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Post-Festival Tour, March 6th-10th


La Modestine

Marc Destrubé, violin and artistic director

Natalie Mackie, viola da gamba

Marco Vitale, harpsichord and organ

Stile Moderno

‘Stile Moderno’ is a concert dedicated to the historically-informed performance of a wealth of music beyond mainstream classics. This special event shines a light the beautiful and intimate music of 17th century Italy, a time and place considered to be the cradle of baroque music, referred to as 'Stile Moderno'. 


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.

"The beginning of the 17th century ushered in the baroque style in music; composers, notably in Italy, made a radical departure from the complex polyphony of the late 16th century in favour of more directly expressive music. This concert’s goal is to create an immersive experience that transports audiences to the blossoming infancy of the Baroque era, sharing our appreciation and passion for the music of this innovative period.


“Stile Moderno provides an intimate dip of the toes into the beautiful world of 17th century baroque music. This was a period in which composers such as Frescobaldi had free reign to explore and experiment in a new ‘modern’ musical style, writing short instrumental pieces with a strong visceral impact, sometimes named after favourite people or places (“La Luciminia Contenta”, “La Cagnola”). Merula’s “La Monteverde” pays homage to Monteverdi. This period of musical adventure culminated in the publication, notably on January 1st, 1700, of Arcangelo Corelli’s Op. 5 sonatas, heralding a new age of virtuosic writing for string instruments.

“I love the music from this period, for its immediacy and straightforward manner of expression, and for the interpretive challenges it presents. The written music is but a skeleton, there’s so much to flesh out and decide in the way of shaping the music. Doing this with two wonderful colleagues is pure joy, and so much can happen spontaneously in the performance when, aside from good preparation, the trust that has built up from playing many concerts together can translate into happy risk-taking.”

(Marc Destrubé – baroque violin).


Thursday, March 7th, 7:30pm

St George's United Church, 505-6th St

Hosted by Pacific Baroque Festival

Single Tickets online: 

General Admission: $25 + taxes and fees

Seniors/Students: $20 + taxes + fees

Available here

Or buy in-person at Laughing Oyster Bookshop and Blue Heron Books

or at the door.

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Other Performances

Denman Island

Wednesday, March 6th, 7:30pm

Denman Community Hall

Hosted by Denman Baroque

Bowen Island

Saturday, March 9th, 7:30pm

Hodson Manor, Vancouver

Bowen Island

Friday, March 8th, 7:30pm

Library Annex, Bowen Island


Sunday, March 10th, 5:00pm

Maury Young Arts Centre

Hosted by Whistler Chamber Music


Like technological change, innovation and experimentation throughout the centuries is equally observable in all areas of human endeavour. In 17th century Italy, experimentation and inquiry was flourishing in the sciences and visual arts. This fascination with novel insights and techniques was paralleled in the musical world where there was a remarkable shift in how instrumental music was composed, played, and listened to.


This “stile moderno,” or modern style, was a new phenomenon in which musical instruments leapt into a world of their own, and where composers and performers exploited each instruments’ unique characteristics and possibilities. In previous decades compositions could be performed with some instrumental flexibility; played by strings, winds, keyboards or a mix of these, depending on what was at hand, and frequently with the goal of imitating the human voice.


While the relationship with vocal music remained robust, exploring the ways in which instruments could (without text) move the “affeti”, or the emotions of the listener was new territory to explore in the early 17th century. Through metrical flexibility and an adventurous compositional attitude, Italian composers of this period broke new ground with highly idiomatic writing whose influence was felt throughout Europe.


In today’s program, all of the composers were also renowned organists, violinists, or both. Girolamo Frescobaldi’s collections of printed music were enormously influential in the late Renaissance and early baroque periods, and the harpsichord solo is an enchanting example of stile modern. with its visionary and adventurous improvisatory musical language.


Arcangelo Corelli, the latest composer on the programme, was revered in his home country and elsewhere in Europe, and known in his time as the “new Orpheus”. His music was widely played, copied and transcribed well into the 18th century. The Sonata #5 for viola da gamba is from an anonymous transcription of Corelli’s Op. 5 violin sonatas for viola da gamba and is transposed from the original g minor to d minor.

Natalie Mackie


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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