Superb interpretations of Baroque masterpieces – Concerto Copenhagen makes guest appearances in Germany, England, the Netherlands and Switzerland
With a number of concerts, the internationally-renowned baroque ensemble, Concerto Copenhagen, under the baton of Lars Ulrik Mortensen, will make guest appearances beyond Danish borders in the spring of 2018. They will be bringing along Handel's “Brockes Passion”, “Farinelli vs. Senesino” with Vivica Genaux and Sonia Prina as well as the Bach program, “Bach recycles”, for the International Bach Festival Schaffhausen. The orchestra generates unique listening experiences with its hallmark of appealing programs featuring lively, innovative performances of early music. The ensemble's discography consists of numerous award-winning CDs.
Handel's “Brockes Passion”
The 1712 release of the passion narrative by the wealthy Hamburg-based Barthold Heinrich Brockes became a literary best-seller in the early 18th century. His writings integrated narrative elements into the biblical passion text for the first time and were set to music by composers more than 30 times. The most-known work today was composed by Georg Friedrich Handel (1685–1759) who, in 1716, set the verses to music therewith creating his only sacred work in the German language. Stylistically however, the “Brockes Passion” rather follows an Italian example and the musical language resembles baroque opera. Following a performance in Copenhagen, CoCo makes a guest appearance with the “Brockes Passion” on March 29th in the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, on the 30th of March in the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ and on the 31st of March in the Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht.
“Farinelli vs. Senesino”
Dynamic coloratura and matchless virtuosity made the equally acclaimed and feared castrati the superstars of the baroque. For many years, the alto castrato, Senesino (1686–1758), was the unchallenged primo uomo in Handel's operas being considered the ideal voice for Handel, Bononcini and Scarlatti. From 1734 onward, the younger Farinelli (1705–1782) offered some competition in London. As a hero of the new Neapolitan School, his interpretations of works by Hasse, Porpora and Vinci were a great success. With the voices of Vivica Genaux (Farinelli) and Sonia Prina (Senesino), Concerto Copenhagen brings the world of these extraordinary singers and their demanding repertoire to life. Following extensive research, the musicologist, Giovanni Andrea Sechi, drew up the concept and music editions for this program. Following an initial concert in Copenhagen, the ensemble presents this fascinating baroque program on May 1st, 2018, in the renowned Wigmore Hall in London where CoCo performs once again after many years.
International Bach Festival Schaffhausen
The re-use of previously-composed music was a commonly-utilized composing tool. All composers made use of known melodies and works by predecessors or contemporaries as they did with their own music which was implemented to create new compositions. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) also made multiple use of his musical ideas; one of his greatest masterpieces, the “Mass in b-minor”, is a wickerwork so to speak of his musical ideas from the previous 35 years. “Sabat Mater” by Pergolesi was rendered into German by Bach through minor adaptations. Concerto Copenhagen demonstrates this creative process of reproduction, transcription and transformation and its high musical quality with “Bach recycles” at its debut appearance in Switzerland on May 9th, 2018, at the International Bach Festival Schaffhausen.
Concerto Copenhagen and Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Founded in 1991, Concerto Copenhagen is Scandinavia's best known baroque ensemble and one of the most innovative ones worldwide. Signature features of CoCo are its unusual program combinations of rarely-performed Scandinavian repertoire and known masterpieces from the baroque era. In 1999, the renowned harpsichordist, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, took over the artistic direction and this collaboration developed into a musical expedition of the Nordic realm that wows audiences and critics worldwide. Concerto Copenhagen celebrated its 25 years of existence in 2016. International reviews confirm the expertise and standing of CoCo as a world-class orchestra.