On Friday, December 16, the church of St Thomas was decorated as a Venetian basilica for Winchelsea Arts Christmas concert – Un Natale Veneziano – featuring Ensemble OrQuesta Baroque, directed by Marcio da Silva.
The programme featured Christmas concerti by Corelli, Valentini, Torelli and, in the first half, a sonata by Cavalli. Fast movements contrasted with graceful slower ones, often in the characteristic Siciliano rhythm. Violins and recorders made sweet music, their lines weaving above the bass line of ‘cello and double bass, the whole anchored by the harpsichord continuo. The second half continued with further concerti by Manfredini and Schiassi. No concert of this genre would be complete without Vivaldi and the audience was treated as a finale to Winter from the Four Seasons.
Peter Hatch, who organised this concert said: “There was standing room only for this special concert which celebrated the Italian tradition during the nine days before Christmas, originating in folk music, where peasants playing musical instruments would go from town to town re-enacting the shepherds’ adoration of the Christ-child. This was transformed into the high art pastorale and was subsequently incorporated into the concerto form, making it a celebration of the nativity.”
Click on the link for information on future concerts
Image Credits: Kt bruce .