Sunday, February 7, 2016

Early Music Festival Week 2

This weekend is the midpoint of the month, and we have five terrific events to commemorate it.

Feb 12 & 13, 7:30pm, Cincinnati Chamber Opera is stepping up as usual with a very exciting performance. Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was considered by his 18th-century contemporaries to be THE genius of Italian opera. He died at age 26, and the works he left us with suggest that he might have been one of the giants in a century of giants if he had lived to fulfill his potential. CCO will perform two of his best-known works, one sacred and one secular. La Serva Padrona was composed in 1733, and is a comic short opera about scheming servants and clueless masters, a set-up we never get tired of. And Stabat Mater was composed as he was dying of tuberculosis in 1736, an achingly beautiful duet for soprano and alto based on a poem that was already 500 years old when Pergolesi gave it one of its most famous settings. Terrace Park, tickets $25.

Saturday Feb 13, 10am. Come and try something new! Come and sing! Madrigals, rounds, motets – back in the 16th century it was less about sitting quietly in the audience and listening, and more about everyone singing along. All levels of experience welcome. Music will be provided, but bring your iPad or other device if you’ve got one, and the infinite world of the Internet will be open to us. I dare you to think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning than singing in harmony with your neighbors! Hyde Park, free.

Also Saturday Feb 13, 4:00pm, a lute recital. Around 1670, a music teacher wrote these lines: "The Lute is without contradiction the king of instruments. It maketh alone a consort of music, it speaks without any origin and out of dead and dumb things it draws a soul that seems reasonable by the several thoughts and expression that the skilful master makes of his lute upon all kinds of matters and subjects. It is a faithful & commodious companion that watcheth amidst
darkness, and when the whole nature is in silence it banisheth from it horror and unquietness by pleasing sounds." One hundred years later the lute was falling out of fashion, its centuries-old reign brought down by the new-fangled pianos and orchestras. Lutenist Christopher Wilke specializes in the very late repertoire of lute music, the 18th century and the barest of squeaks into the 19th. He will play music of Bach, and of Durant, one of the last to compose for lute. He will also play music from the 20th-century revival of this glorious instrument. Over-the-Rhine, free.

Sunday Feb 14, 3pm. Catacoustic Consort, sponsoring organization of the Early Music Festival, presents a very special afternoon of music. Krista Bennion Feeney is one of the most honored Baroque violinists working today. If you think you know what Bach violin works sound like, wait till you hear one on a violin Bach would have been familiar with! She’ll also play music by Leclair and Biber, accompanied by harpsichord and viola da gamba. Another special feature of this concert: a gorgeous viola da gamba solo by Leclair. This is a concert you will be talking about after it’s over. East Walnut Hills, tickets $25.

Sunday Feb 14, 5pm. The Cincinnati Bach Ensemble will actually be taking on the divine Thomas Tallis this month, with a performance of his Lamentations of Jeremiah, as well as other Renaissance music for Lent, all embedded within an Episcopal Evensong service. All are welcome. Terrace Park, free.

No comments: