¿HAYDN ABARROCADO? | Bach-Abel Society
The programme makes a historical reference to the series of concerts organised in London since 1764, over the course of more than 10 years by harpsichordist Johann Christian Bach (1735–1782) and viola player Carl Friedrich Abel (1723–1787). They performed works by eminent composers, including Joseph Haydn, on instruments such as harpsichord and viola da gamba at a time when piano and cello were increasingly gaining an important role. However, not every venue could afford the latest and greatest instruments, which is why new works were often performed on “old” instruments that were available at the time. This little mid-18th-century anachronism gave Anacronía an opportunity to revive the rich amalgam of coexisting sounds in times gone by, disregarded due to the modern conventions, all while trying to recreate the passionate atmosphere of those evenings: according to sources at the time, both the audience and the musicians would sometimes go from happiness to the feeling of the deepest sorrow and tears in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, in an effort to re-evaluate and bolster Spain's cultural heritage from the age of the Enlightenment, the artists supplemented the programme by adding a piece composed by Spanish composer Juan Oliver Astorga – one of the most representative musicians of the Spanish Classicism. He travelled throughout his life, and in 1767 he moved to London, where he possibly attended concerts of the Bach-Abel Society, which he actually later joined – with time, he became an active associate and friend of both the musicians. The concert is a nod to the previous, Iberian edition of the festival, which was held online due to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.