FGE Review – Venice Baroque Orchestra

Not only that the “George Enescu” Festival ran for almost a full month but also there was more than one concert per day. As I said before it was a true music marathon. Run from work, go to the 7.30 Palace Hall concert an immediately afterwards to the night concert at the Atheneum. Yes, there were also night concert during the Festival.
I have to be sincere from the beginning. The old timers have beaten me. I was sooo sleepy at some point during these night concerts and I was watching in shame how old people were standing straight up in their chairs listening to the concert. I don’t know what they were on but I know I was nearly holding my head up. And not because it was boring. On the contrary. The night concerts were something spectacular. Something that took you back in time! Way back in time…

The first night concert I attended was with the Venice Baroque Orchestra. The name I think says a lot of the ensemble. I’m not such a big fan of the baroque period, perhaps more of the previous periods but the moment you hear this music live, it really changes your perspective. Let’s say you’ve been to a classical music concert and you kinda know how the instruments look like and how the artists play those instruments. Well, what you first notice about these ensembles is that they’re really trying to play their instruments as they were played during that time. And also some of the instruments are very old and of great value. It’s a pity that during the Festival we are not able to learn more about these incredible instruments.
The Venice Baroque Orchestra has a history since 1997 and have come to the Festival with a repertoire which included works from Vivaldi, Tartini and Albinioni. In fact a lot of Vivaldi. Think about it. The man wrote more than 500 concerts! I always wondered if the women were so ugly back than that all you could do is to stay indoors and compose so much music. Or perhaps because he was called the Red Priest because of his hair color and being a member of the clergy.
Anyway, what I like the most is the atmosphere of these type of concerts. It’s like suddenly the music takes you back in time and you are actually at a royal court during a banquet or something. Is not only the music but also the musicians who manage to provide a perfect mood. Their passion for this music can only impose respect from the audience. You just have to sit back and enjoy the performance and at the end you might bow before the musicians instinctively only to realize then you’re out of place. But let’s watch a sample of what they are doing.

The Venice Baroque Orchestra has invited as a soloist Giuliano Carmignola, who was born in Treviso, Italy. He is also a world acclaimed violinist and was raised in the spirit of Vivaldi’s music. Needles to say that he has a specific Italian charm that made some of the ladies to faint a little. Regardless of this, his performance was extraordinary and I could swear Vivaldi was somewhere there listening to his own compositions. Especially in the end, when the ensemble offered the public as a bis, one of Vivaldi’s Seasons. The speed was exceptional. And so I began to listen again to baroque music and I hope the orchestra will be invited again in the future editions of the Festival. Until then I have to find out what are the old people taking so they could stay up all night.

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