JUAN CARLOS ZAMUDIO, CONCERTMASTER
Baroque composers have left us a rich legacy of great music. The rising young stars of the Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra play it in authentic style on period instruments.
This year’s concert ranges across several national and personal styles. It includes striking music by two lesser-known but influential composers, C.P.E. Bach and Jan Dismas Zelenka.
The orchestra will bring new life to the music of these neglected composers, as well as that of Vivaldi, Corelli, and Lully. Reserve your seats early to hear this outstanding ensemble. A popular attraction at the Festival since 2015, it is certain to sell out.
Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach lived and worked through the transition period between the Baroque and Classical eras. But while other composers of his day, including his half-brother Johann Christian Bach, adopted the simple and tuneful galant style, C.PE. Bach’s music is more dramatic and turbulent. It influenced his friend Joseph Haydn, as well as later composers such as Beethoven, and Mendelssohn.
Vivaldi and Zelenka, by contrast, are high Baroque artists. C.P.E. Bach’s father, Johann Sebastian, knew and admired their music. Vivaldi’s qualities are well known today, but Zelenka’s adventurous compositions are only beginning to gain modern adherents. His Hipocondrie is a portrait of melancholy and physical suffering, which was attributed to an excess of black bile, one of the four humors of classical medicine.
As a star violinist Arcangelo Corelli helped to establish violin style and give the relatively new instrument prominence in European music. As an early Baroque composer he influenced the development of the modern concerto and sonata forms. The work on this program comes from a set of 12 that made the Concerto Grosso form as central to music of that time as the symphony would later become.
Though he was born in Italy, Lully rejected all Italian influences to reinvent opera for the French language. He invented the French overture (later used to great effect by J.S. Bach), and made the minuet a dominant dance form of the era. The power, liveliness, and emotion of his music marked a bold and irreversible departure from what came before.