Monday, February 25, 2013

Cincinnati Early Music Festival Wraps Up

The first ever Cincinnati Early Music Festival has come to a close. There were so many great moments:  In Hyde Park, Mary Stucky brought the house down with a 400-year-old French drinking song. In East Walnut Hills, Tatiana Berman and Paul Patterson took Bach out for a run (am I the only one whose very favorite moment was Emma Burge’s thrilling solo?) Downtown, 200 people sat agape as Matthias Maute performed superhuman feats with a recorder.  In Terrace Park, the Cincinnati Bach Ensemble made the rafters ring with Tallis (was that really just five people singing?)  Uptown, CCM spent a whole day with Tomas Luis de Victoria.  Downtown, Ubi Caritas rocked the house with all Telemann, all the time.  In Northside, a man with a harpsichord walked into a bar, and magic ensued. Downtown, the amazing acoustics of a stone chapel spun a mix of local celebrities—Jennifer Roig-Francoli, Rob Turner, Annalisa Pappano, Michael Maniaci. Hark how the sweet birds sing, indeed.  

And there was more, so much more.  Wait, how come that list had so many Downtown concerts?  Oh, it must be the TOTALLY AWESOME Christ Church Cathedral, whose motto is essentially, “Knock, and the door will be opened.”  I don’t see how anyone could be more supportive than they have been.  Stephan Casurella, Shiloh Roby, imagine cheering throngs showering you with bouquets.  Laura Sabo, Mistress of Classical Revolution, you’re down there on the ice as well, glitter on your face, and the knowledge that after corralling at least SEVEN early music groups on stage in an orderly manner, your fallback career as cat herder is assured.  Loretta Graner, who organizes the music series at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.  Ric Hordinski, who threw open his studio for an experiment in community music.  So many others I don’t have room to mention. And of course, Catacoustic Consort, Annalisa Pappano, Artistic Director, and Tina Gutierrez, Board President, whose herculean efforts worked like a magnetic pencil, collecting all the filings into one beautiful picture.  Everyone, please, squeeze in for one last group photo on the winner’s platform.  

So, the question I put to you is this:  Shall we do it again? By next year, can we double the number of events?  Can we engage every corner of the city?  Can we draw the envious eyes of the nation?  Can we (my personal goal) delve even further back into the past and hear some music from before 1550?  Start now talking to all your friends, Early Music performers and Early Music lovers alike.  Help us get the word out, that something surprising is happening in Cincinnati, and that everyone will want to be a part of it.  Let’s roll up the carpet and rosin up the bow, and start living in the Early Music Capital of America.

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