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Originally published March 5, 2013 at 9:37 AM | Page modified March 5, 2013 at 9:37 AM

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Tafelmusik’s ‘House of Dreams’: a live/virtual music-and-art tour

Canadian period-instrument ensemble Tafelmusik takes listeners on a “virtual visit” to five 17th- and 18th-century homes renowned for their musical and fine-art connections. At Meany Hall, March 7, 2013.

Seattle Times arts writer

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Toronto’s 17-piece period-instrument ensemble, Tafelmusik, comes to Meany Hall on Thursday with an elaborately staged multimedia program, “House of Dreams.” The show is billed as a “virtual visit” to five houses of the 17th and 18th centuries, where fine art and fine music went hand in hand.

The program includes pieces by Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, Sweelinck, Purcell, Marais and Telemann.

The houses are Handel’s London home from 1723-1759 (the composer, it turns out, was an avid art collector); Venice’s Palazzo Smith Mangilli-Valmarana (former residence of British Consul Joseph Smith — a patron of Canaletto); Delft’s Het Gulden ABC, a cafe that once was home to a bookbinder who had 21 Vermeers; Paris’ Palais-Royal, where the Duc d’Orléans and his successors displayed 500 paintings, including works by Titian and Caravaggio; and the Georg Heinrich Bose House in Leipzig, where Bach and his family — Bose’s next-door neighbors — very likely made music and where canvases by Rembrandt, Rubens and others hung.

“House of Dreams,” copresented by the Early Music Guild and the UW World Series, is the brainchild of Tafelmusik double-bassist Alison Mackay, whose aim was to conjure a “museum of our mind’s eye.”

“No imagined image or digitized projection can rival the experience of being in the same room with an original painting by Vermeer or Chardin,” Mackay writes. “But we lovers of baroque music on original instruments can be grateful for the technology that allows us to step back into a time when ... visitors could spend an hour or two in a room full of delights for the ear and the eye.”

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Meany Hall, University of Washington, Seattle; $20-$41 (206-543-4880 or www.uwworldseries.org).

Michael Upchurch: mupchurch@seattletimes.com

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