Baroque by Candlelight
February 27, 7:00 PM.
Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vermont Street, Lawrence, KS
This year’s Baroque By Candlelight concert features works by four consummate masters of the Baroque period: Bach, Handel, Corelli, and Telemann.
George Frideric Handel’s music is well known to LCO audiences from our previous performances, and this year we feature another concerto from his Opus 6 collection, number 11 in A major. Never a man to be bound by convention, Handel expands the four-movement structure of the Italian model into a multi-section concerto, with individual themes that have the distinctive qualities of characters from his operas. It is the dramatic use of these musical ideas that give Handel’s music that “larger-than-life” quality.
Arcangelo Corelli was well known in Italy as the greatest violinist of the time, and served as music director for weekly concerts at the home of his sponsor, Cardinal Ottoboni. It was here, in 1707, that Corelli actually served as concertmaster for a visiting composer from Saxony, one G.F. Handel by name, during the young man’s apprenticeship in Italy. The Concerto in D major, op.6 no.4, is from Corelli’s only published collection of concertos, and displays the prevailing Italian style of string writing, with its contrasts for three soloists and full ensemble.
Georg Phillip Telemann is known to us today as the most prolific composer in history, with more than a thousand works attributed to his pen; Handel once said that Telemann could “compose an 8-part motet as quickly as I write a letter.” Adept with all of the current styles of music of the time, his Concerto a Polonois incorporates elements of Polish folk music, which Telemann heard during his years of residence in Silesia, an area found today in western Poland.
With the year’s Baroque program, the LCO returns to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Orchestral Suite in B Minor is the most French of Bach’s four works of this genre, adding a virtuosic flute part to the string orchestra. A brilliant overture, combining French elan with German counterpoint, is followed by elegant dance movements, illustrating the influence of French dance which was then all the rage in German courts; members of the nobility competed with each other in their hiring of French dancemasters, in an ongoing effort to stay “au courant”! Flutist Annie Gnojek joins with the LCO strings to perform this suite, which is virtually an extended concerto for the soloist.