Mini music fest promises dulcet sounds of old European music

Antique Baroque music instruments will be played at Shanghai Concert Hall on May 10, as Hamburger Ratsmusik stage a concert.

Ti Gong

Musicians of Hamburger Ratsmusik show their antique Baroque instruments. 

Antique Baroque music instruments will take over the stage at the Shanghai Concert Hall on May 10 as part of the 2018 Mini Music Festival which runs until Saturday.

With the theme of “Colorful Baroque,” the Mini Music Festival will present three concerts by Hamburger Ratsmusik, Europa Galante and The Gentleman’s Band, as well as three lectures helping local audiences learn about European music of the 16th and 17 centuries.

Founded in the 16th century, Hamburger Ratsmusik was once a leading Baroque orchestra in its time until classicism took over after the 18th century. The orchestra was revived in 1991 when about 30 records on early music were released.

Viola da gamba player Simone Eckert, theorbo player Ulrich Wedemeier and harpsichord player Anke Dennert will present works of “not-that-famous” composers.

“It was a period of changes. The music was changing, the music instrument was changing and people’s ideas were also changing. Composers in this period were more inclined to express emotionally in music. And their works, to some extent, paved the way for Mozart later,” said Eckert of Hamburger Ratsmusik.

Except for the harpsichord kept by Shanghai Concert Hall, the other two instruments are real antiques possessed by the musicians.

According to Eckert, viola da gambas made in the 16th century were widely abandoned in Europe in the 19th century. They were burnt, destroyed or modified into cellos. Eckert luckily found a real viola da gamba kept as a decoration in a family’s house. It was almost destroyed and unable to be played until it had careful repair.

Ulrich Wedemeier’s therobo was luckier. It was kept at an antique store in Paris as an ordinary collection until Wedemeier found it. It was well-kept and ready to play when he bought it.

Two other concerts featuring bird-themed Baroque music works will follow up on May 11-12.

On May 11, recorder player Stefan Temmingh will join hands with soprano Dorothee Mields and the Gentleman’s Band in presenting a concert named “Birds in Baroque.”

One day later, Europa Galante led by conductor and violinist Fabio Biondi will present a concert of Vivaldi’s works, including three concertos, six selections from opera and a concerto for two violins.

Hamburger Ratsmusik concert

Date: May 10, 7:30pm
Tickets: 80-380 yuan
Tel: 400-8918182
Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall
Address: 523 Yan’an Rd E.

“Birds in Baroque” concert

Date: May 11, 7:30pm
Tickets: 80-480 yuan
Tel: 400-8918182
Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall
Address: 523 Yan’an Rd E.

Europa Galante concert

Date: May 12, 7:30pm
Tickets: 80-680 yuan
Tel: 400-8918182
Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall
Address: 523 Yan’an Rd E.

Ti Gong

Ulrich Wedemeier playing his antique therobo.  

Ti Gong

Recorder player Stefan Temmingh plays one of his recorders. 



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