The Dream of a King, the exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) of magnificent baroque treasures from the court of Elector-King Augustus the Strong of Saxony, was brought to a close on Thursday evening with an informal performance of the kind of music that pleasure-loving monarch would have enjoyed.
The concert, held in the museum’s atrium, was named ‘Baroque music from Dresden’ as all four of the composers whose work was performed either worked in Dresden or had connections with the city. JD Heinichen was a composer at the court of Augustus the Strong and a one-time colleague, at another royal court, of JS Bach. His triosonata in F Major for oboe, violin and basso continuo, was performed by cellist Katrin Meingast, visiting baroque harpsichord expert Christoph Teichner and musicians from the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO): violinist Tobias Gette and oboeist Claire Glago.
Talking to Gulf Times, Doha resident Meingast said that she had the idea of arranging the concert as a fitting finale to the exhibition, and when she approached the museum authorities they gave enthusiastic support. She formed the ‘Baroque Ensemble Doha’ with players from the QPO, and as there is no resident baroque harpsichordist in Doha Christoph Techner from Augsburg agreed to come specially for the performance.
The Heinechen triosonata was followed by a triosonata by CPE Bach, with Yoshiko Koyama on the bassoon, and the violinist Ines Wein along with Meingast and Teichner.
A sonata by a Czech composer, JD Zelenka, who was a string player at the court of Augustus, preceded the final piece by Vivaldi, ‘La Folia’, originally based on a wild Portuguese folk dance, with the music growing rapidly faster and more dramatic towards the finale.
The informal setting of the concert, with café patrons on either side of the performers and museum visitors walking around, was very much in the style of the original courtly baroque music performances and added greatly to the enjoyment. The audience of around 200 music-lovers responded with applause.
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