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Don't be embarrassed if you haven't heard of all the composers on this year's Vivaldi by Candlelight concert. Even Gerald Elias, the event's music director and a highly credentialed violinist, learned of one of them only recently.
"This year of course there'll be Vivaldi, but there's also music by composers whose names are rarely heard," Elias said. "One of them, Pietro Castrucci, I'd never heard of in my life until I started researching.
"He was a phenomenal composer. He studied with Corelli and he was concertmaster of Handel's orchestra in London, and his compositions are just wonderful."
Fellow Baroque composers Alessandro Scarlatti, William Boyce, George Philipp Telemann are also on the program, along with the Red Priest himself. "We're including a sinfonia from one of Vivaldi's operas ['Ottone in Villa'], and a concerto originally written for violin and cello but arranged for harpsichord, and a very unusual concerto for two violins, one of which is an echo," Elias said. Featured performers are harpsichordist Pamela Palmer Jones and violinists Bonnie Terry and Krista Utrilla.
Elias, who has stayed busy as a mystery novelist, composer and freelance musician since retiring as the Utah Symphony's associate concertmaster, spends much of the year identifying and preparing scores for the annual concert, which raises funds for the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy. He listens to a lot of CDs and cites YouTube and the International Music Score Library Project's online Petrucci Music Library as invaluable resources. "Sometimes they are printed in very nicely modern style," he said of the scores he finds in the online library, "but a lot are still in handwritten manuscript and have literally hundreds of errors the copyists had to work so fast." Often Elias copies the parts in his Finale software and pores over them note by note. It's worth the effort, he said: "There are lots of hidden gems from the Baroque era that most people have never heard before and may never hear again."
When • Saturday, Dec. 10, 8 p.m.
Where • First Presbyterian Church, 12 C St., Salt Lake City
Tickets • $25-$125; discounts for student; vivaldi.brownpapertickets.com