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Ensemble Caprice play Indianapolis Early Music Festival / NUVO review

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"Salsa Baroque: Music of Latin America and Spain." It takes the imagery of imagination to translate two hours of middle-Baroque music into the act of sailing the Atlantic, journeying all the way to Argentina and doing so with the panache of Ensemble Caprice. Led by recorder players Matthias Maute and Sophie Larivière, the Caprice musicians made a bit of a production of their Sunday afternoon concert. Maute had appeared with two Caprice players the Friday prior to open the Indy Early Music series.

David Jacques started the journey by himself onstage with a guitar solo, when all of a sudden the remaining five musicians added their own timbres as they sauntered single file down the Basile Theater steps from in back of us to join Jacques. The three remaining artists are Baroque cellist Susie Napper, percussionist Ziya Tabassian and guest soprano Estelí Gomez.

Gomez has a lovely voice, often singing a pure, burnished white (i.e. no vibrato) and quite apropos for the musical era and styles to which they exposed us. An often featured composer was Santiago de Murcia (1673 - 1739), who put the stamp on the period, one which was also defined by a number of anonymous sources. One such source emerged as a "Chacona" (which is Spanish for "Ciaconna" or "Chaconne") -- intricate writing decorating a short, repeated line, from a composer unknown.