Is Baroque music hip? Early music festivals attract crowds of young people, and new amateur and university ensembles mushroom here and there. It is certainly fashionable music, but still original enough to emphasise one’s individuality with an interest in Baroque. Can a youthful passion become a walk of life?
The German quartet 4 Times Baroque, founded four years ago, will show off their virtuosity in works by popular and lesser known composers of Italian Baroque. Vivaldi’s mesmerising concerto ‘La notte’ (‘The Night’) is like a nightmare full of phantoms. ‘La folia’ (‘Folly’) variations by Arcangelo Corelli are just as crazy, based on a theme of an ear-catching Portuguese folk dance. Rinaldo, though written for a theatre in London, has an Italian libretto based on motives from Italian literature. The Rinaldo Overture opens the night, a fragment of Handel’s best-known work for stage. Tarquinio Merola, a pioneer of Italian Baroque, and his compatriot Giuseppe Sammartini are highlights of the programme, the latter made famous by his tenure at England’s royal court.