The San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS) will begin its 37th season next month with local talent. The first concert will be given by Ostraka, a trio founded in 2005 by viol virtuoso Josh Lee with a “rhythm section” of plucked strings provided by John Lenti on lute and David Walker on baroque guitar. As had been announced last June, the full season has an overall theme defined by its title, New Music: Glorious, Impassioned, Outrageous! Each of the six programs to be presented will examine a specific aspect of transition in the processes of making music.
The transition to be examined by Ostraka involves a departure from established Italian baroque practices that took place in France under the reign of Louis XIV. The French composers to be performed will include Jean-Baptiste Lully (who was actually born in Florence in 1632) and Marin Marais. The latter will be represented by “Les Folies d’Espagne,” composed as a response to Archangelo Corelli’s popular fantasia based on “La Folia.” (Corelli’s association with “La Folia” was so strong that, when Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote his own Opus 42 set of variations on the Spanish theme, he assumed that Corelli had composed it.)