The Margravine’s House and Court Music
Olga Watts | Axel Wolf
Music-making was an enthusiastically celebrated pastime at the court of Margravine Wilhelmine von Bayreuth. After a disappointing start in her new home, since 1737 the daughter of the Soldier King (King Frederick William I of Prussia) – thus originally from Berlin – took Bayreuth’s cultural life into her own hands. She had soon created a cultural and intellectual hub at her court that is still regarded today as a heyday in Bayreuth’s history as a city. Wilhelmine was a woman of broad education and knew all about the latest trends and developments on the European music scene; works of the foremost contemporary composers could be heard at her festive concerts. But Wilhelmine also committed herself to music away from the public eye, wrote opera libretti, composed her own works and perfected her skills on the lute by taking lessons from such virtuosi as Silvius Leopold Weiss and Adam Falckerhagen.
In this concert the celebrated recorder player Dorothee Oberlinger, alongside the lutenist Axel Wolf and the harpsichordist Olga Watts, focuses on this fascinating musical flair and appetite for innovative musical experiment at Wilhelmine’s court. “You constantly have to sound out the limits of the instrument to be able to play it with full expression,” says the virtuosic Oberlinger, who owns more than a hundred different recorders. She demonstrates her technical and creative skills not only in the works of famous Baroque composers such as Telemann, Bach and the great flautist Johann Joachim Quantz – she also provides the opportunity for us to hear one of the few surviving compositions of Wilhelmine von Bayreuth herself.