Ensemble Links: Les Muffatti and Tempesta di Mare



Baroque orchestras of note, in their own words. (Click on the country to read more.)

Belgium: Les Muffatti (Peter van Heyghen, dir.).

…came into being to satisfy the need felt by several young Brussels musicians — with an eye to performing Baroque orchestral repertoire — to establish a professional working environment where the basic pleasure of music-making, the refinement of skills, and the investigation of content could be equably combined.

Their enthusiasm, application and idealism resonated with Baroque specialist Peter van Heyghen, who joined the ensemble as permanent coach and conductor.

The ensemble’s name refers to the cosmopolitan composer Georg Muffat (1653-1704), a key figure in the orchestra’s history, and one of the first writers to describe in detail the great stylistic differences between French and Italian Baroque music.

Les Muffatti (photo: Stéphane Puopolo)

United States: Tempesta di Mare (Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone, dirs).

…performs baroque music on baroque instruments with what the Philadelphia City Paper describes as “zest and virtuosity that transcends style and instrumentation.”

Led by artistic directors Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone with concertmaster Emlyn Ngai, Tempesta’s repertoire ranges from staged opera with full orchestra to chamber music. The group performs all orchestral repertoire without a conductor, as was the practice when this music was new.

Tempesta di Mare is named for baroque master Antonio Vivaldi’s concerto meaning “storm at sea,” a title reflecting music’s power to evoke drama.

Tempesta di Mare (photo: Andy Kahl)

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