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La Serenissima

The Italian Job

Venue: Cadogan Hall


Sinfonia for 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, timpani, violin, strings & continuo in C major
Chaconne for strings & continuo in A
Sinfonia to La Statira for 2 trumpets, 2 oboes, strings & continuo
Concerto for violin, strings & continuo in E major, D. 51
Balletto di Cavalieri Romani, Spagnuoli e Africani from Scipione nelle Spagne
Balletto primo from Ormisda
Concerto alla rustica for 2 oboes, strings & continuo in G major, RV. 151
Concerto for 2 oboes, strings & continuo in F major, Op. 9 No. 3
Sinfonia to S. Beatrice d’Este for strings & continuo in D minor
Sinfonia for 4 trumpets, timpani, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, trombone, strings & continuo, G. 33


Adrian Chandler

Albinoni, Caldara, Corelli, Tartini, Torelli & Vivaldi – a feast of instrumental colour with oboes, bassoons, trumpets, trombone, timpani, strings and continuo by the finest composers of the Italian baroque.

The riches produced by the Italian composers of the late baroque period were extraordinary beyond belief. Music copying shops in the biggest centres did a roaring trade, providing copies of the latest tunes to an enthusiastic clientele largely made up of aristocrats on the grand tour. If they couldn’t go in person, agents were sent on their behalf as in the case of Charles Jennens (the arranger of the libretto for Handel’s Messiah) who instructed Edward Holdsworth to purchase concertos from Antonio Vivaldi whilst in Venice; the price proved too high on this occasion.

Italy was famed for the standard of its string playing, but for important occasions such as special religious feast days, winds and brass could also be added and this programme reflects this tradition with richly scored Sinfonias by Caldara and Torelli as well as more simple scorings, such as the beautiful Violin Concerto by Tartini. Well-known works such as the jubilant Double Oboe Concerto of Albinoni and the jaunty Concerto alla rustica of Vivaldi rub shoulders with lesser known pieces such as the Corelli and Caldara Sinfonias, the latter of which – to our knowledge – has never been performed in modern times.

6.30pm: Pre-concert talk:
‘Blowing the doors off the Italian baroque’ with Adrian Chandler

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