between courses during elaborate evening meals prepared for Louis XIV at Versailles. Courtiers and curious onlookers watched the royal family dine while listening to the energetic, ornamented French music of the day.

Pan and Syrinx, cantata by Michel de Monteclair. Inspired by mythology, Pan pursues Syrinx in this piece for soprano, violin, flute, oboe and continuo. She is transformed into river reeds to escape him, but then grasping the reeds he sighs and the panpipes are born.

The Sleep of Ulysses, by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. This cantata for tenor and instruments is the work of a young woman who, as a child prodigy, was quickly singled out by Louis XIV at concerts where she sang and played the harpsichord.

Suite for the Imaginary Invalid. Marc-Antoine Charpentier wrote the memorable music for Molière’s play Le Malade Imaginaire after the French playwright has a falling out with Jean-Baptiste Lully, a favorite of the king. But the musical results are no less entertaining with Charpentier.

The Kingsbury Ensemble specializes in music of the Baroque and Classical periods, employing historically accurate practices and instruments and performing in acoustically appropriate settings.

Performers for the concert will include Jessica Heuser, soprano; James Harr, tenor; Paul Thompson, flute; Sand Dalton, oboe; Marc Thayer and Jason Keune, violins; Henry Claude, percussion; Ken Kulosa, cello; Henry Skolnick, bassoon; and Maryse Carlin, harpsichord.

Tickets are $15 for the general public; $10 for seniors and WUSTL faculty and staff; and free for students. Tickets are available through the Edison Theatre Box Office, 935-6543, and at the door.

For more information, call 862-2675 or e-mail