Courante from above

Baroque music ensemble Courante will perform “Fantasy and Invention” at Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole on Sunday, November 21.

On November 21 at 3 PM, Courante baroque music ensemble will present a concert of 17th- and 18th-century chamber music titled “Fantasy and Invention” at Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole. Performing on period instruments, the quartet will present a program featuring fantasies, inventions, dances and trio sonatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, Francesco Antonio Bonporti, Orlando Gibbons, John Jenkins, Matthew Locke and Georg Philipp Telemann.

Some of the works in the program are in the Stylus Fantasticus, a compositional style prevalent in the early Baroque period and described by 17th-century scholar Athanasius Kircher as being “especially suited to instruments. It is the most free and unrestrained method of composing, it is bound to nothing, neither to any words nor to a melodic subject, it was instituted to display genius and to teach the hidden design of harmony and the ingenious composition of harmonic phrases and fugues.”

Courante was founded in 2017 and features David Gable on violin, Jan Elliott on recorder, Molly Johnston on viola da gamba and Brittany Lord on harpsichord.

Courante performs music in a variety of Baroque styles, using authentic instruments and performance practices. Their name was inspired by the baroque dance form known as the courante or corrente, characterized by sprightly and elegant rhythms in triple meter. By tradition, the group incorporates at least one such piece in every program. In this concert, the two courantes are movements within larger works: Suite No. 4 from “The Broken Consort” by Matthew Locke, and “Invenzione Decima,” by Francesco Antonio Bonporti. Bonporti, a violinist, composer and ordained priest, is the first composer known to have used the term “invention” to describe a piece of music.

Admission to the 3 PM concert is by donation, with $20 suggested. Children and students will be admitted free of charge. Masks are required inside the church.

Church of the Messiah is at 22 Church Street in Woods Hole.

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