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Orchestra of the Swan: A large group of musicians pose with their instruments against a cream backdrop

Orchestra of the Swan – Mysterious Barricades

Thursday 23 March 2023

Thursday 23/03/2023


Duration: 140 minutes

From a 21st Century perspective we are inclined to equate baroque composers with their later, romantic incarnations; conduits for absolute freedom; troubled artists delving deep into their souls and psyches to reveal profound universal and personal insights.

Baroque composers had more in common with master craftspeople, producing work at the behest of the church, the state, or the aristocracy; artistic freedom was, on the whole, not an urgent consideration.

Their work was shaped by an astute awareness of the predilections of their wealthy patrons and the need to remain in employment. Development and innovation did occur, however, because the great baroque composers were able to negotiate the line between conforming to a particular style – dance suites, oratorios, sonatas, or elegant background music – and individual expression, which shone brightly despite perceived restrictions of form.

This programme demonstrates how a handful of composers were able to leave their indelible personal imprint upon prevalent musical forms such as the concerto, the chaconne and the kanon and consequently set in motion the inexorable march towards the vision of the composer as auteur, namely Beethoven. All these works are astonishing examples of the place where restriction engenders originality and craft spills over into genius.

CPE Bach Sinfonia in E minor, Wq.178
Pachelbel Kanon in D Major
Corelli Violin Sonata in D minor, Op.5 No.12 ‘La Folia’
Marcello Oboe Concerto in D minor, S.Z799
Vivaldi Concerto for 2 Violins in A minor, RV 522
Purcell Chacony in G minor, Z.730
Couperin Les Barricades Mystérieuses
Bach Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060R

Oboe Victoria Brawn
Director David le Page

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