Candlelight Baroque: Breathtaking

October 31, 2019

The new Candlelight Baroque series features international baroque artists in solo and small chamber music concerts performing in an intimate candlelit setting in historic St. Paul’s Chapel.


Bruce Dickey, cornetto; Hana Blažíková, soprano; Avi Stein, organ

This concert pairs the radiant voice of Czech soprano Hana Blažíková with international early-music star Bruce Dickey on the cornetto, fabled for its astonishing ability to imitate the human voice. The program celebrating this imitation is called “Breathtaking,” both because the voice and the cornetto make music with the breath and because the imitation can take the listener’s breath away. Some of the pieces are written for two soprano voices and others for an instrument and a voice; but in both, soprano and cornetto carry on a musical conversation, constantly imitating and echoing their musical phrases and embellishments so that the voice and the instrument seem intimately entwined. The program features music by Italian composers from the 17th century, including Francesco Cavalli, Tarquinio Merula, and Giacomo Carissimi, as well as ornamented versions of motets by Palestrina in which the cornetto takes a virtuoso improvisatory role.