Vivaldi meets Bach
Featuring the music of two of the greatest composers to have written in the baroque style, Vivaldi meets Bach is a programme of concerts in Rome that always delights audiences with its high-quality musicianship. Put on at the St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church, situated in the heart of the city, the concert runs for about 90 minutes with plenty of well-known pieces being performed. With high ceilings, the acoustics of the Episcopal Church are ideal for this sort of musical programme. In fact, the captivating Anglican church was the first non-Catholic church that was constructed within the walls of the Italian capital. Built in 1873, it is well worth a visit in its own right but is especially welcoming when it plays host to such a skilful group of musicians.
Few regular concerts in the Eternal City can rival Vivaldi meets Bach in terms of the setting or the music on offer. Fans of Antonio Vivaldi can expect to hear renditions of 'The Four Seasons', the Italian composer's much-loved musical description of a passing year. In addition, masterpieces, such as Johann Sebastian Bach's Cantata 'Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen', are performed. The latter was written for a lone singer and is considered to be among his best vocal pieces. A classically trained solo soprano takes on this work but the overall concert has a full ensemble of musicians including violins, a trumpet, a violoncello, a viola and a harpsichord. The sound of the musicians is very much in keeping with the baroque era and the concert organisers have gone to great lengths to produce a sound that both of these superb composers would have recognised in their day.
The programme has been designed to allow audience-goers to hear just how much the music of Bach was influenced by his contemporary, Vivaldi. Born in 1678, Vivaldi wrote 'The Four Seasons' in the late 1710s just as the musical career of Bach was taking off during his stint as Kapellmeister to Prince Leopold in Köthen. Although both men's styles are distinctively their own, Bach was known to study the works of Vivaldi, sometimes transcribing them himself. Vivaldi meets Bach is a concert that allows listeners to focus on the similarities as well as the differences of these two musical greats in a wonderfully ornate setting.