La Cetra d’Orfeo “Ay Amor!”

Date: 31 Aug 2019

Location: Romanian Athenaeum

Category: By Midnight Concerts

This was the second performance from the first day and it dawned on me only several hours before the show, upon a more thorough checking of the program, that it’s an ensemble performing mostly baroque chamber music, with lutes (a theorbo) and harps and viola da gamba and flutes (a recorder). Not only that, but I also recognized a composer from their playlist: Andrea Falconieri, a name I’ve encountered this year in my Year of Wonder challenge and whom I’ve adored, his Chaconne taking the lead in week 20, ahead of some grander names and works. It boggles my mind as to why I didn’t purchase a ticket for this show, but I guess it’s because they played in the first day of the festival, which I tend to brush away by default, as I’m not keen on the big opening shows vibe.

Nevertheless, I watched the live stream and enjoyed every minute of it: they had great music, historical costumes and they’ve even had dancers that demonstrated the actual corresponding dances played by the ensemble. It was indeed entertaining to picture the high nobility of the Tudor court partying in this manner, especially Elisabeth I, of whom it is said to have danced every morning four or five dances as part of her daily physical activities. I especially liked Spagnoleta by Giovanni Paolo Foscarini, Convidando está la noche by Juan García de Zéspedes and Serafin, que con dulce armonia by Joan Cererols. These were only amongst the ones that I could follow on the schedule, because I lost track of them at some point – full program here. Overall, a great show I would have liked to see live.

“Convidando está la noche” by Juan García de Zéspedes || dir. Jordi Savall, Hespérion XXI

“Serafin, que con dulce armonia” by Joan Cererols || dir. Andrew Lawrence-King, The Harp Consort

P.S. The ensemble‘s leader started the performance with a speech in Romanian, and he actually delivered it rather well. It was a very nice touch and a great start to an awesome night.

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