Bennington >> On Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. Bennington Baroque will present its winter concert, "Divertissements en hiver."

The ensemble performs baroque music on instruments of the period, in this case baroque violin, baroque flute, viola da gamba, and harpsichord. The program includes music from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France by composers active in Paris and at the court of Louis XIV in Versailles. Sandra Mangsen, who founded the ensemble in 2012, will open the program with harpsichord music of Louis Couperin and Gaspard LeRoux, which is cast in the older French style favored at court. In a similar vein, André Laurent O'Neil will play selections by Marin Marais, whose music for the viol was featured in the film "All the Mornings of the World" (1991), while Mathieu Langlois will offer a sonata for flute and continuo by Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre. She enjoyed a remarkable professional career (she died in 1729) in Paris as harpsichordist and composer; her 1707 volume of sonatas demonstrates how attuned she was to modern Italian music, which had become popular in Paris early in the century.

Violinist Emily Hale will offer a sonata (Op. 5 No. 6) by Jean-Marie Leclair, cast more firmly in the Italian style; Leclair had played and studied in Turin, and performed in the newly founded Concert Spirituel in 1728 after his return to Paris. François Couperin, known as "le grand" to distinguish him from his uncle Louis, was fascinated by the differences among national styles, and drew attention to them in his 1726 collection, Les Nations; we will play the first sonata and suite from that volume, in which the sonata written with a nod to Corelli introduces a set of French dances. Finally, we include a trio sonata by Leclair's contemporary, Louis-Antoine Dornel, a Parisian organist and composer, published in 1713, two years before the death of Louis XIV.


The reverberant acoustic of St. Peter's Episcopal Church is especially well suited to these instruments and to the music on this program.

Admission is by donation. Further information is available at, or from or by phone, 802 681-7210.