[tm_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”off” transparent_background=”on” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off” module_class=”top-margin0″][tm_pb_row admin_label=”Row” make_fullwidth=”on” use_custom_width=”off” use_grid_padding=”on” width_unit=”on” padding_mobile=”off” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” vertical_alligment_1=”start” responsive_laptop_1=”inherit” responsive_tablet_1=”inherit” responsive_phone_1=”inherit” order_laptop_1=”1″ order_tablet_1=”1″ order_phone_1=”1″ column_padding_mobile=”on”][tm_pb_column type=”4_4″][tm_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”https://aam.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/2022-09-03-Zfr37472.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” module_class=”banner-image” alt=”Bill Carter playing”] [/tm_pb_image][/tm_pb_column][/tm_pb_row][/tm_pb_section][tm_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”off”][tm_pb_row admin_label=”Row”][tm_pb_column type=”4_4″][tm_pb_text admin_label=”Text” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” text_line_height=”1.6em” text_font_size_last_edited=”off|desktop” custom_margin=”35px|||” text_font_size=”20″]

Principal Theorbo player Bill Carter shares his experiences of AAM’s visit to the Korcula Music Festival.

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I was fortunate enough to be part of the AAM’s performance in the very first Korcula festival and so I was delighted to have the opportunity to return and help celebrate its tenth anniversary. Korcula is a Croatian island (and city of the same name) in the Adriatic sea. It’s absolutely beautiful and like many wonderful and relatively unspoiled places it’s not that easy to get to- the remoteness acts as a defence. Our travel was fairly strenuous, involving a flight to Dubrovnik (delayed for a few hours of course), several hours on a coach and the final stage which was magical, crossing the water long after midnight on a small open boat. The next day we woke in the wonderful old town centre. Korcula has a very long history – it was founded by Aeneas! – but most of the centre was built in the 1500s by the Venetians. The cathedral we played in boasted a couple of winged lions guarding the entrance as well as a painting of St Mark with the obligatory winged lion behind the altar. Another connection with Venice worth mentioning is that Marco Polo lived in Korcula.

It’s amazing with the way things have been going in the world that the festival in Korcula has been able to survive and I’m sure it has involved a tremendous amount of work by the organisers. With that in mind, and considering that this was their tenth anniversary they presented us with a pair of seemingly contradictory requests: 1. That they wanted to stay inside their very small budget and 2. They wanted an orchestra! So we travelled as the very smallest group that you could call an orchestra: 4 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 double bass and a continuo of harpsichord and theorbo (well, it could have been even smaller if I had been omitted, but then you wouldn’t have this nice report to read). Any violinist will tell you that two violins on the same part (2 firsts and 2 seconds) is one of the most difficult textures to manage well. If you play a part on your own then you have a degree of freedom, if there are 3 or more on a part small inconsistencies get lost in the overall sound, but with 2 on a part every little difference is audible and can lead to general misery. When it’s done well though it can be wonderful – our violinists blended beautifully and we truly sounded like an orchestra. Bojan (leader, Bojan Čičić) picked a strong programme of Purcell and Handel and we were joined by the Croatian Mezzo Renata Pokupic, who readers may remember as Nerone in the AAM’s L’incoronazione of Poppea a few years back, for a few items. The resulting concert was one of the most enjoyable I’ve done this year and the audience seemed to love it as well. The return trip started at 3am the next morning and by 3pm I was home. It was tiring but a lot of fun. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another 10 years to be invited back!

Bill Carter

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Photos: Korkyra Baroque Festival

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