This year’s Hanwha Classic will invite the audience to the world of both sacred and secular music. Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater,” the masterpiece of Italian church music, contrasts with Johann Sebastian Bach’s secular work of “Coffee Cantata.” Soprano Seo Ye-ri will perform with the orchestra “Hanwha Baroque Project” and the concert will also feature countertenor Jeong Min-ho, tenor Hong Min-seob, and base Kim Seung-dong. The Hanwha Classic will be held at the Seoul Arts Center (SAC) Concert Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
In a text interview with the Dong-A Ilbo, Seo Ye-ri said the concert will be a good mix of works for music fans, who are not familiar with early music. Early music generally refers to music before the Baroque period performed with musical instruments and techniques of that time.
“Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater is church music but it has a lyrical and beautiful melody. On the other hand, Bach’s Coffee Cantata is fun and interesting,” Seo said. “Bach did not write operas. I think it was his way of showing his humorous side.”
The Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Christian hymn to Mary, which portrays her suffering during Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. Several composers, including Rossini and Dvorak, wrote works based on the traditional structure of the Stabat Mater sequence, but the work by the genius composer Pergolesi, written just before he died at the age of 26, is the most widely performed piece. The Coffee Cantata by Bach is a humorous depiction of the father who is disgruntled due to his daughter’s love for coffee. The Concerto for Oboe and Violin by Bach will be also performed at the concert.
The Hanwha Classic, which is in its ninth year this year, has hosted masters of early music, including Helmut Lilling, Marc Minkowski, William Christie and Jordi Savall every year. The Baroque Project is an orchestra, which is composed of a group of early music musicians at home and abroad, including Baroque violinist Kim Na-yeon and cellist Kang Hyo-jung. Violist Johannes Leertouwer, a professor at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in the Netherlands, will take the head of the orchestra.