Christopher Palameta. Photo: Pierre-Etienne Bergeron.
Fri 29.3.2019 07.00 pm The House of Nobility, Helsinki
The Residency Series at the House of Nobility

Baroque from the Nordic courts

Musical treasures from Stockholm and Copenhagen


Christopher Palameta, oboe
Finnish Baroque Orchestra


Already long ago, the Nordic countries had their windows open towards Europe. In the 17th century, Sweden and Denmark-Norway were powerful monarchies, whose courts attracted talented musicians and showed off with their stylish musical lives. The extensive Düben Collection of music, stored in Uppsala, speaks of the fast-moving international influences. It illustrates the content of the musical library of Stockholm’s court in the 17th and 18th centuries. Compositions from all over Europe were played for the Swedish royalties, for instance, the now performed excerpts from operas and ballets by Jean-Baptiste Lully, the favourite composer of the Sun King.

But there was talent at home, as well. Johan Helmich Roman is the greatest name in Nordic Baroque, and overall the first significant Nordic composer. Finland can have some of the glory, since Roman is presumed to be a descendant of the Finnish family Raumannus. He is first and foremost remembered for the ceremonial works and orchestral music he composed for the royal court – Roman was a great admirer of Händel, whom he had met in London.

The royal court of Denmark was a flourishing musical oasis already in the beginning of the 17th century. In 1740, Johann Adolf Scheibe from Leipzig ended up in the court in Copenhagen. There his career took off, and Scheibe became the conductor of King Christian VI and an influential figure in the musical life of Copenhagen. Scheibe was not impressed by the very popular Italian style, which he found artificial. He wanted music to be natural and clear. Early Nordic design? The now performed symphony of the mourning cantata for Queen Louise, who died at only 27, is one of the most beautiful works by Scheibe.

Duration: 2 h (incl. intermission)

Pauliina Fred introduces the concert at the House of Nobility on 29 March from 18–18.30.