The Queen’s Hunchback-Christina Queen of Sweden and the Arcadian Academy-

The life and personality of Christina, Queen of Sweden, was rich with paradox: She was ambivalent in gender, she sought to ceded political power for scholarship, and she was a Protestant who longed for the Roman Catholic faith.

These tensions were ultimately resolved when she abdicated the throne and moved to Rome. As she decided to devote her life for art and culture, she formed the literary circle Accademia degli Arcadi, where she became a significant patron of music and opera, including composers Bernardo Pasquini and Alessandro Stradella. Foremost among those who were drawn into her orbit, was Arcangelo Corelli, the young Orpheus who dedicated his work to her, and Carlo Ambrosio Lonati, who was the concertmaster of her orchestra.

Although the sovereign herself was somewhat physically misshapen, it was Lonati who became famous at the time with his sobriquet ‘Queen’s hunchback’. Christina’s death in 1689 did not extinguish her influence: the Academy elected her as its symbolic head (or Basilissa, the Greek term for ‘Queen’).

Among the next generation of musicians attracted to the Academy and the vibrant musical city was the young Georg Friedrich Handel. Handel’s relationship to the Academy was, in a sense, one of both rivalry and influence. He returned to England with a great deal of Italian style, but also was followed by a primary rival and a fellow of the Academy, Giovanni Bononcini, who was both a cellist and an opera composer. Their rivalry would define London’s musical politics in the early 18th century.

Through exploring works by Lonati and those Arcadian Musicians around and influenced by this curious Heroine Queen Christina, this program will illuminate new aspects of the Roman Baroque music in 17th and early 18th century.

Program (45/60/75min. Vn., Vc. & Hrp./Org.)

Carlo Ambrosio Lonati: Prelude for violin solo in d minor from Select Preludes and Voluntaries .

Carlo Ambrosio Lonati: Sonata for Violin and Basso No.3 in d minor (1701)

Arcangelo Corelli: Sonata for Violin and Basso No.6 in Amajor Op.5 (1700)

Giovanni Bononcini: Sonata for Violoncello and Basso in a minor

Georg Friedrich Handel: Violin Sonata arranged from his Arias in Cantatas written in Rome.

Carlo Ambrosio Lonati: Chaconne (1701)

‘La Folia’ Arrangement from Pasquini ‘Partite Diverse di Follia’/ Corelli ‘Folia’ Op.5

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