San Luigi dei Francesi, San Nicola dei Lorenesi, Sant'Ivo dei Bretoni, Trinita' dei Monti, Santi Andrea e Claudio dei Borgognoni. Five architectural French jewels in Rome which between May 18 and 25 will host some of the most celebrated French musical ensembles and interpreters who specialise in baroque repertoire. This is the third year the capital hosts 'Le cinque perle del Barocco' (The five pearls of the Baroque), the baroque music festival organized by the Institut Francais - Centre Saint Louis. Among the places which will host the French musicians will also be the Pontificio Istituto di Musica sacra, the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, where a preview concert will be held in anticipation of the Festival. The artistic director of the event himself, Alessandro Stella, will play for the occasion, presenting a tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach through a merging of his Sonata for viol and harpsichord in G minor with two of the nine Bachianas Brasilieiras suites written by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos between 1930 and 1945.
''An evocative encounter between Bach's baroque tradition and the rhythms of Brazilian traditional music'', said Stella during the press conference presenting the festival. The main theme of the third edition will be the sacred stories and some of the interpretations are quite rare and precious. ''From Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, to the Sacred Stories by Giacomo Carissimi, to the Sonata for Violin and Bass by Elisabeth Jacquet de Laguerre, one of the very few French female composes famous in her time but who lost recognition from the XVIII century onwards'', the artistic director pointed out.
The festival has also been enriched with two ''behind the curtain'' initiatives: the visit to the lutist Claude Lebet's laboratory and the recorder master-class with Hugo Reyne, among the best interpreters and scholars of French baroque music.
''A musical and spiritual journey, which crosses borders, ages, artistic expression and receives its communion in beauty'', commented the French ambassador in Italy, Bruno Joubert. All concerts will be held at 9pm and will be free, until available seating runs out.