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Baroque music with French flair to grace stage in October

Two Francophone Baroque music ensembles will go onstage here this month.

One of the groups, Les Arts Florissants, is a French ensemble founded in 1979 by William Christie. It is credited with efforts to revive 17th to mid-18th century European music.
Les Arts Florissants (Julien Benhamou)
Les Arts Florissants (Julien Benhamou)

Christie, a conductor and harpsichordist, is often referred to as “a pioneer in the rediscovery of Baroque music” in France, introducing lesser-known French Baroque music pieces.

On Oct. 17, the ensemble will present Handel’s English-language oratorio “Messiah” at the Art Center Incheon. The choral work, written in 1741, is composed in the structure of an opera but without a dramatic dialogue.
Les Violons du Roy (Atwood Photographie)
Les Violons du Roy (Atwood Photographie)

The newly built center boasts acoustics suitable for chamber music. It kicked off its 2019 season with a stage production of Haydn’s 1798 oratorio “The Creation” by La Fura dels Baus, an experimental theater group from Barcelona, Spain, in March.

The “Messiah” performance begins at 8 p.m. on Oct. 17. Tickets are priced from 30,000 won to 100,000 won.

Another highly anticipated presentation is slated for Oct. 29 at the LG Arts Center, with French-Canadian chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy taking the stage.

The ensemble, founded by Bernard Labadie in 1984, is based in Quebec.

The program includes Haydn’s Symphony No.83 in G minor “La Poule,” Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K. 595 with pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin and Mozart’s Symphony No.40 in G minor, K. 550. The ensemble’s music director Jonathan Cohen will take the baton.

The chamber orchestra -- named after the celebrated court orchestra of French kings dubbed Les Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi -- was founded in 1984 by Bernard Labadie.

The ensemble is known for its exploration of Baroque and classical music using 17th- and 18th-century performance practices.

It is the orchestra’s first time visiting Korea for a recital.

The Oct. 29 performance will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced between 40,000 won and 100,000 won.

By Im Eun-byel (