In the fifty years or so since ‘early-music’ ensembles first appeared, they’ve come to be seen, mostly, as niche operators, concentrating on a particular period. While this makes practical sense for medieval or renaissance groups, for baroque ensembles there’s always going to be that temptation to look at music closer to our own time. String instruments especially haven’t changed much between then and now—apart from the way of playing them.

So, while some might object to baroque players turning to the classical music of Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven, it is just an extension of what they do. Hearing this later music played in the clearer soundworld of the early style can even open up ideas of what this music is about, and how it can sound, as well as breaking down the arbitrary barriers between these periods.

And so this month the Irish Baroque Orchestra, led by artistic director Monica Huggett, turns classical with a three-concert Masterworks series featuring music by Mozart and Beethoven. Concentrating on smaller chamber works for now, hopefully this means we’ll see a full-scale symphony or more in the not-too-distant future.

Masterworks I: Tuesday 19 September, St Ann’s Church Dawson St, 7 pm
Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; A Musical Joke
Beethoven: Duet for two eyeglasses

Masterworks II: Thursday 21 September, St Ann’s Church Dawson St, 7 pm
Mozart: Oboe Quartet in F; Duet for Violin and Viola; Serenade in D major

Masterworks III: Saturday 23 September, St Ann’s Church Dawson St, 5 pm
Beethoven: Sextet (op. 81b); Septet (op. 20)

Further details and booking: