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Concerts from the Library of Congress: Pick of the Week

Week of May 7, 2021

This Pick of the Week features the 2019 performance of the Quicksilver Baroque Ensemble. J.S. Bach was very much aware of his musical heritage, especially those German composers who had come before him. Quicksilver's program explores the extraordinarily inventive 17th-century music that influenced Bach's development. From Northern Germany, the highly imaginative Matthias Weckmann caught Bach's imagination, and the elaborate inventions of Dieterich Buxtehude prompted him to make an epic 250-mile hike to Lübeck to visit the master. From Southern Germany, Quicksilver investigates the ingenious chamber music of J.J. Fux, the elegant French-influenced dance music of Johann Pachelbel, and the virtuosic inventions of Johann Schmeltzer and H.I.F. von Biber. We will also hear from the eloquent Leipzig composer Johann Rosenmüller — a man who would have been Bach's predecessor at the Thomaskirche had he not had to flee the city due to persecution.

“Quicksilver signifies something unpredictable and swiftly responsive. It’s the perfect name for an ensemble that revels in music of the highest quality – and that demands exceptional instrumental skills.” (Gramophone)

Pick of the Week - May 7, 2021

Quicksilver (event date: October 30, 2019)

Robert Mealy and Julie Andrijeski, violins and directors
Dominic Teresi, dulcian
Avi Stein, harpsichord, organ
Greg Ingles, sackbut
with guest John Lenti, theorbo and baroque guitar

Bach’s Library

Sonata no. 9 à 4
Sonata no. 2 à 4


Sonata in D minor à 4
Sonata in E minor à 2


Sonata terza


Sonata a tre


Sonata in E minor à due


Canzon in C major, no. 21


Prelude in G minor, BuxWV 163


Sonata à 4 in G minor


Sonata à 2


Sonata à 4 in G major, “La Carolietta”

Digital Collections and Resources at the Library of Congress

Conversation with Quicksilver (event date: October 30, 2019)

Anne McLean and Kazem Abdullah speak with members of the ensemble Quicksilver, including co-director and violinist Robert Mealy and harpsichord and organist Avi Stein. They discuss the development of a cosmopolitan musical style and how it is reflected in the program. They also offer insight into historically informed performance practice and the revival of early music today.