As the Venice Baroque Orchestra returns to Urbana’s Krannert Center for the fourth time, on March 5, the Foellinger Great Hall will hear some different and perhaps extraordinary sounds.

Despite its name, it is a relatively new orchestra. It was founded in 1997 by Andrea Marcon. Marion is a world-class Baroque scholar and accomplished harpsichordist, and his new ensemble does its best to recreate the sound of that Baroque era with period instruments.

Most musical historians place the Baroque era from about 1600 to 1750. It gave us such giants of music as the Bach family, Henry Purcell, Domenico Scarlatti, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Georg Phillipp Telemann, and Tomaso Albinoni. This formative era of the western classical music tradition produced the compositional tradition of common-practice tonality. This is a compositional technique where a song or musical work is written in a particular key. This would establish the basis for western classical music.

The orchestra’s sound is a product of the period instruments that each ensemble member plays. Their fame as both a purely musical orchestra and one that accompanies operatic performances have led to worldwide fame and a touring schedule that encompasses five continents. If you have sampled any portions of their extensive discography, you have most likely missed the essence of the March 5 concert.

March 5, will feature Swedish mezzo-soprano, Ann Hallenberg, will accompany the orchestra. She will perform arias from the works of Orlandini,  Hasse, Handel, and Vivaldi. Ms. Hallenberg is a world-class mezzo-soprano with more than a dozen recordings, whose specialty is the Baroque era. This is an ideal opportunity to experience two world-class Baroque specialists.

For further information, go to:, or call the Krannert box office at—333–6280.

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Jeff Nelson

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