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Expat Life

Paying tribute to Baroque era music

Photos and story by Bartley D’Alfonso 

They say that when it comes to receiving good things, they can come as a feast or as a famine.

Sometimes this applies to attending live concerts of classical music. But during four consecutive days starting last Thursday, and continuing to Sunday, Cuenca was overflowing with the sounds of my two favorite eras of such music: the Renaissance era, followed by the Baroque era.  These were presented by the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra’s “Viva Vivaldi, Cuenca 2018” four day celebration.

On Sunday morning inside the Old Cathedral patrons were treated to an eclectic repertoire of various musical instruments, and a children’s vocal chorus. The performance was a repeat of the opening night concert at iglesia San Blas Thursday night.

Opening the program was a presentation composed by Juan Ángel Ciurleo from Argentina, his Cantana Opus 13, sung with mature enthusiasm by some 48 children from the local Children’s Choir of the José Maria Rodriguez School of Arts.

Accompanying the chorus were the “woodwinds” section of violins and violas from the orchestra, led by Music Director Alex Rodríguez (a notable opera Baritone singer). Following that the full orchestra joined in a solo clarinet performance of Clarinet Concierto No. 1 by German-born Johann Molter (1696 – 1765) by soloist Paulo MorochoGuamo of Loja, Ecuador.

The third presentation was a bassoon concerto composed by the great Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), affectionately called as the “Little Redhead”. Bassoonist Miguel García Asitimbay was the soloist.

The next performance was a concerto for the tiny piccolo played by soloist Paola Zambrano Loayza, also composed by Vivaldi.

Ending the wonderful morning was a passionate vocal sung by Vanesa Regalado Argüello, in a vibrant Larghetto also composed by Vivaldi.

It was no wonder why so many attendees came forward to take “selfies” with the soloists and orchestra!