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Littlmar_sml_1The SFEMS Weekly Calendar of Early Music —the Bay Area’s most comprehensive listing of historically informed early music events— has moved to the redesigned, searchable SFEMS website.

Find news, reviews, previews, artists bios, detailed program information and more at www.sfems.org

Tuesday, February 4

Sacramento Recorder Society
LouiseCarslakeRecorder
Regular meeting for recorder players, with guest conductor Louise Carslake.
Newcomers welcome. Bring recorders, stand, and other early instruments. Music provided. Refreshments.
6:45–9:30PM
Friends Meeting House
890 57th St., between H and J, Sacramento.
marschif@gmail.com or at 916-685-7684.

 Wednesday, February 5

Philharmonia Baroque, Nicholas McGegan Conductor
Ya-Fei-Chuang“C.P.E. Bach and Haydn: Berlin and Vienna.” Tercentenary celebration of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s birth, featuring the composer’s Symphony in e minor, Wq 178; Keyboard Concerto in b minor, WqRobert_Levin_resized 30; and Concerto for Fortepiano and Harpsichord in E-flat Major, Wq 47, featuring husband-and-wife team Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang as soloists; also, Joesph Haydn, Symphony No. 68.
8PM
Bing Concert Hall
327 Lasuen Street (at Campus Drive)
Stanford University, Palo Alto.
Presented by Stanford Lively Arts.
Tickets for Bing Concert Hall are not yet available without a subscription.

 Thursday, February 6

Philharmonia Baroque, Nicholas McGegan Conductor
Nic_Porchweb-150x150“Sessions,” an entirely new type of concert hosted by KQED’s Rachael Myrow. In this 90-minute concert, conductor Nicholas McGegan and keyboardist Robert Levin take you on a guided tour through selections fromrachaelmyrow158x225 Philharmonia’s C.P.E. Bach/Joseph Haydn concert. This is not a regular subscription concert. This short program will include spoken introductions to each piece and projected images. After the concert, stick around to socialize in the lobby, meet our musicians, and enjoy free wine generously donated by Boisset Family Estates.
8PM
Miner Auditorium
SFJazz Center
201 Franklin St., San Francisco.
All tickets $25 – including free wine!
www.philharmonia.org/sessions-with-robert-levin/

Friday, February 7

Barefoot Chamber Concerts
Left-Coast-243x300
Left Coast Viols (Marie Dalby Szuts, Julie Jeffrey, Josh Lee, and Lynn Tetenbaum) perform J.S. Bach’s Art of Fugue
6PM
Parish Hall of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.
$15/$13 18 and under free and welcome. Program lasts approximately 75 minutes with no intermission. Light refreshments will be available.
Tickets at the door or order online at www.brownpapertickets.com.
More information at http://barefootchamberconcerts.com

Cal Performances
veniceBaroqueOrchestraPhilippeJaroussky
Venice Baroque Orchestra and Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor, perform a selection of arias by Baroque composer Nicola Porpora, whose most famous protégé was the castrato Farinelli. The orchestra also plays a rich assortment of instrumental works by Vivaldi, Veracini, and Geminiani.
8PM
First Congregational Church
Dana and Durant Sts. Berkeley.
$68+
www.calperformances.org; 510-642-9988

East Bay Chapter, ARS
Monthly playing session, conductor TBA. New members and guests welcome.
7:30–10PM
Zion Lutheran Church
5201 Park Blvd., Oakland.
www.eastbayrecorders.org, 510-483-8675 or 415-472-6367

