The varied landscape of Baroque music embraces a multitude of styles, genres, and cultures. The musical forms of dance are some of the most essential and prevalent components of music from this time and the orchestral suites of Johann Sebastian Bach are suffused with the spirit of dance and reflect Bach’s contrapuntal mastery as well as his exploration of new sonorous possibilities and instrumental combinations. Internationally admired Georg Philipp Telemann catered to French taste for the elegantly crafted chamber music in his Paris Quartets and Antonio Vivaldi left a defining mark on the Baroque concerto with his gleaming virtuosity, colorful instrumentation and perfection of the form. The Venetian nobleman Alessandro Marcello brought dignity and high skill to his small catalog of works. Though not much is known about Francesco Conti, during his lifetime he was the greatest living interpreter of music for theorbo and mandolin, and was a highly respected musician in both the courts of Italy and Vienna; his cantatas bearing comparison to those by the other composers on this program, anticipating the operatic vocal techniques George Frideric Handel was to popularize in England in his operas, motets and later oratorios. All of these composers showcased in a program offered by one of the preeminent period instrument ensembles of the world, Bach Collegium Japan, appearing at Armstrong Auditorium on Tuesday, December 4th, presented by the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation’s Performing Arts Series, and appearing with famed director, conductor and harpsichordist Masaaki Suzuki and renown soprano Joanne Lunn.
This program airs Saturday, January 26th, 8pm on Classical 88.7 HD-1.