Thursday, 29 February 11am
Stile Moderno the Festival’s unique 11am concert on Thursday 29 February, will be the first of 3 concerts at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall, an ideal space for appreciating the period performance of baroque music encouraging the audience and musicians to establish a special relationship through the performance. You may appreciate the following insights of Festival Artistic Director Marc Destrubé’:
‘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, whose music appears later in the festival. 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.
'The three festival concerts that take place in the beautiful acoustics of Alix Goolden Hall represent three aspects of music from 17th century Italy. The Thursday morning concert shows composers at their most personal and experimental, writing for just one or two voices and a bass line; the Friday concert stays with instrumental music, but expanding the forces with the inclusion of two sackbuts (baroque trombones) and baroque harp, and music that is more conversational between the different instruments or pairs of instruments. And on Saturday we add eight singers and a full bass group (harpsichord, harp, cello and violine (double bass) along with two violins), to present Monteverdi’s groundbreaking Songs of Love and War.
'As in past festivals, we highlight some familiar composers’ names (Corelli, Monteverdi, Frescobaldi) alongside less well-known (but equally wonderful) figures, such as Uccellini, Merula and Fontana, whose music most definitely deserves to be heard!’
- Marc Destrubé, baroque violin & Artistic Director
Tickets are on sale now for concerts running from Tuesday, February 27
to Saturday, March 2. Please also join us at the Festival's Choral Evensong service on Sunday, March 3 - a free-offering event.
A Taste of Monteverdi