This weekend Festival Internacional de Música Antigua de Tenerife (Fimante) [Tenerife Early Music International Festival] is offering two concerts by Orquesta Barroca de Tenerife in Granadilla and Buenavista del Norte. Noël a la francesa is the Christmas programme of the group resident at Auditorio de Tenerife. It is devoted to the French 17th and 18th century concertante style. The show features harpsichord and guest conductor Bruno Procopio, and Israeli recorder player Tamar Lalo.

The first concert takes place on Saturday, 15th in Nuestra Señora de la Merced Church in  El Médano, Granadilla, at 8:00 pm. On Sunday, 16th Nuestra Señora de los Remedios Church in Buenavista del Norte, is hosting the Baroque show at 5:00 pm. Admission to both concerts is free.

The group’s artistic director, Conrado Álvarez, explains that “Their peculiar way to ornament with trille tremblement, cadence, and pincé renversé is a distinguishing feature of French Baroque music. The concert Orquesta Barroca de Tenerife is offering is a good example of this, but especially the end of the Chaconne by Dauvergne”.

“The polarization of the textures towards extreme voices and the distinctive unequal rhythm, with the emphasis on French-style decorum is present in all the scores of this “Noël a la francesa” [French-style Noël], which starts with the first theme exposition in Noël pour les instruments -a popular Christmas dance typical of the Seine valley since Medieval times- which has come down from generation to generation and was raised to court music by Marc Antoine Charpentier. It was then retaken again and again by Daquin in his Deuxieme Noel en dialogue a 2 et 3, Lalande in Simphonies des Nöels, and by Correte in Quatrième Symphonies des Noël. We will therefore perceive variations on themes that have celebrated, since the Baroque, sound creation to glorify the mystery of nativity”, Mr. Alvarez explained.

As counterpoint, we will listen to Ballet de Village by Boismortier as a sample of fantasy and short-lived earthly happiness; La Flore de Rebel as a reflection on human unimportance and the joy of carpe diem to end with Les Barricades Mystérieuses by Couperin, an example of French brisé style, a metaphor of the erratic and uncertain life of the existential path, typical of the Siècle des Lumières.