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Gothic church setting for heavenly Baroque by candlelight
The Thirty Years War was one of the most destructive wars 17th century Europe had ever seen. It was also responsible for the creation of music of great beauty written by composers whose lives had been touched by the horrors of the war: proof of the indomitability of the human spirit. Baritone David Greco sang with the appropriate combination of reverence and joy, introducing the audience to each one with his astounding reserve of musical knowledge.
It was a rare program of late 16th/early 17th music of northern Germany, showcasing psalms 127 (Biber's 'Nisi Dominus') and 130 (Bruhns' 'De Profundis') from the Book of Solomon–according to Greco 'the closest you can get to biblical poetry: raunchy, sexual and pagan.'
Stained glass window at St John the Evangelist, Flinders
The German 'stylus fantastic' aimed at expressing the emotions via virtuosity, in particular of the violin. Music was considered the word of God, and was part of the healing process after the war. The need to find solace created the music. Georg Muffat's Violin Sonata– dedicated by violinist Julia Fredersdorff to her husband, whose favourite piece of music it was–was a sublime example of Muffat's capacity for harmonising.
Julia Fredersdorff, Lizzy Welsh,Hannah Lane, David Greco, Donald Nicolson, Laura Vaughan
Tunder and his successor Buxtehude provided the remainder of the program, a thoughtfully chosen set performed superbly by Latitude 37 (Fredersdorff, Laura Vaughan and Donald Nicholson) and guest artists Lizzy Welsh and Hannah Lane, with Greco once again the icing on the cake.