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Roman Nights: Music By Scarlatti And Handel

"He (the Pope) kind of declared it Lent, year round." Gwyn Roberts

tempesta-quintet-cropped

Photo: Andy Kahl

Recorder player Gwyn Roberts and Lutenist Richard Stone with members of the Tempest di Mare quintet

Event Information

“Roman Nights

The instrumental and vocal ensemble Tempesta di Mare presents music of Alessandro Scarlatti and George Frederic Handel.


Glick Indiana History Center

7:30 pm Sunday May 26, 2011

The Ensemble Tempesta di Mare makes its first appearance at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival with a program based around the works of Rome native Alessandro Scarlatti and German visitor George Frederick Handel. On their program are instrumental and vocal selections.

Scarlatti And The Pope

Gwyn Roberts co-leads the group. She says,

The Scarlatti pieces that we’ll perform were shaped in part by the Pope. He sort of declared it Lent all year round. This meant that there were no large music events, no outdoor concerts and no opera. Scarlatti adapted by writing music for small ensembles. There would be a lute or harpsichord with perhaps a viola da gamba and one or two solo instruments, perhaps a voice or two. His music was written for intimate groups of upper class listeners, people who really dug the music. This allowed him to refine his thematically unified pieces with their openings, developments and reprises.

Handel: Rejecting The Corelli Trend

The group’s other co leader is Richard Stone. He explains that Handel came to Rome for four years when he was just twenty-one to “punch his ticket. He was already a skilled and accomplished composer. However he must have thought that there were things which he could learn.”

Stone suggests that what Handel did take away from his years in Italy was something that Scarlatti had ignored. “Scarlatti seems not to have received the memo about emulating the progressive Arcangelo Corelli; he remained loyal to an older set of ideals. Handel by contrast, jumped onto the Corelli bandwagon whole heartedly.”

The Musicians

Tempesta di Mare’s program Roman Nights features Gwyn Roberts on flute and recorder, Emlyn Ngai and Karina Fox on violin, Eve Miller on cello, and Richard Stone on archlute and theorbo, with soprano Clara Rottsolk.

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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