Monday, October 31, 2011

Arias for Farinelli

This was very much a Baroque weekend.  On Saturday night was Vivica Genaux with the Philharmonia Baroque in Berkeley doing her Arias for Farinelli program.

Philharmonia Baroque performs in the First Congregational Church in Berkeley, and after living in Sacramento for a while, I am feeling a bit of envy for such a spacious room with such nice acoustics.

This was sort of an anyone but Bach concert from the generation born from the decade 1678-88:

  • We begin with a concerto for six woodwinds by Johann Friedrich Fasch, who worked within 50 miles of Bach.  This was on the program as a memorial for two of their woodwind players who died last spring.
  • Then Vivica thrilled us with three arias by Antonio Vivaldi.
  • Georg Philipp Telemann's "Sinfonia Spirituosa"
  • Then we have two arias by Nicola Porpora and one by Roccardo Broschi.  Broschi is heard only because he was Farinelli's brother and wrote a number of show piece arias for him.  He is younger than the others.  These were pretty flashy.
  • The program closed with a suite by Jean -Philippe Rameau from La Guirlande.  This included some very primitive looking percussion--a tall drum and a tambourine. 
  • Vivica sang "Agitata da due venti" from Vivaldi's Griselda as an encore.  I don't think it was as funny as this film.



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