All roads lead to Rome

Music in Italy around 1700 will be the theme for the EUBO performances between 9 and 17 November 2012.

Director & harpsichord Lars Ulrik Mortensen

Concertmaster Bojan Čičić

G MUFFAT (1653-1704)

Sonata II in g minor from Armonico Tributo

Sonata (Grave – Allegro – Grave)

Aria – Adagio

Sarabanda – Adagio


GF HANDEL (1685-1759)

Ouverture in B Flat HWV 336

Largo – [Allegro]

GF HANDEL (1685-1759)

Sonata a5 in B flat HWV 288

Andante – Adagio – Allegro

[soloist Bojan Čičić]

A CORELLI (1653-1713)

Concerto Grosso in D Op 6 No 4

Adagio/Allegro – Adagio/Vivace – Allegro

A CORELLI (1653-1713)

Concerto Grosso in c minor Op 6 No 3

Largo – Allegro-Adagio – Grave – Vivace – Allegro

G MUFFAT (1653-1704)

Sonata V in G from Armonico Tributo

Allemanda – Adagio – Fuga – Adagio – Passacaglia

Programme note

The theme for this EUBO programme is music in Italy around 1700 – music composed slightly before the turn of the century, music composed in 1700 and music composed slightly after, together forming a kaleidoscope of instrumental music as might have been heard in Rome at that time.

The programme begins and ends with two suites by one of my favourite 17th century instrumental composers, Georg Muffat, who throughout his life wrote a variety of works for instrumental ensembles. Some of his works were composed in Austria before he went to Rome; some were composed in France where the dance music of Lully and the instrumental performing style at the French court was a great inspiration to him; and some concerti grossi were composed under Corelli’s influence in Rome. In these works we definitely hear the inheritance of Corelli but infused with the very special warmth and intensity of Muffat’s language. Muffat’s instrumental colours are less predictable than Corelli’s, one must say, and the programme begins with one of my favourite movements, the slow dark brooding introduction of the second Armonico Tributo concerto. The concert ends with one of the most beautiful examples of the passacaglia, the blues of the baroque, which really shows Muffat’s emotional and musical and compositional powers to the very full.

We of course include also music by Corelli; his music formed the ‘standard’ of the day, music from which all other music took its inspiration, and is in itself a model of perfection and the Italian language transformed into inimitable music. And then we also have music by a talented young provocateur, the Saxon Mr Handel, who visited Italy in a very early stage of his life and was tremendously inspired by all the music he heard there, not only the instrumental forms by Corelli and others but also by contemporary opera. We include two of his early works, one of which is basically a chamber piece, a sonata, where the Corelli influence is very clearly audible. But we hear Handel at the age of 22 or 23 already developing and evolving a very personal musical language; his music is under Corelli’s shadow but it’s very independent and gives a good inkling of what is to come in Handel’s future life.