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Excerpts from Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto for two violins, cello, strings and basso continuo in G Minor “Fatto per la notte di Natale,” Op. 6 No. 8. Performed on original instruments by San Francisco Early Music Ensemble Voices of Music.
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Q. What is Early Music performance, or historical performance?
A. We play on instruments from the time of the composers, and we use the original music and playing techniques: it’s a special sound.
Q. Why are there no conductors?
A. Conductors weren’t invented until the 19th century; since we seek to recreate a historical performance, the music is led from the keyboard or violin, or the music is played as chamber music~or both
Q. What are period instruments or original instruments; how are they different from modern instruments?
A. As instruments became modernized in the 19th century, builders and players tended to focus on the volume of sound and the stability of tuning. Modern steel strings replaced the older materials, and instruments were often machine made. Historical instruments, built individually by hand and with overall lighter construction, have extremely complex overtones—which we find delightful. Modern instruments are of course perfectly suited to more modern music.
Q. Why is the pitch lower, or higher?
A. Early Music performance uses many different pitches, and these pitches create different tone colors on the instruments. See https://goo.gl/pVBNAC
Featuring Katherine Kyme & Carla Moore, solo baroque violins; Tanya Tomkins, continuo cello; Cynthia Freivogel & Lisa Grodin, baroque violins, David Daniel Bowes, baroque viola; Elisabeth Reed, baroque cello; Farley Pearce, violone; Katherine Heater & Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque chamber organ & harpsichord; David Tayler, theorbo. Directed by Hanneke van Proosdij & David Tayler
Soundtrack available at http://tinyurl.com/ChristmasConcerto This performance on original instruments is based on Corelli’s engraving of Opus 6 with ornamentation in the style of the time.
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