I learned quite a bit about Baroque music on Thursday night, mainly that I really like it. Tafelmusik was the third in our community concert series this year. It's a Canadian Baroque orchestra that is apparently one of the best in the world. Tafelmusik means table music, or "music for a feast." The ensemble had four first violins, three second violins, two violas, two cellos, two oboes, a harpsichord and a double bass.
The composers I recognized were Lully, J.S. Bach and Vivaldi, and and there was an interesting piece by J.S. Bach's son Carl, who composed what could be called alternative Baroque, to distinguish himself from his very famous father. I hadn't realized that Baroque music is so peaceful and gentle and really just pretty. What we heard had not a single raucous or bombastic passage. This suited my jangled nerves quite well. My favourite piece was an absolutely lyrical minuet by a composer named Fasch.
The musicians all played period instruments, either old or built to the specifications of the Baroque period (a name given to classical European music between 1600 and about 1750). What a great evening, sitting between Gerald, who really liked the music too, and Divi, very knowledgeable about all kinds of stringed instruments and music in general. Her husband Graham provides comic relief in case we get too classical altogether.