In 2008, members of the Berliner Philharmoniker teamed up with recognised specialists from the field of early music to found the Ensemble Concerto Melante. Their choice of a name already contained a hint whose compositions were their particular passion: no less a personage than Georg Philipp Telemann once jumbled up the letters of his last name, finding his way to the mellifluous, Italian-sounding pseudonym “Melante”. But the Concerto Melante is by no means just a Telemann ensemble! In concerts and on recordings, the group, which plays in various line-ups, puts up for discussion not only compositions by the man who gave them their name, but also again and again presents interpretations of works of composers of the 17th and 18th centuries who have been unjustly forgotten.
At this concert, the Concerto Melante has joined forces with the international vocal collective Ensemble Polyharmonique. Besides compositions by Baroque composers Biagio Marini, Franz Tunder, Dietrich Becker, Dieterich Buxtehude and Pietro Andrea Ziani, a work that has not been performed for centuries will be snatched from its archival deep sleep: a passion oratorio with the rather unwieldy title Natura et quatuor elementa dolentia ad Sepulcrum Christi. Its composer Antonio Cesti worked in, among other places, Venice, Florence, Innsbruck and Vienna, and was among the most successful and most played opera composers all across Europe in the 17th century; as a member of the Franciscan Order, he also however, composed music for the church.