Guide to Baroque Music

Baroque music at Bachtrack
For a fascinating and contrasting series of views on baroque music - particularly the music of Monteverdi - read our series of interviews with leading baroque musicians, ranging from the focus on text and poetry of Rinaldo Alessandrini to the improvisatory freedom of Christina Pluhar.
We interview...

Sir John Eliot Gardiner on Monteverdi

Read our wide-ranging interview about Monteverdi's operas, their cultural context, performing them today and why they remain as contemporary and fresh as when they were written four centuries ago.
We interview...

Michael Chance on the new Grange Festival

Michael Chance tells us about planned improvements to the festival-going experience and tells us about the operas that will form part of the new festival.
Festival opera...

Theatrical feast: Hipermestra at Glyndebourne

This year's festival opens with the most lavish work of an exceptionally important composer. So why has it languished unperformed for so long?
We interview...

L'Arpeggiata founder Christina Pluhar

Christina talks about improvisation, her passion for unusual voice types, combining early music with jazz and traditional styles, and more.
We interview...

Baroque Inquisition: Rinaldo Alessandrini

The prolific recording artist and founder of Concerto Italiano answers our questions about Monteverdi and other music of the period.
We interview...

A Monteverdi Odyssey: B'Rock Orchestra

Ahead of their tour of Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, starting at Klarafestival, B'Rock's general director Hendrik Storme tells us about this very international young orchestra, Monteverdi's masterpiece and working with René Jacobs.
We interview...

Baroque Inquisition: Michael Schneider

The recorder/traverso specialist and conductor talks to us about the music of Telemann, whose 250th anniversary is in 2017
We interview...

Baroque inquisition: La Venexiana

The madrigal specialists talk to us about the music of Claudio Monteverdi, whose 450th birthday will be in May 2017.
We interview...

Baroque Inquisition: Bernhard Forck

About the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin's US tour, playing Bach in the Thomaskirche, rare Telemann, lesser known works and more.
What is baroque music?

“Baroque” is a period from approximately 1600 to 1750, sandwiched between the “Renaissance” and “Classical” periods. “Baroque” initially described irregularly shaped pearls that were used in jewelry as early as the 16th century. Rousseau and other critics of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie called the opera “baroque” because of its seemingly irregular melodies, disjunctive harmonies, and frequently changing keys and meters. Read more in Stephen Raskauskas' article.

Baroque eye candy...

Photo gallery: Baroque theatres you should see

Feast your eyes on this marvellous collection of Europe's surviving baroque theatres.
Baroque festivals...

Baroque and Early Music Festivals: the 2017 guide

Whether you're looking for Handel, Bach, Monteverdi, Telemann or mix of all of these; whether you like your Baroque music in a grand palace, an intimate chapel or a state-of-the-art concert hall, our 2017 roundup has something for you.
Baroque festivals...

Three festivals for Mr. Handel

Sandra takes us on a guided tour round Germany's major international Handel Festivals: Göttingen, Halle and Karlsruhe.
Baroque festivals...

Innsbruck Festival of Early Music 2017

The 41st Festival focuses on the voice, with a myriad of operatic, sacred and secular offerings, as well as a sprinkling of notable instrumental concerts.
Baroque festivals...

Biblical epics the stars of the 2017 Handel Halle Festival

Every year, Halle honours one of its favourite sons – composer Georg Friedrich Händel, who was born there in 1685. The Handel Halle Festival takes place from the end of May until early June and attracts the top Baroque performers from all over the globe.
Baroque Festivals...

Travels: the 2017 BRQ Vantaa Festival

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, Artistic Director of BRQ Vantaa Festival, gives us a taste of the 2017 Festival; David gives you a taste of travelling to Vantaa and Helsinki.
Upcoming eventsSee more...

LeipzigJohannes-PassionNew Production

Bach: Johannes-Passion
Mario Schröder; Leipziger Ballet; Paul Goodwin; Paul Zoller; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

AmsterdamMaxim Rysanov & Friends With Bach's Goldberg Variations

Bach: Goldberg Variations (arr. Sitkovetsky for string orchestra)
Boris Brovtsyn; Maxim Rysanov; Kristina Blaumane

LondonChristophe Coin with Ruby Hughes & Maggie Cole: Italians in London

Piatti, Viotti, Scarlatti
Christophe Coin; Ruby Hughes; Maggie Cole
Latest reviewsSee more...

Baroque pyrotechnics: Handel's Serse dazzles at Versailles

An evening of exquisite Baroque music and flamboyant coloratura at the Royal Theatre in Versailles.
Read more

Sparkling Mozart in Cleveland

Nicholas McGegan led The Cleveland Orchestra in spirited performances of a Mozart symphony and concerto, the latter with Marc-André Hamelin, and the program was rounded off with suites of music by Rameau and Gluck.
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Emmanuelle Haïm brings early music to the LA Phil

Familiarity doesn't always breed contempt: Bach's famous Air proves the highlight of an enjoyable evening of Purcell, Bach and Pergolesi in the magnificent surroundings of Disney Hall.
Read more
Opera down under...

Pinchgut Opera: a rare compounding of age and youth

As far as you can get from opera's birthplace, a small company leads the way in exploring the repertoire of its early years.
Baroque in France

A thumbnail of baroque music in France

What’s the state of baroque music in France? How is it placed against the classical and romantic repertoire? Here’s a sketch of a genre that’s well defined but little understood in France.
We explore...

Monteverdi's Selva Morale e Spirituale

A tour through Monteverdi's late and great collection of sacred music.
Play it yourself...

Telemann: your faithful music teacher

Jane guides you through Der getreue Music-Meister, Telemann's treasure trove of pieces for amateur musicians of every description.
Baroque in South America...

Araujo to Zipoli: Baroque music in South America

As part of Bachtrack’s Baroque Music Month, Jane Shuttleworth looks at the history of music in South America in the 17th century and beyond.
We preview...

Celebration time! All systems go for the European Day of Early Music

How best to celebrate Johan Sebastian Bach's birthday and the arrival of spring? Don't miss the European Early Music Day, organised by REMA on 21st March at venues across Europe.
Celebrating women...

Top Six Women Baroque Composers

Following the example of Rebecca Lentjes’ January feature “Top Ten Living Women Composers”, I have made my pick of women composers of the Baroque period in celebration of International Women’s Day.

British Baroque: Matthew Locke

The mid-seventeenth century is a bit of a black hole as far as British music history is concerned – hardly surprising really, given that the British Isles were ravaged by civil war, and Cromwell’s Puritan government that followed put an end to most sorts of fun, including music in church, thus depriving composers of a vitally important source of patronage.