The stunning success of the Rome Chamber Music Festival. From Baroque to folk music

Palazzo Barberini has been once more the memorable set of the Rome Chamber Music Festival, that has reached this year its 14th edition and has once more successfully combined baroque tradition and modern experimentation.

Since 2012 the Rome Chamber Music Festival, directed by Rober McDuffie, has found a stable location in one of the magic buildings of Rome, Palazzo Barberini, precisely in the Grand Salon frescoed by Pietro da Cortona with the Triumph of Divine Providence; a splendid setting whose beauty is the perfect background for a Festival that, during the years, has been able to come out on top as one of the most significant events of the Roman summer schedule.

The Rome Chamber Music Festival is one of a kind because of the munificence of the organizers, who offer high quality concerts perfromed by young musicians supported by well-known personalities of the international music scene.

This year, the caption of the kermesse has expressed in the best way the wide range of the offer: Baroque Brahms Bluegrass, tiple B that fully defines the variety of the Festival, from the seventeenth-century traditon (Vivaldi, Corelli, Bach) to the masters of modernity (the already mentioned Brahms but also Beethoven and Saint-Saëns) to the popular music represented by the Bluegrass genre, evolution of the U.S. country and jazz tradition, imbued with the sensibility of the rural south-east States, full of blues, gospel and folk elements. This experimental point of view is a trait of the spirit of the event, that matches the versatility of interpretation of artists with different background and age with the wide range of genres and live shows. Thus, every night has been an unique experience, a travel back in time that goes through centuries and connects bygone ages, creating a bridge between supposedly incompatible genres.

June 7, concert has been more than indicative: from the marvelous Sextet for string instruments op. 36 by Johannes Brahms (in and of itself composed of nomerous overlays, almost to express the complexity of Austria-Hungary, from the German nineteenth-century tradition to the inspiration of the second movement of the Hungarian dances), to the concert in D minor for oboe and violin by Johann Sebastian Bach. the latter has been an extremely precious moment because the work has been performed by two mandolin players: the mandolin has been one of the protagonist of the evening, a music instrument that is able to represent different historical and stylistical aspects. Caterina Lichtenberg and Mike Marshall, two experts of mandolin executions, performed, besides the Bach concert, the concert for two violins (mandolins) op. 3 by Antonio Vivaldi, after enchanting the audience with several mandolin and mandoloncello’s duets that once more placed together U.S. folk, European classical and Latin tradition.

Putting together in a coherent manner so many genres and inspirations, succeeding at engaging the audience cannot be taken for granted: we could say that McDuffie and the Rome Chamber Music Festival have won the challenge, but this kind of stance suits better beginners and events that appear to a big audience for the frist time: the RCMF doesn’t need compliments since by now the typical quality of their offer has become a true guarantee more than a promise.

Italian review written by Alessandro Alfieri: Baroque Brahms Bluegrass // Rome Chamber Music Festival 2017: Dal Settecento alla musica popolare, tra elogi e conferme

translated by Anna Maria Gambino

The concert was played at
Palazzo Barberini – Salone di Pietro da Cortona
via delle Quattro Fontane, 13 – Roma
from 4 to 8 June, at 8.30pm

Rome Chamber Music Festival 2017. Baroque Brahms e Bluegrass presents
Concert on June 7th

Sextet for string instruments op. 36
by Johannes Brahms

Concert in D minor for oboe and violin
by Johann Sebastian Bach

Duets to the mandolin and to the mandocello
mandolin Caterina Lichtenberg
mandolin and mandocello Mike Marshall

Concert for two violins (mandolins) op. 3 n. 8
by Antonio Vivaldi

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