Orpheus and Hercules
Music for violin and cello from the Court of Modena
September 30, 2019
Ensemble Bizarria is very excited to be making our Michigan Debut on the Taylor Johnston Early Music Series at Michigan State University, presenting Orpheus and Hercules: Music for Violin and Cello from the Court of Modena.
About the Program:
While most tourists and foodies today think of Modena in Northern Italy as the home of balsamic vinegar and Lamborghinis, 17th-century Italians
knew Modena not only as the court of the once-legendary Este family, but also as a hotbed of instrumental virtuosity. Dukes Alfonso IV and
Francesco II kept in their royal employ some of Italy’s finest string players. Yet rather than publish the music of these spectacular musicians, the Este nobles preferred to keep their court composers’ talents to themselves. Many of the fantastical works written by these composers lay buried in the archives for years.
With I virtuosi di Modena Ensemble Bizarria brings the music of the Este court to life, featuring rare gems for violin and cello by 17th-century composers Cima, Colombi, Uccellini and others.
Lindsey Strand-Polyak, violin
Alexa Haynes-Pilon, cello