Programme sets

We have put together programme sets that help to navigate through our rich repertoire. For further information please contact us.

1. “The Art of Variation”

Description: Variation is a compositional technique – and often a formal framework – used widely in the first hundred years of baroque music history. This performance offers an illuminating illustration of this: it contains short, stubbornly repetitive pieces based on ostinato-themes (grounds, passacaglias, chaconnes) as well as compositions built upon the “theme and variation” structure. This show also demonstrates how variation movements can be nicely placed within a larger set.

Number of performers: 5-6
Duration: 60-65 minutes (without a break)
Technical needs: one harpsichord (a’=415hz), sheet music stands

2. “War and Peace – in the Music of the 17th Century”

Description: In the 1600s, wars were an unfortunate but unavoidable part of everyday life. The influence of this is visible in the music of the era to such extent that it resulted in a genre called “battaglia”. Simplicissimus presents this genre in this performance with the additional flavour of such pieces that could accompany the actions of war: lamentos and entertainment music.

Number of perfomers: 5-6
Duration: 60-70 minutes (without a break)
Technical needs: one harpsichord, preferably large or with a 16-foot register (a’=415hz), sheet music stands

3. „Baroque East meets West”

Description: This performance contrasts and compares the Western European musical characteristics of the 17th-18th century with the world of Hungarian music. The core of the performance is given by violins without accompaniment, but other instruments that served as significant parts of Hungarian music also participate (such as viola, cobza, violoncello). In addition, this performance presents the delightful mixture of music from the West and from the region of the Carpathian Basin.

Number of perfomers: 3-5
Duration: 90-95 minutes (+15-20 minutes for a break) / 55-60 minutes (without a break)
Technical needs: sheet music stands

4. Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Mensa sonora

Description: Today, when we visit a bar or restaurant, it’s sure, that there will be some background music. This phenomen also existed in the 17th century: they were the so called “table musics”. This kind of music was often low in quality, but Biber’s suites are contra-examples: they show us, that this kind “pop music” could be done in high quality as well. Today the Mensa sonora is suitable both in concert halls and as some background music on a banquet.

Number of performers: 5
Duration: 50-60 minutes (or with repetitions more)
Technical needs: one harpsichord (a’=415hz), sheet music stands

5. Georg Muffat: Armonico tributo

Description: “Minor author.” It degrades the works of composers that may have not achieved a big role in the Western music history, but have contributed greatly in advancing and ameliorating music in their own respective time. Further, the category contains multiple composers that are on the same level as the masters of their era but faded into history nevertheless. Although the “undeservingly forgotten” expression has also become somewhat old, Simplicissimus still believes and hopes to prove that the Georg Muffat Armonico tributo sonata series is indeed worthy of attention, praise, and musical significance. The sonatas amalgamate the styles of Corelli and Lully, and their unique trait is that – according to the foreword of the composer – they can be played as trio, quartet, quintet, or even as concerto grosso.

Number of performers: 4-5 / 6-7 / 12+
Duration: 90-95 minutes (+15-20 minutes for a break) / only three sonatas performed out of five: 60-65 minutes (without a break)
Technical needs: one harpsichord with two manuals or a positive organ (a’=415hz), music sheet stands

6. Daniel Speer: Musikalisch-Türckischer Eulen-Spiegel – A Singspiel in German

Description: The protagonist of this German-speaking Singspiel is Lompyn, a jester with enormous appetite. He is at the service of a Hungarian lord Cergeli (Gergely) who is imprisoned by the Ottomans. Lompyn tells about his adventures to this lord after having convinced the sultan with a joke to set Cergeli free. He speaks of the Grand Vizier who hides behind mystical arrogance; of the lovely maid of the mill and the patriarch of Moscow; of a Turkish-Hungarian duel, and – of course – of his own struggles and joys in love. The episodes are loosely connected to each other in Speer’s work, the continuity is supplied by a Tenor accompanied by basso-continuo. The parts where string instruments join in are the endings of the songs when the moral of the story is revealed. The interesting aspect of the piece is that the dance movements (Hungarian, Polish, Vlach, Cossack, Russian, “Muscovite” and Greek ballets) were heard by Speer himself according to his own admission. This occurred assumedly on his travels in Hungary and Transylvania in the 1650s of which he writes about in his novel Ungarischer oder Dacianischer Simplicissimus published in 1683.

This piece can be performed in colourful and various ways (folk musicians, dancers, artists of puppetry, etc. could also participate in a co-production), and for this reason, the details are to be discussed upon request.

Minimal number of performers: 5