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L'Astro Armonico - for a Baroque Christmas


April - June: S'Barocco

L'Astro Armonico

for a Baroque Christmas

For next Christmas, Associazione Culturale Ulisse proposes the project Astro Armonico, which wants to be a musical journey in the Christmas of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The aim of the concert is to promote Christian values of Christmas, typical of a local forgotten tradition. The values of peace, solidarity and brotherhood through ensemble music. The concert will perform musics specifically dedicated by their authors to the "Holy Night of Christmas" and famous eighteenth century concerts known for their harmonious melody. All led by musicians, biblical equivalent of the Star, with an active participation of the audience.
Archi di Roma, which consists of young musicians of Roman art, and the famous Maestro David Romano, the first part orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, will be the ensemble which will accompany the listeners to the Holy Night. And it will become under the sign of a tradition as punctual as naturally and instinctively opposed to easy platitudes.
The concert will be held on December 21, the Winter Solstice, the shortest night of shining stars. Will take place in the church of Saint John of the Florentines in Rome.

A country which has a cultural decadence, also inevitably is morally decaying.
The Christmas Concert is a tradition for our country, necessary to continue to bring the culture by emphasizing the unique cultural heritage of Italian music. The charitable purpose of this event represents, also, the spirit of an initiative that is intended to be the expression of solidarity and closeness of Archi di Roma and Roma Capitale to the citizens of our city and the most in need. THe collected amount in fact, will be donated to charity.
The Associazione Archi di Roma, celebrates with a concert the beginning of its activities and of a much larger project, thought for bringing back the glory that made Rome the capital of music (together with Venice) in the Baroque period.
"The music is closed in an ivory tower, pure aesthetic pleasure for the chosen few," while it should be first of all education to life, maturation of human relationships and a stimulus for a new society no longer dominated by banality and everyday's life. This project can be a revival of Christmas Roman traditions.
That is why we promote a deeper musical culture among youngest people.
The concert will be opened by a brief introduction, sought to prepare the cultural atmosphere of the audience, to introduce them to the musical and cultural environment in which the works have been thought. Presently, it is needed a new incentive brilliant and simple to raise awareness towardw an active and dynamic listening.

In the roman baroque sacred and profane music, materiality and spirituality confront each other in a multitude of tones, rhythms and harmonic and melodic inventions.
A amazing and fascinating world of sound was the one of the Roman Baroque, whose listening, especially live, can reveal more than many words the spirit and essence.
The presence in Rome of the papacy, among other things, gave an important impetus to this extraordinary creative moment that in the Christmas finds the highest moment in terms of joy and happiness, transformed into music.
Integral part of the ensemble it is the musicological survey applied to expose poetic and musical practices widely used in past centuries and transmitted in ancient treatises and manuscripts, transported over modern instruments and sonic dimensions. A past reinterpreted in the light of the days to come.


F. Manfredini, Concerto Grosso in C major op.3 n.12
"With a pastoral for the Blessed Christmas"

A. Corelli, Concerto Grosso op.6 n.8
"Made for Christmas Night"

J.S. Bach, Concert for two violins in D minor BWV1043

A. Vivaldi, Sinfonia in Sol Magg. RV 146

Total time: about 50 minutes

Arcangelo Corelli leading exponent of the Roman Baroque, developed the musical form of the concerto grosso that brought to the height of perfection, a symbol of that is the Concerto Grosso for Christmas Eve. Together with him grew a violinist and composer, originally from Bologna but Roman by adoption: Francesco Manfredini, that in the constant imitation of the Master composed the Concerto "with a pastoral for the Blessed Christmas." Repertoire of the concert will also include a forgotten concerto for violin and strings by Giovan Battista Pergolesi, characterized by flashes harmonic and melodic surges; parallel music of Caravaggio's painting, which finds perfection in the flick of stroke: the "yes" that the the Virgin Mary replied to the announcement of Archangel Gabriel: the conception and pregnancy find in the lyrical melody of the Adagio of the Concerto for two violins by JS Bach their key component. A prayer that rises to heaven. The Symphony in G major of Vivaldi, master of the Venetian school, embodies in music of the festive nature rejoicing in the night that saw the birth of the Savior.


David Romano