Early music was often written in a way that allows musicians to exploit the rich tones of period instruments.
“Especially in the earlier parts of the 17th century, there’s a lot of flexibility in performance,” Schenkman said. “There’s some room for improvisation, and a lot of room for performers’ discretion. With this repertoire, in the score, what we’re often given is kind of a sketch.”
With a group of musicians like Gut Reaction, that freedom can make for a dynamic performance.
“One of the things I love about playing this kind of music, with a dynamic ensemble like this, is we can play differently one night to the next,” Schenkman said. “So each piece is being created in performance. That doesn’t happen with most classical music.”
If you go What: "Baroque Treasures of Venice: A Golden Evening on the Lagoon," with Gut Reaction, sponsored by Cambridge Society of Early Music Where: Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St. When: Saturday, 8 p.m. More information: Tickets at the door, $30 (Athenaeum members and seniors, $25; students with ID free), cash or check only. Tickets by credit card at www.csem.org. Visit www.csem.org, call 617-489-2062 or email email@example.com.