HIP Christmas Music in Brisbane?

In many parts of the world, Christmas and Easter tend to be the busiest times in the calendar for musicians who play historical instruments. Not only Handel’s Messiah, but Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and numerous Cantatas by less well-known baroque composers can be enjoyed in performances on original instruments.
One wonders why, of several performances of the Messiah in Brisbane this festive season, all are with modern orchestras. Having not lived here for quite a few years I could be wrong, but as far as I know the last performances here of large scale choral works with baroque orchestra were in the Brisbane Early Music Festivals in the late 1990s, directed by Ed Bolkovac.
Since the formation of the Badinerie Players in the mid-1980s there has been a strong core of early string players in Brisbane. It would appear that currently there is a strong artist-driven move towards HIP performance with the establishment of two more ensembles: Alchemy, and the Brisbane Baroque Players. The question is whether there is a corresponding audience for this kind of live performance here in Brisbane, or have they resigned themselves to listening to recordings only.
The coming series of Baroque Christmas concerts by Alchemy is a step towards building this tradition in Brisbane. Last year’s shows received standing ovations from full houses. Let’s hope for a similar response in 2011!

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2 Responses to HIP Christmas Music in Brisbane?

  1. Pingback: Easter Passion Music | Margaret Caley

  2. Pingback: Seasonal Music | Margaret Caley

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