MusicSources
Gilbert Martinez HarpsichordPiccola Morte has been Postponed! But come to a Baroque Birthday Party
Gilbert Martinez
performs the music of Buxtehude, Bach, Telemann and Fischer.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, MusicSources had to postpone the scheduled concert by the ensemble Piccola Morte. They will be performing later this season. In the mean time, we’re making an offer that is hard to refuse. February 7 is the birthday of MusicSources Artistic Director Gilbert Martinez. He’ll be performing music of Buxtehude, Bach, and Fischer. In addition, there will be refreshments offered, including Birthday Cake!
Anyone who has already purchased a ticket to Piccola Morte can come for free, and their ticket will still be good at the to be announced new date. For all others, here is our special offer:
7:30pm Refreshments, 8:00 pm Concert
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
1501 Washington Ave, Albany
$20 general, $15 seniors, students and MusicSources members, $5 for youth under 18 years of age.
510-528-1685 or www.musicsources.org

Due to unforeseen circumstances, MusicSources has had to postpone Piccola Morte to later in the season. Current ticket holders may redeem them in several ways:
1. Come to a, “BAROQUE BIRTHDAY PARTY” for free, and redeem your ticket for the rescheduled Piccola Morte concert, or
2. Redeem your ticket at any other regular priced event in our season
3. MusicSources will also grant a full refund, just send us an email <www.musicsources.org> or call 510-528-1685.

Philharmonia Baroque repeats program of February 5.
“C.P.E. Bach and Haydn: Berlin and Vienna.” Tercentenary celebration of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s birth, featuring the composer’s Symphony in e minor, Wq 178; Keyboard Concerto in b minor, Wq 30; and Concerto for Fortepiano and Harpsichord in E-flat Major, Wq 47, featuring husband-and-wife team Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang as soloists; also, Joesph Haydn, Symphony No. 68.
8PM
Miner Auditorium, SFJazz Center
201 Franklin St., San Francisco.
Pre-concert lecture 45 minutes before each performance.
$25–$105
415-252-1288 or www.philharmonia.org/c-p-e-bach-haydn-in-vienna/

Saturday, February 8

Philharmonia Baroque repeats program of February 5.
“C.P.E. Bach and Haydn: Berlin and Vienna.” Tercentenary celebration of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s birth, featuring the composer’s Symphony in e minor, Wq 178; Keyboard Concerto in b minor, Wq 30; and Concerto for Fortepiano and Harpsichord in E-flat Major, Wq 47, featuring husband-and-wife team Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang as soloists; also, Joesph Haydn, Symphony No. 68.
8PM
First Congregational Church
Dana & Durant, Berkeley
$25–$105
415-252-1288 or www.philharmonia.org/c-p-e-bach-haydn-in-vienna/

Santa Cruz Baroque Festival
“From Lute to Uke.” A musical tour of 700 years from medieval strings to the modern guitar and ukulele, with medieval specialist Tim Rayborn, virtuoso of Renaissance to Romantic plucked strings John Schneiderman, and Ukulele Dick, performing on an array of instruments from the plucked string family. The evening concludes with a celebration of the Baroque Festival’s 40th anniversary.
7:30PM
UC Santa Cruz Recital Hall
UCSC Campus, Santa Cruz.
$23/$17/$6/$3 ($3 parking charge)
831-457-9693 or www.scbaroque.org

Silicon Valley Music Festival
Bach ConcertThe Complete J.S. Bach Flute Concertos
.  Ray Furuta, flute; Arthur Haas, harpsichord
3PM
First Lutheran Church
600 Homer Ave
Palo Alto
$20 general/$10 students
www.svmusicfestival.org

Viola da Gamba Society/Pacifica Chapter
John-Dornenburg-Post-2001
Stanford Viol Workshop, led by John Dornenburg and others.
A one-day workshop consisting of repertory and technique classes followed by a large group session to end the day.
9AM–4:30PM
Braun Music Center (Music Department)
Stanford University, Palo Alto.
jdrnbrg@saclink.csus.edu

Sunday, February 9

Musical Waves House Concert Series
Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin and Elaine Thornburgh, harpsichord
Violin sonatas of Bach, Jacquet de la Guerre, Leclair and Johann Walther
1PM
510 48th Ave, San Francisco
$20 tickets for performance and reception
Call 415/387-6890 to order tickets

