The Passion of the Italian Baroque

Amherst Early Music Festival program

Back on July 14, Tim won some tickets from a radio station to one of the performances of the Amherst Early Music Festival, The Passion of the Italian Baroque, at Evans Concert Hall at Connecticut College. (The same place we saw Vusi Mahlasela perform solo in 2005!) This was an opportunity not to be missed, so we brought my cushion and propped me up in a seat so we could see  and listen to the delightful Amherst Baroque Soloists play.

The Amherst Early Music Festival is the most comprehensive early music workshop in the world, with classes for amateurs and pre-professionals, a music and instrument exhibition, and a professional concert series. We offer programs of classes at all levels in Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music and dance taught by an international faculty of well-known performers and teachers.
~ Marilyn Boenau, Executive Director

It was a beautiful concert with a soprano, viol, violin, violone, recorder, flute, two oboes, cello, and three harpsichords. Tim’s favorite piece was the opening number, Chamber Concerto in D Major, by Antonio Vivaldi, performed with the flute, oboe, violin, cello and harpsichord. I was especially enchanted with Canzona La Pighetta, by Tarquinio Merula, a composer previously unknown to me. It was played with the recorder, viol and harpsichord and it was mesmerizing!

The finale, which seemed have all the musicians on stage at once, was Venti turbini from Rinaldo by Handel. The exquisite soprano, Julianne Baird, sang a lovely refrain which was translated for us in the program:

Winds, storms, lend
Your wings to my feet
Heavens, Gods, take up arms
Against the one who gives me pain!

I like to think her request had been granted on behalf of my pain! 🙂 Although perched quite gingerly on the edge of my seat with cushion and rolled up sweatshirt for support I managed to stay seated for the entire program with minimal discomfort. Phew!

Because Tim is more into classical music than I am, I’m hoping he will leave a comment and elaborate on the comedy involving a couple of the harpsichord players, among other things…

6 thoughts on “The Passion of the Italian Baroque”

  1. Hi,
    How lucky you were to win some tickets to such a lovely event, it sounds like you had a very enjoyable evening, and the video is very nice indeed.

    1. You’re welcome – it was amazing! There was no sound system, just the instruments and one exquisite voice. I often say, as a passionate music lover, there is nothing like live music!

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