Freiburg Baroque Orchestra: Madness

Book tickets

Georg Philipp Telemann: Ouverture-Suite G major TWV 55:G2 "La Bizarre"
Georg Friedrich Händel: Ah, mio cor! from Alcina HWV 34 - Where shall I fly from Hercules HWV 60
Henry Purcell: Curtain tune from Timon of Athens Z. 632 - Mad Bess of Bedlam
Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto Il Proteo - Alma oppressa from La fida ninfa RV 714 - Sonata La Follia Op. 1 No. 12 RV 63
Jan Dismas Zelenka: Hipocondrie á 7 ZWV 187

Carolyn Sampson, soprano
Freiburger Barockorchester
Cecilia Bernardini, violin & conductor

It was a must in (almost) every Baroque opera, whether in France, England or Italy: the 'mad-scene' or 'mad-aria', i.e. a mad scene or aria. In these passages, the composers literally drove the protagonists of their operas mad: delusional merriment is paired with surreal fears, and the opera characters completely lose touch with reality in these scenes. This naturally offered the composers many opportunities to break through the compositional conventions of their time: harsh harmonies, broken phrases and disjointed coloraturas characterize the music of the mad scenes.
Together with the British soprano Carolyn Sampson, a long-time companion and friend of the FBO, we dedicate ourselves to precisely these mad arias with works by the masters Henry Purcell, Antonio Vivaldi and George Frideric Handel.
However, madness not only played a role in opera, but also in the field of instrumental music. The most prominent examples of this are certainly the numerous Follia settings by Vivaldi, among others. In addition, there are other compositions that feature all kinds of craziness, such as Jan Dismas Zelenka's "Hipocondrie" or Georg Philipp Telemann's overture "La Bizarre".

A free introductory lecture will take place at 7.15 pm in the Rolf Böhme Hall.

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