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The L’Esperance Mandolin Ensemble explores the roots of the folk revival going back to Vivaldi and Beethoven. in 1591, English Renaissance composer William Byrd published a series of variations on Sellinger’s Rownde, a popular folk dance from the 1400s. Vivaldi is one of hundreds of composers to create improvisations on La Folia, a 15th century Spanish fertility dance. More than half of Beethoven’s compositions are improvisations on folk songs from Germany, the British Isles and Russia. Edward German, Percy Grainger, Peter Warlock, and Gustav Holst are just a few of the composers from the late 19th and early 20th century who devoted substantial parts of the musical output to variations and improvisations of traditions themes. And, of course, contemporary composers continue to explore melodies from a wide range of music from around the world.

L’Esperance’s program at the First Unitarian Church on Benevolent Street in Providence (corner of Benefit Street), will feature compositions based on folk melodies from the Baroque, Romantic, and Impressionist periods including works by Vivaldi, Bach and Beethoven. The program will also feature contemporary approaches to traditional music.

Join us for a lively evening blending folk music, classical composers and the unique voices of the mandolin family.

Try Your Pluck — Free Private Mandolin Lesson on May 25 (instruments provided)