Philharmonia Baroque repeats program of February 5.
“C.P.E. Bach and Haydn: Berlin and Vienna.” Tercentenary celebration of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s birth, featuring the composer’s Symphony in e minor, Wq 178; Keyboard Concerto in b minor, Wq 30; and Concerto for Fortepiano and Harpsichord in E-flat Major, Wq 47, featuring husband-and-wife team Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang as soloists; also, Joesph Haydn, Symphony No. 68.
7:30PM
First Congregational
Dana & Durant, Berkeley.
$25–$105
415-252-1288 or www.philharmonia.org/c-p-e-bach-haydn-in-vienna/

Venice Baroque Orchestra with Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor.
Arias by baroque composer Nicola Porpora and instrumental works by Vivaldi, Veracini, and Geminiani.
3PM
Green Music Center
Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park.
$40–$85
http://gmc.sonoma.edu/event/1557442-venice-baroque-orchestra-and-philippe-jaroussky, tickets@sonoma.edu,
866-955-6040

Chromatic Clusters

“With minimal vibrato and malleable tone, Ms. Clark showed an astonishing range of expressive subtlety, carrying the listener rapt.” —New York Times

Galax Quartet With Karen Clark, Contralto
Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin; Roy Whelden, viola da gamba; David Wilson, baroque violin/viola; David Morris, baroque cello; Karen Clark, contralto

SFEMS fully embraces its season theme —The New Music—Glorious, Impassioned, Outrageous— in a genre-bending program to engage new and early music aGQ98_KC_72udiences alike! Galax Quartet and Karen Clark embark on a Galactic journey—as only they could—from the earliest avant-garde of four centuries ago to music newly written for ancient instruments.

From the end of the Renaissance, Clark and Galax will perform the swirling, mystical Prophetiae Sibyllarum of Orlando di Lasso (1530–1594) and the emotionally wrenching Beltà poi che t’assenti of Carlo Gesualdo (1566–1613), music far ahead of the time in its radical and evocative harmonies—music which in fact inspired Stravinsky.

The concert also offers premieres of two works recently written for the quartet. Galex will perform the World premiere of On the Petaluma River by Roy Whelden, who is recognized as a major figure in the composition of new music for historical instruments. The program concludes with the West Coast Premiere of Dream Drapery: “Thoreau Songs” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner. The much-honored Schwantner is known for a uniquely dramatic style and is one of the most prominent American composers today.  View the program

Buy tickets

Friday, Jan. 31, 8:00 p.m. | First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto
Saturday, Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. |St. John’s Presbyterian, Berkeley
Sunday, Feb. 2, 4:00 p.m. | St. Mark’s Lutheran, San Francisco

Monday, January 27

American Bach Soloists repeats program of January 24.
abs_j_thomas1“Bach’s Magnificat,” an all-Bach program including the always popular Magnificat, the cantatas Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! and Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, and the Orchestral Suite No. 2 in b minor, with solo flutist Sandra Miller.
7PM
Davis Community Church
412 C St, Davis.
http://americanbach.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=565692

 Tuesday, January 28

San Francisco Conservatory of Music
nicporch-photo-by-randy-beach-jpgNicholas McGegan lectures on “Baroque Opera: An Exotic and Irrational Entertainment”
8PM
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
50 Oak St., San Francisco.
FREE
415-503-6275, www.sfcm.edu

Wednesday, January 29

Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra
Regular meeting, for players of recorder, early winds or early strings. Bring your instrument(s) and music stand.
7:30–9:30PM
Music Room number 060
J.L. Stanford Middle School
480 E. Meadow, Palo Alto.
650-591-3648 or www.sfems.org/mpro

Friday, January 31

The New Esterházy Quartet
“Esterázy: Book II” Lisa Weiss & Kati Kyme, violins; Anthony Martin, viola; and William Skeen, violoncello, perform the premiere of Pault Brantly’s new string quartet, dedicated to the memory of the late mathematician and early computer pioneer Franz Alt.
7:30PM
Palo Alto Friends Meetinghouse
957 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto.
No ticket information. 415-520-0611; www.newesterhazy.org

