Early Music Festival Utrecht: part 5

Fringe concert: Corde Sonore

After skipping a festival day, (see part 1 to part 4) I queued for the necessary tickets for my next series of fringe concerts. As I had arranged to meet friends during the day, I had selected venues which were close together. I was not the only one in the queue who had decided to pick concerts which were concentrated near each other.

During the Early Music Festival, concerts take place throughout Utrecht. If you are not careful, you end up walking from one side of town to the other part. Sometimes, there is just half an hour and that is not enough to walk from one side to the other.

But on handing my ticket, the volunteer asked if I knew where I was heading to. Huh? Turned out the festival brochure’s map had at least one misprint. My selected concert and venue were not a few streets from Tivoli-Vredenburg. “De Witte Lelie” was on the fringe of Utrecht’s old town centre.

Thanks to the directions of the alert and kind volunteer, I easily found the venue. But judging from the number of empty chairs, quite a few festival fans with tickets, never discovered its right location. How many walk along a canal to search for a concert venue, one level lower? For the venue turned out to be a cellar. Not just any cellar, but a real Utrecht “werfkelder”.

As in Venice, many Utrecht canal houses have access to the canal. So downstairs, the cellar, was used as storage room. The cellars with their doors on the quays along the canals, run right under the roads one level higher and on to right under the houses. “De Witte Lelie” or white lily cellar, has been turned into a small theatre.

If this and the fine weather did not make my day, Corde Sonore certainly did. I had heard the group from Helsinki last year and realised I was in for a very, very nice treat! Why they have not made it to the fabulous fringe I don’t understand. Their performances, last year’s as well as this one, were certainly fabulous enough.

They started their concert with trio sonata BeRl 115, composed by Johan Helmich Roman. A 18th century Swedish court composer. After this sonata, Anthony Marini provided the audience with the necessary background information about this composer and how his music was influenced by other Baroque composers.

The trio sonata in G B.G1 of Guiseppe Tartini followed as one of the many examples of how Roman was influenced. Roman actually kept up a correspondence with this Italian composer. There followed a trio sonata by johann Christoph Pepusch and the trio sonata Op. 5, nr 3 by Händel. The last piece was again by Roman: trio sonata in D BeRi 111.

All pieces were not only played perfectly, but with great sensitivity, feeling, and temperament. It was also an excellent introduction to Roman and influences upon northern baroque music. So far, this was one of the best concerts I heard.

Moreover, so far this ensemble was the only one to kindly thank the organisation Oude Muziek, its volunteers, the owners of the venue “De Witte Lelie”, and the audience for making this fringe concert possible.

Early Music Festival Utrecht: Corde Sonore, 1st of September 2014, 11:00, “Witte Lelie”.
Corde Sonore:
Anthony Marini violin
Anna Rainio violin
Pieta Mattila cello
Julia Tamminen harpsichord

Cloud link: Corde Sonore

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