Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music 2010 - London
Saturday 15, May 2010
The 2010 Lufthansa Festival takes the 400th anniversary of Monteverdi's sublime Vespers, one of the best-loved works in the Baroque repertoire, as the starting-point for a celebration of the leading role taken by Italian composers in the creation of the Baroque style.
Monteverdi's position as a founding father of the Baroque is reflected not just in the Vespers - performed on the opening night by the award-winning Italian ensemble La Venexiana - but also in a programme of his cutting-edge dramatic music by I Fagiolini. I Fagiolini's ever-inventive director Robert Hollingworth also gives this year's Lufthansa Lecture.
But there will be music by other movers and shakers from across the Alps: Corelli's perfection of the concerto grosso is marked in spectacular style by an ambitious 50-player gathering of the European Union Baroque Orchestra; vocal trendsetters Pergolesi and Alessandro Scarlatti are honoured by Fabio Bonizzoni's superb ensemble La Risonanza; and Vivaldi's ever-seductive charms are let loose by the UK's own thrilling Vivaldi specialists, La Serenissima.
The daring and fantasy of the earliest violin masters will be revealed in concerts by Festival debutants Baroque Fever from Denmark and Enrico Onofri's IMAGINARIUM Ensemble from Italy; the young Handel's brilliant assimilation of Italian manners will shine out in his stunning Roman oratorio, La Resurrezione, in a performance by Paul McCreesh and theGabrieli Consort & Players; and the irrepressible genius of Domenico Scarlatti will be on show in a rare London recital by French harpsichord viruoso Pierre Hantaï.
Two concerts will conjure up their own special atmosphere in our 'Lufthansa Late' series: inspirational gamba-player Paolo Pandolfo makes a welcome return to mix 17th-century music with his own up-to-the-minute improvisations, and recorder star Pamela Thorby is joined by vocalistMaria Pia De Vito and pianist Huw Warren to temper the Baroque with a touch of jazz.
And as ever, there will also be a trip to Westminster Abbey, where the Abbey's choir will revel in two great favourites of Italian sacred music, Vivaldi's Gloria and Handel's Dixit Dominus.
All this, plus a festival walk, another boat trip and a new Friends organisation to take advantage of too!
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