Music review: Marsh Symphony on the Prairie


4 stars

Indiana History Center; July 25. A packed Basile Theater

greeted the final performers in this summer's Early Music Festival, presented

for 44 uninterrupted years by the Festival Music Society, America's oldest

continually running early music series. Returning after three years was the

Montreal based Ensemble Caprice, offering a mix of gypsy music and pieces by

Antonio Vivaldi, the two shown to have a substantial connection. All the gypsy

works, though anonymous, were collected in 1730 under the title Uhrovska

zbierka — only with the top line notated. Thus, like modern jazz, the

seven Caprice players improvised — on the spot — the harmonies

according to the best historic evidence of what might have been used in that

period of the late Baroque. Using instruments such as recorders, transverse

flutes, Baroque violins, a Baroque guitar, a Baroque cello and a small drum

set, these instrumentalists dazzled with their panache in making unwritten out

music of so long ago come alive for us today. Special accolades go to Caprice

leader and recorder virtuoso Matthias Maute, who introduced and discussed the

various selections. As for Vivaldi, his Sonata in G minor for two recorders and

basso continuo caught the audience in its stride with the recorders dancing

together and apart, Sophie Larivière joining Maute on the second recorder. The

group closed with the equivalent of a gypsy jam session, bringing down the

house. To coin a phrase: What goes around comes around. — Tom Aldridge


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