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ROYAL BAROQUE

Italian Grounds and Skies: The Art of the Duello

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Italian Grounds and Skies - The Art of the Duello is a programme of Italian baroque music based on the most common ground basses (La Follia, La Bergamasca, Ciaccona, Passacaglia) as well as the most flamboyant virtuoso sonatas, featuring composers such as Bertali, Castello, Uccellini, Vivaldi.

The aforementioned grounds were the ‘pop songs’ of the day, known by all. With the rise of instrumental music in the latter part of the 16th century, musicians competed with their contemporaries and outdid their predecessors in pushing the boundaries of technique with the strikingly idiomatic and virtuosic modernity of their extemporisations over the recurring melodic bass lines beneath (and the sky was the limit!). At the same time, the pioneering trio sonatas gave an opportunity for instrumentalists to pit their technical and improvisational skills against each other, providing a perfect platform for dramatic sparring and artistic dialogue.

The programme will be performed as part of the new concert series at ‘Bywater Meadow’ in Buckinghamshire on 19 June 2022.