by Ashley Janes
Morinville – Dedicated to recreating music from the baroque period, Edmonton’s La Folia string orchestra will perform at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre on Saturday, May 31. Founded in 2012, La Folia
consists of 11 musicians who come together once a week to rehearse and perform music from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Part of the canon of classical music and responsible for the creation of the tonality system, baroque is characterized by elaborate musical ornamentation, as well as refashioned notation and instrumental techniques. Celebrated baroque composers include Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, and Henry Purcell. Baroque is meant to sound melodious while being constructed to represent what period musicians believed to be the perfect order of the universe.
La Folia Music Director Josephine van Lier described the Edmonton ensemble rehearsals as very intense. She commented that the musicians focus on capturing the unique style while perfecting detailed ensemble playing. “They play on gut strings with baroque bows, some even have traditional baroque instruments,” she said.
In the short time they have been together, La Folia has performed all over the Edmonton area, including Concordia University, as well as other cities across Alberta. However, van Lier remarked that the group has made their home in the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in the Strathcona community, a building she celebrated for its incredible acoustics.
The May 31 concert will be La Folia’s first in Morinville. Van Lier explained it is difficult to offer a detailed preview of the show because no two La Folia performances are alike. Each one showcases different composers and musical works from across two varied centuries. “The audience in Morinville can expect to hear an enthusiastic performance of some pieces by well-known baroque composers like Bach, Handel and Corelli, played by a very talented group of musicians,” she said.
For van Lier, the future of La Folia seems bright. She has watched the ensemble improve and grow over the course of two years. “As La Folia continues to develop; I see more members getting copies of instruments from the time and performing much of the lesser known music of the renaissance and baroque eras, as well as the favourites from across the period,” she said. When it comes to these 11 musicians, it appears to be a classic case of hard work paying off.
Recordings of La Folia’s performances can be viewed online at YouTube.com by searching La Folia Edmonton, and more information about the ensemble can be found at www. lafoliaensemble.ca. The concert begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are available from the Morinville Community Cultural Centre by calling 780-939-7888.