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Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music 2008

img  Tobias

The Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music is officially closed. Tokafi has reported on all but three concerts of this year's edition and it has been a superb week of perfomances. You can now access the reports on the individual days on the right hand side. They also include some cultural observations of London and my personal experiences. The Lufthansa Festival, after all, was sponsored by an Airline and flying, in the end, is just as much about travelling as it is about going to different places with their own unique flavour. So we hope you enjoy these just as much as the concert reports – of which there are many.

Some concluding remarks:

- It takes time to tune into music several hundreds years old. But after spending three nights with it, I found myself completely immersed in this world. The Lufthansa Festival, with its packed schedule of a complete week of performances seems like a perfect approach for furthering understanding of Baroque music.
- The combination of programming some bigger names and insider-stars worked out extremely well. With regards to the latter, the performances clearly benefited from the enthusiasm of the crowd for being able to listen to works seldomly played anywhere else in the world.
- The pre-concert talk with Philippe Herreweghe, despite the technical issues hampering it, was promising. Maybe the Lufthansa Festival could turn this into a regular feature to deepen the concert experience.
- St. John's Smith Square is the perfect space for the Lufthansa Festival. Both big and small enough to provide an impressive and yet intimate mood, it is an ideal setting for works from the Baroque period. The same goes for the crowd attracted to its concerts. I, for my part, have rarely experienced visitors picknicking outside a classical concert hall in the warm evening air during the interval - but this relaxed ambiance made the entire event more agreable.
- A powerful line-up of young artists presented itself at the 2008 Lufthansa Festival. Musically, there were plenty of revelations. But why do these artists not make use of the opportunities of the internet to present themselves? To me, the Concordia Ensemble, Soprano Laura Cherici, Counter Tenor Iestyn Davies and Soprano Celine scheen put down excellent interpretations – but it is a crying shame that none of them has a website to present themselves. If Baroque Music wants to escape the niche it is in (which, in my opinion, it definitely can), then musicians like these need to grow up to the 21st century.
- The involvement of Lufthansa in the Festival is 24 years old – a rare case of dedication to a cause and a warmly welcomed one.


My Top 5 of musical discoveries at the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music 2008:
1. J.C. Bach: „Mein Freund ist mein und ich bin sein“ (as performed by The Wallfisch Band & Istyn Davies)
A delicately varied loop of shattering gravitas and out-of-time absoluteness.
2. William Lawes: „Consort Sett a 6 in G minor“ (as performed by Concordia)
400-year old textures of gradually morphing timbres and harmonies.
3. Giulio Caccini: „Amarilli, mia bella“ (as performed by Labyrinto & Celine Scheen)
A sweetly blossoming ballad at the borderline of sin and temptation.
4. Handel: „Rodrigo“ (as performed by Ensemble San Felice)
A story of revenge and forgiveness, told by a string of enthralling arias.
5. Giovanni Legrenzi: „O dilectissime Jesu“ (as performed by Concerto Soave & Maria Christina Kiehr)
A miniature Opera of chambermusical intimacy and universal relevance.

Article in serie

1 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music 2008
A rare case of dedication: ...
2 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music 2008: Day 6
London, May 20th: Concerto Soave ...
3 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music 2008: Day 5
London, May 19th: Ensemble Pierre ...
4 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music 2008: Day 4
London, May 18th: The Wallfish ...
5 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music 2008: Day 3
London, May 17th: Concordia & ...
6 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music 2008: Day 2
London, May 16th: Philippe Herreweghe ...
7 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music 2008: Day 1
London, May 15th: English Concert, ...

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