Wed 10.4.2019 09.00 pm National Library, Helsinki

Goe nightly cares, the enemy to rest

Sympathy, Compassion and Nightly Baroque Music


Minna Nyberg, soprano
FiBO Players:
  Hannu Vasara, violin
   Maija Lampela, viola da gamba
  Petteri Pitko, harpsichord
Sampo Koistinen, talk and guided meditation


This nightly concert plunges into shadowy feels and watches the world from a melancholic perspective for a moment. Through the theme of sympathy, the night finally turns to compassionate joy.

Our ability to feel sympathy makes us human – it is even the measure of our humanity. As we encounter hardship, our sympathy appears as feelings of compassion: wanting to ease suffering, be it in ourselves or in others. Similarly, when we encounter happiness, compassion awakens in the unrestrained heart. Tonight’s guest Sampo Koistinen will talk about this subject in the concert.

In 17th century England, melancholia became a fashion trend, partly even an epidemic, that agitated people to the edge of insanity, and people attempted to cure it with the most peculiar medicines. One of the genres of melancholy was the sweet melancholy springing from love, to which soprano Minna Nyberg introduces us through the songs of Henry Purcell (1659–1695). Further, there was the religious melancholy, whose echoes can be heard in John Dowland’s (1563–1626) song Goe nightly cares, the enemy to rest. The trio sonata by the versatile master from Lübeck, Dietrich Buxtehuden (1637–1707), reminds of the currents predominant in England. The music is, however, influenced by compassion and North German down-to-earthness.

Suffering and joy are not enemies, but rather an inseparable pair. To end the concert, we will hear bright instrumental music from 17th century Italy: Giuseppe Fontana’s sonata number two and Nicola Matteis’ ciaccona.

Duration: 1 h (no intermission)

Free entry, program 20 € at the door