SFEMS presents Galax Quartet with Karen Clark, contralto.
GQ98_KC_72“Chromatic Clusters” David Wilson & Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; David Morris, ‘cello; Roy Whelden, viola da gamba; and Karen Clark, contralto, perform avant-garde music from the 16th and 17th centuries paired with new music for early instruments. Featured works include Orlando di Lasso’s Prophetiae Sibyllarum, Carlo Gesualdo’s Beltà poi che t’assenti, and two works written for Galax: Roy Whelden’s On the Petaluma River (World premiere) and Joseph Schwantner’s Dream Drapery: Thoreau Songs (West Coast premiere).
8PM
First Lutheran Church
600 Homer at Webster, Palo Alto.
$35/$30/$28
510-528-1725 or www.sfems.org

Saturday, February 1

SFEMS repeats Galax/Karen Clark program of January 31.
GQ98_KC_72“Chromatic Clusters” David Wilson & Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; David Morris, ‘cello; Roy Whelden, viola da gamba; and Karen Clark, contralto, perform avant-garde music from the 16th and 17th centuries paired with new music for early instruments. Featured works include Orlando di Lasso’s Prophetiae Sibyllarum, Carlo Gesualdo’s Beltà poi che t’assenti, and two works written for Galax: Roy Whelden’s On the Petaluma River (World premiere) and Joseph Schwantner’s Dream Drapery: Thoreau Songs (West Coast premiere).
7:30PM
St. John’s Presbyterian Church
2727 College Ave. (at Garber), Berkeley.
$35/$30/$28
510-528-1725 or www.sfems.org

 San Francisco Renaissance Voices
“A Prelude to Valentine’s Day” Danielle Reutter-Harrah, mezzo-soprano; and Adam Cockerham, guitar/lute, perform madrigals, villancicos, sonnets, and canciones from the Renaissance through the contemporary periods.
7:30PM
Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church
1329 Seventh Ave., San Francisco.
$20/$15
www.brownpapertickets.com/event/448630

 Sunday, February 2

SFEMS repeats Galax/Karen Clark program of January 31.
GQ98_KC_72Chromatic Clusters” David Wilson & Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; David Morris, ‘cello; Roy Whelden, viola da gamba; and Karen Clark, contralto, perform avant-garde music from the 16th and 17th centuries paired with new music for early instruments. Featured works include Orlando di Lasso’s Prophetiae Sibyllarum, Carlo Gesualdo’s Beltà poi che t’assenti, and two works written for Galax: Roy Whelden’s On the Petaluma River (World premiere) and Joseph Schwantner’s Dream Drapery: Thoreau Songs (West Coast premiere).
4PM
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell St., San Francisco.
$35/$30/$28
510-528-1725 or www.sfems.org

kc316Karen Clark’s singing has received high praise from major journals nationwide, such as the New York Times, who said: ”With minimal vibrato and malleable tone, Ms. Clark showed an astonishing range of expressive subtlety, carrying the listener rapt.” Karen’s recent recording with the Galax Quartet, On Cold Mountain: Songs on Poems of Gary Snyder (Innova), is praised by Joshua Kosman of The San Francisco Chronicle, who writes, “Clark’s majestic, throaty singing hints of modernist extravagance and medieval troubadours.” Karen’s repertory spans the centuries to include premieres of medieval passions and new works by living composers and poets, such as, the Greater Passion Play from the Carmina Burana ms. (Thomas Binkley ed.), and the microtonal music of Ben Johnston. The Los Angeles Times review of Karen’s recent premiere of Johnston’s Parable-Poems on Rumi said: “Karen Clark brought a rich intensity to the stories. The performance was stunning.” In 2014 a recording of Parable is due out on the Microfest label. In March, Karen performs Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire on Concerts at Old First in San Francisco. And in June (during Berkeley Festival Week), Karen sings music by her medieval mentor, Saint Hildegard von Bingen.

