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In Modern Style - Music from 17th century Italy

February 27th - March 3rd, 2024

The beginning of the 17th century ushered in the earliest music in what we now refer to as ‘baroque’ style. Composers, notably in Italy, made a radical departure from the complex polyphony of the late 16th century in favour of a more direct expression of the poetic text, setting one or more sung or played lines to a harmonized bass line (basso continuo). Monteverdi referred to this new style as the seconda prattica, and it also became known as stile moderno, or le nuove musiche.
The 2024 Pacific Baroque Festival will include an intimate morning concert of this repertoire by La Modestine (Marc Destrubé, Natalie Mackie, Marco Vitale), performances by Italian master organist Ed
oardo Bellotti on the spectacular Wolff organ of Christ Church Cathedral and the Brombaugh one-manual organ at St Barnabas Church, a program of instrumental music for violins and sackbuts, as well as a selection of madrigals from Claudio Monteverdi’s “Songs of Love and War” with an ensemble of emerging singers from the Victoria region.

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Tuesday Evening, February 27th, 7:30pm

Le Nuove Musiche 1: Naples and Rome - Frescobaldi to Scarlatti

St Barnabas Church

Not all needs to be grand to be special. This new feature concert brings our audience to the intimate space of St Barnabas church, where Edoardo Belotti will masterfully showcase the full extent of the subtleties available on the one-manual organ built by Joseph Brombaugh. In a concert highlighting music from the Southern Italian schools of Naples and Rome, be dazzled by the works of Girolamo Frescobaldi, Bernado Storace, Giovanni Salvatore, Bernado Pasquini and Alessandro Scarlatti.

Note: This concert is not included in the Festival Pass. Tickets for this concert must be purchased separately.

Wednesday Evening, February 28th, 7:30pm

Le Nuove Musiche 2: Venice and Milan - Monteverdi to Verdi

Christ Church Cathedral

The 17th century heralded a growing repertoire for keyboard and organ works, as new instruments were built and composers innovated new styles and genres. Northern Italy became the epicentre of a new Italian Style, as musical forms like the sonata, overture, and concerto were invented, refined and went on to dominate Western music. Edoardo Bellotti plays music by Andrea Gabrieli, Claudio Monteverdi, Francesco Cavelli, Tomaso Albinoni, Giovanni Platti, Antonio Vivaldi, Pasquale Ricci and Giuseppi Verdi on the renowned Helmutt Wolff organ at Christ Church Cathedral, in a concert centred on this most highly musically influential region.

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Thursday Morning, February 29th, 11:00am

Stile Moderno

Alix Goolden Performance Hall, Victoria Conservatory of Music

The 17th century ushered in a new ‘modern’ musical style in Italy, where individual instruments reflected a new vocal style which emphasized simplicity and directness of expression, as exemplified in the music of composers such as Frescobaldi and Cima. Marco Vitale makes a return visit to Victoria to join his La Modestine friends Natalie Mackie and Marc Destrubé for an intimate program of early Italian music for violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord.

Friday Evening, March 1st, 7:30pm

Sonate Concertate

Alix Goolden Performance Hall, Victoria Conservatory of Music

The flourishing of instrumental music in 17th century northern Italy gave composers free reign to explore a conversational (‘concertate’) style of composition, exploring the varied colours and interplay between string and wind instruments. The sackbut (early trombone) came into its own at this time, most notably in the works of composers associated with St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice such as Gabrieli and Castello, who exploited its mellow timbre. At the same time the harp gained popularity as an accompanying bass instrument. We are thrilled to include two sackbuts and harp in the festival ensemble for this program.

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Saturday Evening, March 2nd, 7:30pm

‘Songs of Love and War’

Alix Goolden Performance Hall, Victoria Conservatory of Music

This concert will feature selections from Claudio Monteverdi’s eighth book of “madrigals” (‘Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi’), published in Venice in 1638 when he was seventy-one years old. They represent a significant evolution in musical style, in which Monteverdi sought to express a new emotion in music.. Earlier composers had only conveyed two of man’s three major passions, the soft and the moderate; a third passion, agitation (‘stile concitato’), was missing in his view. For this program, the festival instrumental ensemble will be joined by a select group of emerging young
singers, specialized in this beautifully expressive music.

Sunday Afternoon, March 3rd, 4:00pm

Choral Evensong – ‘Reflections from Northern Italy

Christ Church Cathedral

The Pacific Baroque Festival concludes with a Choral Evensong Service at Christ Church Cathedral, featuring the sacred music of northern Italy. 

This is a free offering and no ticket required!



Single Tickets: $30 + tax & fees and $25  for Seniors/Students + tax & fees

Festival Passes: $100 + tax & fees and $80 for Seniors/Students + tax & fees are also available for purchase here.

Or buy by phone at the VCM Box Office: 250-386-5311


The Pacific Baroque Festival is co-presented by the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Christ Church Cathedral Victoria and EMV.



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 The Magnolia Hotel provides Festival audience members with a special rate during the Festival: a 15% discount on the best available room rate.


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