The Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra continues to play music written before and during the 18th century on period instruments to sold out crowds. The orchestra’s string instruments are strung with catgut, which gives them a lighter texture. In addition to violins and violas, other instruments included a harpsichord, violincello, violone (an early form of the double bass), theorbo (string instrument with a long neck and rounded body with a flat front), oboe, bassoon, horns, percussion, and the harpsichord/organ continuo.
On Wednesday, June 26 the orchestra returned to Miller Chapel of the Princeton Theological Seminary. The program featured Baroque music of the French, German, and Italian schools.
Returning as concertmaster, Juan Carlos Zamudio beautifully led the orchestra, which captured the essence of the works and the performances. It was a treat to have Artistic Director Richard Tang Yuk playing the harpsichord with the orchestra and I was captivated by Maria Romero on violin. I also appreciated the timbre the woodwind instruments added, especially the bassoon. They played such smooth and rich tones that were mesmerizing. Each instrument had a distinct voice and the music touched my soul. Absolutely beautiful renditions of each piece were played. I gained a new gratitude for the subtleties in Baroque music and the demands of staying on point with the technique of the era.
Each year, the orchestra breathes new life into classic pieces by sharing the music they way it was initially played. The program was a wonderful homage to the Baroque period and aficionados owe it to themselves to watch for tickets to next year’s performances. (You can sign up for their mailing list).
The program included:
- Symphony in E-flat major, Wq. 179 (H. 654) – C.P.E. Bach (1714 – 1788
- Concerto Grosso in D minor RV 565 – Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741)
- Hipocondrie à 7, ZWV 187 – Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679 – 1745)
- Concerto Grosso in D major, Op.6, No.1 – Arcangelo Corelli (1653 – 1713)
- Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme – Jean Baptiste Lully (1632 – 1687)
Juan Carlos Zamudio, concertmaster
David H. Miller
Richard Tang Yuk (Artistic Director)