Sunday Sept 26, 3:30 pm 
First Unitarian Church

 

Providence Baroque
Chamber Orchestra

Telemann – Suite in E minor for 2 flutes & strings
Bach – Violin Concerto in A minor
Garth – Cello Concerto in D major

Daniel Lee, violin and guest leader; Theodore Mook, cello

Providence Baroque Orchestra is the resident ensemble for Museum Concerts, bringing a larger ensemble repertoire to our usual chamber music concerts. A period chamber orchestra, consisting primarily of players from RI, this Fall concert features two soloists. Daniel Lee is instructor in Baroque Violin at Yale, and acclaimed for his vibrant and elegant playing. Charlestown resident Theodore Mook will be featured in the little-known concerto by John Garth. One of a set of six cello concertos published in 1760, Garth’s music is representative of the generation just after Handel. Telemann’s majestic French-inspired E minor Suite for flutes and strings from his collection Tafelmusik completes the program.

Daniel Lee: “ravishing vehemence and soulful performance” — The New York Times

“Mook played with regal timbre and remarkable accuracy.” — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

Sunday Oct 24, 3:30 pm

St. Martin's Church

Hunt-Berry Duo:
From Prussia With Love

Beethoven – Sonata in G minor opus 5, Variations from Judas Maccabeus, works of Abel, Duport and Gaziani

Sylvia Berry, fortepiano; Shirley Hunt, cello

During the short reign of Friedrich Wilhelm II – King of Prussia from 1786 to 1797 – Berlin became an exciting hub of cello playing. In addition to being an avid cellist, this monarch maintained an excellent orchestra, and his musicality attracted the attention of many first-rate composers. Haydn, Mozart, Boccherini and Beethoven are the names most associated with him. This program highlights lesser-known composers sponsored by the King whose contributions to the cello’s increasingly virtuosic role were great. Graziani was Friedrich’s first teacher, and the legendary Duport brothers carried on in this teaching role while pushing the instrument’s limits. C.F. Abel, a gambist and cellist of note who worked intimately with Johann Christian Bach, dedicated works to Friedrich Wilhelm II that bridged the gap between baroque and classical aesthetics. The road paved by these composers led the way to Beethoven’s encounter with Wilhelm Friedrich II and the Duport brothers in 1796, which yielded new works that put the fortepiano and the cello on an even playing field for the first time.

Hunt : “Soulful renditions… a resonant, singing tone that stays in the mind.” — Facts & Arts

Berry: “[She]revealed a poetic sensibility and a willingness to draw listeners in with spaces to pause and reflect.” — Early Music America Magazine

 

Sunday Dec 12, 3:30 pm 
First Unitarian Church

 

Washington Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble  
Michael Holmes, director

A German Christmas
Music of Scheidt, Schütz, Senfl
& Praetorious

Rebecca Kellerman, soprano;  Alexander Bonus & Patrick O’Connell, cornetto; Barry Bocaner, alto sackbut; Michael Holmes & Steven Lundahl, tenor sackbut; David Searle, bass sackbut; Bozena Jedrzejczak-Brown, continuo

Considered one of the premiere historic brass ensembles in North America, this ensemble consists of specialists largely based in Washington D.C.  Such assemblages of cornets and sackbuts comprised what was the standard brass ensemble of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras, but in early music, nothing says December quite like German Christmas music played on brass instruments! This year, the Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble will celebrate 25 years performing all over the US, so it is fitting that WCSE’s anniversary year revisits this German repertoire from its inaugural year. Performing with the ensemble will be soprano Rebecca Kellerman from New York, demonstrating the unique blend between voice and early brass. WCSE also performs as a recorder consort, and utilizes percussion and other lively combinations.

“A stylish and sonorous performance – with serious attention to detail” — Richmond Times-Dispatch

 

 

Sunday April 3, 3:30 pm 
First Unitarian Church

Trio Maresienne – Return of the King: Music of the English Restoration

Music of Purcell, Finger, Locke, Simpson, Young, Jenkins

Lisa Brooke, violin; Carol Lewis, gamba; Chris Henricksen, Theorbo

The Restoration in 1660 of Charles II, the first king of England after that country’s civil war and Commonwealth period, signaled the return of the Stuart family as rulers of the British Isles. This meant that musicians who had earned their living by means of royal sponsorship before the war were now able to return to the court and be royal servants again. Younger English prodigies and foreign virtuosi also found employment at court. In addition, many musicians had discovered through the Commonwealth years that London, which was Europe’s largest city and had a growing merchant middle class, could support music without aristocratic sponsorship. This combined patronage resulted in a renewed golden age of musical activity in England.

Carol Lewis: “wonderfully vivid – brilliantly florid” — The Boston Herald

Lisa Brooke: “unusually intelligent and sensitive playing” — The Boston Musical Intelligencer

 

Sunday May 1, 3:30 pm 
St. Joseph Church

Verdant Medicine: Hildegard’s Resonant Apothecary 

Alkemie Sian Ricketts, director

Music of Hildegard von Bingen & Shira Kammen

Tracy Cowar, voice, harp; Fiona Gillespie, voice, medieval flute; Shira Kammen, vielle, harp; David McCormick, vielle; Elena Mullins, voice, percussion; Sian Ricketts, voice, recorders, douçaine; Niccolo Seligmann, vielle, psaltery, scheidholt, percussion

Mystic, medic, and musician, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) expanded both Christian theology and the medieval concept of the body’s humors to connect the viriditas (living greenness) of plants and the metaphorical growth of spirituality directly to the human body and its functioning. This program explores Hildegard’s music within her understanding of medieval plant-based medicine, sharing her vision of an earth-bound transcendence that connects humans to the divine through spiritual “greening” and the five senses. Her beliefs are mirrored in the music she wrote for the nuns in her convent – ecstatic chants in which unfurling branches, earthbound roots, and medicinal spices are depicted in soaring melodies that swirl throughout an almost three-octave range.

“The young musicians of Alkemie display a dizzying variety of musical connections.”  — Upstage