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Rejuvenating the old

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It seems as though everyone's got their own little project based around old music. Ensembles are being founded at lightning speed and even the smallest town is offering live performances once a week. Few, however, have been able to keep the juices flowing for as long as La Villanella Basel.

Founded 1995 in Switserland (admittedly no great surprise considering their name), this quartet is celebrating its tenth aniversary this year. A factor which definitely contributed to their ongoing success is their strict focus on music of the 17th (and also some of the 16th) century, as well as a smart selection of programs. Which means that you can book them for an evening of clerical love songs or by Spanish composers only or even a selection based entirely around Italian composer Lassus. As the group was founded during the Luther commemoration year, it should be no great surprise that they also love to perform titles that are closely connected to him. But that's not all: Their most recent CD is dedicated to the music of the seicento and has already been extensively praised. By offering these various programs, the ensemble demonstrates the remarkable diversity of this period as well as showing how developments differed all over Europe. On September 17th (yes, that is right around the corner) you can catch them live at Schloss Goseck, where they'll be rendering pieces by English composers and some of those who lived in England at the time. Expect material by Dowland, Purcell and Händel, expect melancholy and virtuosity and expect to be surprised.

Everyone's got their own little old-music project, few have got this much to say. And if you shouldn't be able to make it on the 17th, you'll get another chance on October 9th (at Stift Fischbeck) and November 6th (St. Joseph Fockenfeld).

Homepage: La Villanella Basel
Homepage: Schloss Goseck

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