In an age of instant information and communication it is all too easy to imagine that the musical centres of Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries were isolated pockets of creativity.
The English Concert
Harry Bicket director/harpsichord
Alfonso Leal del Ojo viola
Purcell Suite from King Arthur
Corelli Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 10
Telemann Viola Concerto in G TWV 51:G9
Vivaldi Concerto for strings in G minor RV 157
Handel Concerto Grosso in G minor Op. 6, No. 6
Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D BWV 1068
In an age of instant information and communication it is all too easy to imagine that the musical centres of Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries were isolated pockets of creativity. Yet entirely the opposite was true. Purcell knew very well that his quintessentially English style incorporated significant aspects from French music, where the now restored Charles II had been in exile. Bach and Telemann, meanwhile, sought to infuse aspects of Italian and French styles together with a German attention to harmony and counterpoint. Elsewhere, the music of Corelli and Vivaldi was lapped up by the bustling printing houses of Amsterdam while the amateur musicians of England happily devoured pirate copies to keep up to date. Whilst adopted by the English and turning his attention to the new form of English-language oratorio, Handel’s music similarly betrays his upbringing in Germany and early success in Italy. But from this fusion of ideas and styles comes the greatest music Europe had ever heard. The spark to create something new sets these musical giants apart as Baroque Masters.