Chaos and order, seriousness and humor: Carlo Farina & Jean-Fery Rebel

This concert has been cancelled due to government Covid-19 restrictions. Ticket holders will be contacted by the responsible organisation. 

This programme was designed as a family performance. The starting point was interesting and adventurous music for grownups, fascinating and fun music for the young at heart. We started with an extravagant and strange piece, called – with good reason – “Capriccio stravagante”, published in 1626 and written by (who else?) an Italian, and a pupil of Monteverdi’s: Carlo Farina. In a series of short connected movements we hear a colourful parade pass by: a hurdy-gurdy player, a high shawm, a trumpet and a clarino, a kettledrum player, roosters crowing, hens cackling, an organist playing with the Tremulant stop, a group of soldiers, cats meowing and shuffling off, barking dogs, a Spanish guitar, and an improvisor who has lost his way … all on four string instruments using a variety of techniques that people today think were invented by Paganini, who lived 200 years later!!!
And then there is Jean-Fery Rebel, whose extravagant “Les Elémens” makes him worthy of his name. You wouldn’t have expected contemporary of J.S. Bach working at the French court under Louis XIV and XV to write a “Simphonie Nouvelle” (1738). The work begins with a long “terrible” chord that would be right at home in most 21 st -century compositions, which Rebel calls “Le Chaos”. Then he invokes the elements: the earth, water, fire and air. Next come earthly scenes: animal sounds, nightingales singing, love songs, hunters blowing their horns, exuberant dances, etc. A fine hotchpotch, amusing and amazing, all of it musical, with strings, flutes oboes, bassoons, horns, harpsichord and tambourine! Or: how early music can be very modern and still enjoyable!

Jos van Immerseel

Translation by Anne Hudgkinson