The Festival de Música Antigua de Tenerife (Fimante) [Tenerife Early Music Festival] next concert is Dialectic of Bach and Couperin by The Goldfinch Ensemble to be held in Guía de Isora. Baroque maestros can be listened to at 8:45 pm on Saturday, the 27th at Centro Cultural Playa de San Juan. Admission is free.

The members of The Goldfinch Ensemble are Pablo Sosa (traverso), Salomé Gasselin (viola da gamba) and Emmanuel Frankenberg (harpsichord) whose performance of early music enjoys international recognition. They are specialised in the repertoire of the late 17th and the 18th centuries and stand out for the liveliness and spontaneity of their interpretation.

The group has received different international awards including the first prize at the chamber music competition "International Händel Festpiele Gottingen Competition" (2016), or second prize in the French chamber music contest "International Early Music Competition Lorey Valley" (2015). Their international career started in 2015, when they took part in renowned early music festivals like Festival de Sablé (France), Festival de Musique Baroque d'Ambronay (France), Festival di Natale (Italy), York Early Music Festival (England) or Festival Son Antigos Sul Lagos (Portugal), among others.

It was in 1722 when Johann Sebastian Bach finished his first book Das Wohltemperierte Klavier in Köthen, Germany. That same year, François Couperin published his Concerts Royaux in Paris, France. It was a highly creative time for both musicians who delivered a good deal of compositions some of which have remained among the most important works of the first half of the 18th century.  

Fimante’s artistic director, Conrado Álvarez, explains that “both Bach and Couperin were influenced by their respective national styles -German and French- although they never stopped seeking new musical possibilities”.

Through this programme we try to show what these two maestros represented and even how they may have been reciprocally inspired. The goût français had considerable influence in German music in the 18th century. Bach himself was familiarised with the French style, apart from knowing many French musicians, including meeting the composer, organist and harpsichordist Louis Marchand in 1717. He also copied and used Jean-Henri d’Anglebert’s famous table of ornaments.

François Couperin’s music had a great influence on Bach. Although undocumented, it is quite likely they both exchanged correspondence. “True or not, what we certainly know is that Bach knew some of Couperin’s compositions. He even copied some pieces both for himself and for his wife, Anna Magdalena”, Álvarez explains, to then goes on to say that “thanks to a 1790 piece of writing of one of Bach’s student, Gerber, we also know he loved Couperin’s music and he recommended his students to study it”.

“Although both composers were strongly influenced by music from the past, it was their creativity that turned their compositions into groundbreaking music as it reflected the lively culture of their time”, Fimante’s artistic director concludes.

“Aun siendo dos compositores fuertemente influenciados por la música del pasado, fue su creatividad la que convirtió su música en revolucionaria, componiendo música que reflejaba la vívida cultura de su tiempo”, sentencia el director artístico de Fimante.