Since 2005, the Galax Quartet has been commissioning new music, exploring early works, and performing these in unexpected collaborations. The quartet has performed new works (Marc Mellits, Carl Stone, Dan Becker) on concert series in Northern California; played Bach’s Art of the Fugue alongside Hubble Telescope images at the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival; recorded film music by Belinda Reynolds for PBS (The New Metropolis); and accompanied computer images from virtual worlds with mathematician and sci-fi writer Rudy Rucker. The Galax Quartet is modeled after an early version of the string quartet—two violins, cello and viola da gamba—developed by the eighteenth-century composer and viola da gamba virtuoso Carl Friedrich Abel. Their 2011 recording, On Cold Mountain: Songs on Poems of Gary Snyder, is published by Innova, available as well on iTunes. The quartet is an affiliate of the San Francisco Early Music Society.

Monday, January 20

American Bach Soloists
ThiessenJohn
John Thiessen leads a master class in baroque trumpet.
7:30PM
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
50 Oak St., San Francisco.
FREE
415-621-7900

Tuesday, January 21

Vinaccesi Ensemble
Vinaccesi2013S
“Friends of the French Court” 17th- and 18th-century music by Campra, Couperin, Rameau, Marais, and Louis XIII
12:30PM
Old St. Mary’s
660 California St., San Francisco.
$5
415-777-3211: http://noontimeconcerts.org/

Wednesday, January 22

Classical Revolution Oakland
The Town Quartet and members of Classical Revolution Oakland
perform Mozart Sinfonia Concertante K 364 Yuri Kye, violin Evan Buttemer, viola; Bach Coffee Cantata BWV 211 Kate Offer, Richard Mix, Seth Arnopole, singers Arvo Part “Fratres” Corey Mike, violin.
7-10PM
Awaken Cafe
429 Broadway @ Telegraph , Oakland
Admission is FREE
$5-20 donation requested
http://classicalrevolution.org/blog/2013/09/09/awaken-cafe-oakland/

Thursday, January 23

Elizabeth Wallfisch, violin, and David Breitman, fortepiano
Complete Beethoven violin and fortepiano sonatas series continues, featuring the Sonata in A Major, Opus 12, no. 2; Sonata in A Minor, Opus 23 Sonata in G Major, Opus 96
7:00PM
Schiro Program Room,MLK Library
150 E. San Fernando St., San Jose.
Series tickets: $60, Individual tickets: $25.
Stroh@sjsu.edu or 408-808-2058: http://whub34.webhostinghub.com/~ameri350/events/violin_sonatas.html
Seating limited to 60.

Friday, January 24

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas director.
abs_j_thomas1“Bach’s Magnificat,” an all-Bach program including the always popular Magnificat, the cantatas Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! and Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, and the Orchestral Suite No. 2 in b minor, with solo flutist Sandra Miller.
8PM
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
3 Bay View Ave., Belvedere.
$20–$64
415-621-7900; www.americanbach.org; info@americanbach.org,
http://americanbach.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=565652

Saturday, January 25

American Bach Soloists repeats program of January 24.
“Bach’s Magnificat,” an all-Bach program including the always popular Magnificat, the cantatas Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! and Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, and the Orchestral Suite No. 2 in b minor, with solo flutist Sandra Miller.
8PM
First Congregational, Dana & Durant, Berkeley.
http://americanbach.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=565655

The English Concert, Harry Bicket, Conductor.
HandelsTheodora_EventPhotoGeorge Frideric Handel’s penultimate oratorio, Theodora. With soloists Dorothea Roschmann, soprano; John Mark Ainsley, tenor; Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano; Neal Davies, bass-baritone; and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Julian Wachner, Director.
7:30PM
Green Music Center, Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park.
$40–$85
http://gmc.sonoma.edu/event/1557441-the-english-concert-handel-s-theodora, tickets@sonoma.edu, 866-955-6040

Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra, Frederic Palmer Director
image“Dutch Masters, Six Centuries of Music from The Netherlands and Early Flanders,” a workshop with Paul Leenhouts, open to recorder players from the intermediate to advanced level. Please bring a music stand and a lunch. Snacks and beverages will be provided.
9:30AM–4:30PM
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
330 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park.
$55/$50  Advanced registration is encouraged as space is limited.
http://mpro-online.org/ or 650-941-3065

Sunday, January 26

American Bach Soloists repeats program of January 24.
“Bach’s Magnificat,” an all-Bach program including the always popular Magnificat, the cantatas Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! and Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, and the Orchestral Suite No. 2 in b minor, with solo flutist Sandra Miller.
4PM
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell St., San Francisco.
$20–$64
415-621-7900; www.americanbach.org; info@americanbach.org,
http://americanbach.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=565666

Curiose e Moderne Invenzioni

MAGNIFICAT, Warren Stewart, Director
Laura Heimes & Jennifer Ellis Kampani, soprano; Rob Diggins & Jolianne von Einem, violin; Waren Stewart, violoncello; Michael Leopold, theorbo; Jillon Stoppels Dupree, harpsichord & organ

mon_sch_small“Staying in Venice as the guest of old friends, I learned that the long unchanged art of composition had changed somewhat: the ancient rhythms were partly set aside to tickle the ears of today with fresh devices.”

Thus Heinrich Schütz described his experiences during his second trip to the Most Serene Republic in a letter to a friend upon his return to Dresden. Our program this evening explores his visit, one of the most consequential musical encounters of the seventeenth century. It focuses on a meeting that must have taken place between two of the towering figures of music in the first half of the century: Schütz and Claudio Monteverdi – a meeting that embodies the migration of style from Italy over the Alps so characteristic of the early Baroque.

Earlier in his life, Schütz had spent four years in Venice as a student of Giovanni Gabrieli, his studies ending with the old master’s death in the summer of 1612. Schütz returned to Saxony a few months later, thus missing Monteverdi’s arrival in Venice by less than a year. Shortly after his return, Schütz was engaged as Kapellmeister to the Elector of Saxony in Dresden – among the most prestigious positions for a musician in Germany, a position he retained for the rest of his very long life.

In 1617 Schütz composed and directed the music for the extensive festivities celebrating the centenary of the Reformation, leading a large ensemble of singers and instrumentalists. Much of this music was published in Schütz’s Psalmen Davids in 1619 and was written in the robust polychoral style of his teacher. He continued to enjoy a happy and productive life in Dresden until a series of personal tragedies in the mid 1620s were followed by Saxony’s disastrous decision to enter what we now call the Thirty Years War in 1627. Funds were quickly diverted from music and the arts to the military effort and already in 1628 the Electoral Music had been drastically reduced and Schütz began a period of more than a decade in which he was often away from Dresden. He had petitioned his employer several times for permission to travel to Venice and when it was finally granted in the summer of 1628, he quickly made preparations for the journey, arriving in Italy in early fall and staying for almost a year.

While there is no direct documentation of a meeting between Schütz and Monteverdi during his second visit, it is inconceivable that they were not in contact. As the music directors of two of the greatest musical establishments in Europe, they would surely have met and perhaps even performed together and the spirit of Monteverdi’s “new music” that Schütz heard in Venice remained an inspiration for the remainder of his life.

Two works on our program display the influence of Monteverdi on Schütz quite literally: the madrigal Chiome d’oro, set to German text by Schütz in the 1640s and especially the sacred motet Es steh Gott auf, included in his second set of Symphoniæ Sacræ. This delightful motet is a parody of madrigals by Monteverdi found in his Scherzi musicali of 1632: Armato il cor and Zefiro torna. Schütz wrote in the preface that he “in some small way followed” these two works, but added that no one should believe him to have been only “so lazy as to decorate his work with others’ feathers.”

