My wife and I just got back from the finale of the local chamber music season. Ames Town & Gown splits its season between the city auditorium and the recital hall on campus (like tonight).
Tonight’s performers were magnificent. I would be hard-pressed to recall a better-programmed concert. One might think that Italian baroque music is a narrow field, but the contrast of pieces, performing styles, structure, and featured performers was absolutely delightful. Trio Settecento has their own YouTube channel.
The concert began delightfully with Stradella’s Sinfonia in D minor and Legrenzi’s Sonata quinta. After a solo harpsichord piece, a Scarlatti sonata, I really enjoyed Corelli’s E major sonata from Opus 5. Four Scottish airs arranged by Geminiani concluded the first set. Violinist Rachel Barton Pine mentioned that in 17th century Europe, the dividing lines between folk and classical music were not as precise as they might be today. A musician playing in the local concert band one night might be playing dance music in a pub the next. While the whole evening was billed as “An Italian Sojourn,” these “Four Scottish Airs” worked wonderfully well in the trio format.
After intermission, the trio began with Locatelli’s Sonata in D minor, which is on their video page at their web site. What’s not on the page is the outrageous Caprice that concludes the piece. A Vivaldi cello sonata, then Veracini’s Sonata in F finished up. There was a Handel encore after a standing ovation.
It was the best chamber music experience since I lived in Kansas City and heard the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers.