Meeri Pulakka. Photo: Ulla Nikula.
Sat 10.06.2023 1.00 pm Musiikkitalo (Hall Paavo), Helsinki
AUF Series
Fri 16.06.2023 8.00 pm Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, Montreal
Festival Montréal Baroque
Thu 29.06.2023 7.00 pm Tammela Church, Tammela
Lounais-Hämeen Musiikkipäivät Festival

Early in the morning

Polskas and love songs

Händel–Nagaraja–Roman–Trad.–Geminiani

Meeri Pulakka, soprano 
FiBO Players 

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Love is one of the most universal and commonly used themes in music, from antiquity to modern day. It also transcends genric borders, and this pervasiveness is what inspired this genre-bending programme. It is also a theme which offers many different points of view, from being hopelessly in love to frustration with a lover, this one theme covers a huge range of emotions. 

Written by Italian violist and composer Krishna Nagaraja, PhD, the programme opens with a suite of neo-Baroque music which centres upon the one dance tune which unites almost every country: the polska. Nagaraja has composed a masterful adaptation of Finnish polskas as a menuets and even a grand French overture, creating the perfect bridge between folk and Baroque music. 

This is followed by Georg Friedrich Händel’s cantata “Tu fedel? Tu costante?” (“You faithful? You steadfast?”), a work written by young Händel during his time in Italy. Although he is often associated with his almost 50-year stay in London, he was invited by the de’ Medici family in 1706 to compose operas in Florence, which explains the extremely dramatic nature of this cantata of unrequited love, one of the first cantatas he ever composed. 

Johan Helmich Roman, also known as the “Swedish Händel”, was not only an icon of Nordic Baroque music, but also a bridge between countries and styles. An extremely well-travelled musician thanks to King Charles XII of Sweden, he visited and brought music back from countries such as Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and England. His stay in England is the most famous, because it was then that he studied with Pepusch and possibly also Händel. His music was also a bridge between the Baroque and galant styles, as is clearly evident in his cantata “Piante amiche” (“Dear plants”), in which the soprano tells nature of the longing of her heart. 

In between these two cantatas is a suite of Finnish folk songs and instrumental music, putting on display some of the more simple yet equally raw emotions. The concert closes with one of the most classic examples of the ubiquity of music: the Folia tune. In Finnish folk music, it is known as the “Lamb’s polska”, which leads directly into Francesco Geminiani’s rambunctious and virtuosic “La Folia”. 

Duration: 1 h 15 min (no intermission) 
The concert in Montreal consists also of Barokkanerne's concert starting at 7 pm.

The concert is part of the joint AUF series av Avanti, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra and FiBO which is produced together with Musiikkitalo. The top orchestras, all representing different genres, invite the listeners to get acquainted with various different musical treats during the day concerts.

Other concerts in the AUF series:
Thu Apr 6, 2023 at 1 pm Musiikkitalo (Hall Paavo), Helsinki: AUF / UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra: Silent Music
Information about Avanti's concert will be announced later

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