Thursday, May 24, 2018
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King's Violins rejuvenate music of Bach, Handel


Quebec-based Les Violons du Roy (The King's Violins), founded in 1984, is best known for its interpretations of the Baroque period, which lasted from about 1600 to 1750.

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At 250 years young, the sounds of Bach and Handel are fresher than ever. Today's performances are sprightlier and more energetic, the emotional affect more alert.

Such have been the rewards of recent scholarship into the performance practice of Baroque music.

These innovations will be on display tomorrow night when the renowned Quebec-based chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy (The King's Violins) performs at Bowling Green State University.

Founded in 1984 by conductor Bernard Labadie, the 15-member ensemble plays the chamber orchestra repertoire from all musical periods, but has made its biggest impact interpreting the sounds of the Baroque period.

Tomorrow's all Bach and Handel program will consist of sounds from the 18th century.

The evening's biggest and most upbeat work may well be “Gloomy Shadow, Be Gone,” one of J.S. Bach's numerous “wedding” cantatas. Probably written around 1720 when the composer was working in Cothen and meant to accompany the secular sections of a wedding service, the piece is rich in references to spring and rebirth. Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin will be featured.

Of interest for its stylistic differences will be a late Sinfonia by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, eldest son of Johann Sebastian. While father Johann was bringing Baroque music to is last great fruition, son Wilhelm was busy helping to forge the emerging Classical tradition.

Soprano Karina Gauvin and oboe player Diane Lacelle will join conductor Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy in a program of music by Bach and Handel at 8 tomorrow night in BGSU's Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets range from $18 to $34. Information: 419-372-8171 or 800-589-2224.

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