Powers of nature and virtuosity
Aira Maria Lehtipuu, violin and leader
Finnish Baroque Orchestra
Finnish Baroque Orchestra's musicians May 19 and Jul 24, 2023
1st violin: Aira Maria Lehtipuu, Kaisa Ruotsalainen, Tiina Aho-Erola
2nd violin: Dora Asterstad, Juha-Pekka Koivisto, Mari Kortelainen
Viola: Tuula Riisalo, Laura Kajander
Cello: Lea Pekkala, Tatu Ahola
Double bass: Anna Rinta-Rahko
Harpsichord and organ: Marianna Henriksson
Traverso: Pauliina Fred
Oboe: Piia Maunula
Bassoon: Jani Sunnarborg
Trumpet and recorder: Justin Bland
Baroque horn: Hannes Kaukoranta
Even though humanity has made a lot of technological advances over the years, the forces of nature surpasses them all. This fact arises in the present as well, when natural disasters are able to destroy everything that humankind has built in the blink of an eye. This force was also recognized during the baroque. The focus of the programme is the concept of the element, which can mean for instance the natural elements, created in the beginning of time, the characteristics of compositional styles or even the basic elements of the orchestra, ie. musicians.
The concert begins with a suite, consisting of different natural elements found in Jean-Philippe Rameau’s (1683-1764) operas. Rameau’s orchestration was exceptionally inventive and with his ingenious compositional style he was able to extract a lot of different colours from a so called ordinary orchestra. The best example of this is the orage (storm in English), that can be found in many of Rameau’s operas (in this programme from the opera Platée). Thanks to the fast passages and the unique orchestration of the wind instruments, the listener feels like he or she is actually in the midst of a storm!
The Nordic element of the programme is naturally Johann Helmich Roman (1694-1758), also known as the “Swedish Händel”. In addition to Roman’s string symphony, we will also hear an overture from his teacher Johann Christoph Pepusch’s (1667-1752) opera as well as a concerto grosso by Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759). Roman was very much inspired by Händel, and he might even have received lessons from him. In this concerto grosso, the elements of the orchestra, meaning the musicians, are allowed to shine. The work is composed for solo flute or oboe, solo violin and orchestra. In FiBO’s version, the flute and the oboe are alternating and therefore both in focus, and the leader of the orchestra also gets to to exhibit his or her virtuosic playing.
The highlight of the concert is Jean-Féry Rebel’s (1666-1747) Les Élémens (in English The Elements), which was last heard in FiBO’s 30th Anniversary Concert in 2019. Even though the term “big bang” was not invented until the middle of the 20th century, the idea that chaos preceded the creation of the universe existed already in the 8th century. The Greek poet Hesiod wrote in his work Theogeny that “verily at the first Chaos came to be, but next wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundations of all”. Rebel’s composition begins with chaos, with a level of dissonance that is very rare in early music. After that, more elements join in: earth, fire, wind and water as well as even animals, like birds, and dances.
Duration: 1 h 45 min (incl. intermission)
There will be the concert introduction at the House of Nobility at 6 pm to 6.30 pm.