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By Antoine du Rocher

LONDON, 29 JANUARY 2008 — The European baroque (circa 1600 - late 18th century) was not limited to innovation in painting, sculpture and architecture, or the evolution of diatonic tonality and ornamentation in music (1600 - 1750), the birth of opera and the technology of baroque instruments . It was also marked by the devistation and pestilence of The Thirty Years' Religious Wars (1618 - 1648) and the Protestant Reformation, the origins of globalization, piracy and the Atlantic slave trade in the Americas-the Gold Rush or dot-com boom of the period.

This winter, travellers to Britain with an interest in history and baroque music can explore both. Currently on view at the The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum in Bristol, Breaking the Chains - The Fight to to End Slavery commemorates the 200th anniversary of the British Parliamentary Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in 1807. In addition to a major loan from the British Museum's African collection, including fine examples of Benin brass work, the show features authentic artefacts, film, music, photography, video and personal testimonies.

Meanwhile in London on 7 February at Cadogan Hall, the British baroque orchestra La Serenissima, one of the leading exponents of the music of Antonio Vivaldi and other masters of the Italian baroque, offers a rare opportunity to hear works by Sammartini, Tartini and Locatelli, whose consolidation of violin technique bridged the gap between the baroque and classical styles. Also on this unusual programme, entitled La Serenissima: The Rise of the North Italian Violin Concerto III: Towards Enlightenment is a concerto by Vivaldi using obligato timpani.

Vivaldi:Concerto for violin, 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horns, strings & continuo in F

Locatelli: Concerto da chiesa in C

Locatelli:Concerto for 4 violins, strings & continuo in F
Sammartini: Concerto for 2 violins (solo), 2 oboes (solo), bassoon, 2 horns, strings & continuo in E flat

Tartini: Concerto for violin, strings & continuo in B flat

Vivaldi: Concerto for violin, 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horns, timpani, strings & continuo in D

La Serenissima: The Rise of the North Italian Violin Concerto III: Towards Enlightenment
7 February 2008
Cadogan Hall
Sloane Terrace
London SW1X 9DQ
Tel: (44) 020 7730 45 00

Breaking the Chains - The Fight to End Slavery
The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum
Clock Tower Yard
Temple Meads
United Kingdom
Tel: (44) 117 925 49 80

Travel Tip: Berlin

Benin: Five Centuries of Royal Art ( 7 February - 25 May 2008)

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