Bryn Mawr Now

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Il Fondamento: Baroque Classics, Little-Known Gems
Performed on Historically Accurate Instruments

The 17-member early-music ensemble Il Fondamento will fill Thomas Great Hall with the sonorities of Baroque period instruments on Friday, March 28, at 8 p.m. This rare U.S. performance will allow listeners to compare and contrast music from all across Europe. Based in Brussels, the group is Belgium's premier early-music ensemble specializing in historically accurate performances of Baroque and earlier works.

Il Fondamento is celebrated across the globe for its regular appearances at the major international music festivals and for numerous distinguished CD recordings. The group’s most recent release—"Fasch's Overture" for Fuga Libera—was awarded honors including a "Diapason d'Or" "4 Stars" in Le Monde de la Musique, and "Disc of the Month" by the Early Music Review.

While Il Fondamento regularly performs larger works by Bach and well-known oratorios by Handel, the ensemble has gained a reputation for concerts that wander off the beaten musical track. In addition to being a world-class oboist, founder and artistic director Paul Dombrecht is well known as a researcher who unearths compositions that had long been unpublished and forgotten. Many of Il Fondamento’s performances feature works heard for the first time by modern audiences; the Bryn Mawr concert will highlight this aspect of the group’s activity.

Il Fondamento’s music and performances are part of a movement by musicians and scholars to research and perform works of classical music in ways similar to how they may have been performed when they were originally written.

The period instruments used by Il Fondamento, which include violins, violas, a double bass, cellos, oboes and a bassoon, often vary greatly from their modern counterparts in appearance and tonality, bringing a freshness to even the most well-known pieces.

Tickets to individual events in the Performing Arts Series are $18 for the general public, $15 for seniors, free for Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore students, faculty and staff, $10 for students of other schools and $5 for children 12 and under. Subscription packages offer discounts, mix-and-match ticket flexibility and priority seating. For tickets, call the Office for the Arts at 610-526-5210. For full season info: http://brynmawr.edu/calendar/performing_arts.shtml

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Posted 3/20/2008 by Claudia Ginanni