One of the things I enjoy most about driving up to Syracuse for the Baroque Ensemble, besides listening to Anne Mei play, is hearing composers I haven’t heard before. Last Spring it was Girolamo Abos. In December we heard Giovanni Alberto Ristori, Antonio Lotti, Dario Castello, Bonafacio Graziani, Agostina Steffani, and Giulio Caccini, even though the piece Anne Mei played was by the more well-known Georg Telemann.
This past Sunday, April 23, 2017, Anne Mei played Georg von Bertouch’s “Sonata No 13 in C minor.” Bertouch was a German-born Norwegian composer who worked with the likes of J.S. Bach and Handel. Anne Mei played viola in a group with Matthew VanDemark on violin, Jennifer Suh on cello, and Kit Yee Tang on harpsichord. She played the viola solo in the second Andante movement.
She also played the second violin part on her viola in the other movements. This was a difficult piece to play together because, as the program notes point out, Bertouch traded “motives and phrasing lines … equally among violins/violas and the basso continuo” with frequent “canons and invertible counterpoints.” In this Adagio, “the two violins play the same theme, but the second violin plays it in augmentation. At the conclusion of the movement, the cello plays the theme in augmentation while the two violins play it in unison.”