While our program is built around several works by the two masters, the music of other composers that Schütz may have heard during his visit is represented as well. Most significantly for Schütz was most likely Alessandro Grandi, whose superbly crafted motets and concertato madrigals are most clearly reflected in the style Schütz developed after his visit to Venice. Grandi had been Monteverdi’s assistant at San Marco for over a decade before moving to Bergamo to become maestro di capella at Santa Maria Maggiore, a position that not only paid him very well but also gave him the opportunity to write music for larger forces. Tragically, his life was cut short at the peek of his career by the plague that ravaged Northern Italy in 1630.

What little is known of the instrumentalist and composer Dario Castello is drawn primarily from the title pages of his publications, which identify him as a musician at San Marco and the leader of an ensemble of winds. His two surviving collections of sonatas feature extraordinarily virtuosic writing, suggest that he was most likely a highly skilled performer. The large number of reprints of both books is an indication of the popularity and wide diffusion of Castello’s works throughout Europe.

By contrast, we know considerably more about Castello’s sometimes colleague at San Marco, Biagio Marini. During Schütz’s visit to Venice, Marini, already well established as one of the first virtuoso violinists in Europe, published his eighth book of compositions, subtitled “Curiose e Moderne Invenzioni.” Born in Brescia in 1594, Marini had been appointed as a violinist at San Marco in 1615 where he worked directly with Monteverdi and Grandi. By 1620 he had begun what would be a peripatetic career that would see him serve as instrumentalist and music director in several Italian cities and in courts as far north as Düsseldorf and Neuberg. A prolific composer, by the time of his death in 1663 he had published over 20 collections of music, including sacred and secular vocal music as well as music for violin and instrumental ensembles.

Carlo Farina was a violin virtuoso born in Mantua during Monteverdi’s tenure there and may have studied with Salamone Rossi. In 1625 he was appointed concertmaster of Electoral Court of Saxony where he worked closely with Schütz and published his two collections of violin music. With the deterioration of the situation in Saxony, Farina returned to Italy in 1628, working for a time in Parma and later at Lucca. In fact, one of Schütz’s assignments on his trip to Venice was to secure the services of a violinist to replace Farina and indeed he returned to Dresden with the highly respected violinist Francesco Castelli, also from Mantua. Farina crossed the Alps again in the 1630s to work in Danzig and then Vienna, where he died in 1638.

Our program includes two toccatas – one for theorbo and one for harpsichord – that further reflect the integration of Italianate and Transalpine styles. The Bolognese lutenist Alessandro Piccinini was a contemporary of Monteverdi, who worked in Ferrara and Bologna. In the first of his publications of music for the lute, he makes the plausible claim to have invented the archlute in the 1590s. Whatever the veracity of his claim, there is little doubt that Piccinini was the finest lutenist of his generation.

Like Schütz, Johan Jacob Froberger travelled to Italy to study. Born in Stuttgart, Froberger had already been employed as an organist in Vienna when he first travelled to Rome to study with Frescobaldi from 1637 to 1641. After spending six years back in Vienna, he returned to Rome, this time working with the polymath Athanasius Kircher and possibly Iacomo Carissimi. After leaving Rome he travelled extensively, performing in many courts across Europe. In 1650 he was in Dresden where he likely collaborated with Schütz and Christoph Bernhard. Froberger’s compositions, almost entirely for keyboard, exerted a considerable influence on harpsichord and organ music in the second half of the century, not only in his native Germany but also in France. His blend of Italian exuberance and expressivity with northern counterpoint and chromaticism echoes in the works of Buxtehude, Böhm, Couperin and Bach.

Magnificat is grateful to the San Jose Chamber Music Society for the invitation to return to perform on a series on which we first appeared in 1991. That program also featured music of Monteverdi and Schütz and served as a catalyst for our own annual concert series, which began the next year.

Read more: http://blog.magnificatbaroque.com/2014/01/03/curiose-e-moderne-invenzioni-magnificat-performs-monteverdi-and-schutz/#ixzz2pTssD6te
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
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