Love & Longing: Italian Madrigals & Cantatas of the Early Baroque

The Concerto delle Donne – a singing group of three ladies in the court of Alfonso d’Este in Ferrara – created quite a musical stir in late sixteenth-century Italy.  This exciting Armonia Celeste program presents music from the Ferrarese court, and traces the development of the vocal chamber ensemble into the seventeenth century.  The themes of love and longing are interwoven throughout this program, much like the voices of the three ladies.  The alternating textures of instrumental and vocal trios, duets, and solos give lively energy to this program of music by such composers as Luzzaschi, Rossi, Sances, and Carissimi.


The Cycle of Love: Enchantment to Betrayal

This program follows the journey of love: its awakening, seduction, sensuality, consummation, betrayal, suffering, and finally, hope. This concert highlights the text-painting madrigals of Monteverdi, the melodic stylings of Barbara Strozzi, and the rise of opera in seventeenth-century Italy.


Udite Amanti – Lovers Beware! – Music from the 17th Century Barberini court

In mid-seventeenth-century Rome, the patronage of the Barberini family engendered a period of great productivity for the genres of vocal chamber music and opera. The trios, duets, and solos featured on this program (both instrumental and vocal) represent the refinement of style that occurred in the Barberini court.  This program features works of the Roman composers who were heard at the Barberini court or served the Barberini family during the mid-seventeenth century.  The music of such composers as Rossi, Carissimi, and Cesti - named by Perti in 1688 as “the three greatest lights of our profession” - serve as the centerpiece, and other composers of the era such as Frescobaldi, Tenaglia, Marazzoli and Pasqualini (one of the Barbarini castrati) are also represented.  To complete the historical picture, a copy of the famous Barberini harp made for this prestigious family ca. 1630 will be played for this program.


Music from the Court of Queen Christina of Sweden

Queen Cristina is one of the most interesting personages of the seventeenth century.  The daughter of Gustavus Adolphus, she became queen of Sweden at the young age of six upon her father’s death in Thirty Years War.  She was very interested all of the arts and especially in music. In 1654 she abdicated her throne, converted to the Catholic faith, and moved to Italy where she became one of the prime patrons of the arts, supporting composers such as Carissimi, Corelli, Marazzoli, and Alessandro Scarlatti.

This concert by Armonia Celeste is programmed to reflect two aspects of her life: the court and the chapel. Roman cantatas make up half of the program while music for the church and private devotions will appear on the second half.  Music that survives in the manuscripts associated with Sweden is blended with music composed and performed in Rome during her residence there, all in homage to one of the most interesting figures in history.


Pre-concert lectures, lecture recitals, master classes, and private lessons are also available upon request.

February 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 2013
"The Rebel Queen: Music from Christina's Swedish Court in Rome"

February 12, 2013
"Udite Amanti — Lovers, Beware!"

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