Sunday, January 29, 2017

Early Music Festival Week 1

This year’s Early Music Festival opens Saturday, Feb 4, with two concerts on the west side of town.

At 2:00, Harper’s Robin will perform their annual concert at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse Immaculate Conception Chapel in Delhi. If you’ve never been before, you owe it to yourself both to experience the beautiful space in this gorgeous, domed, Baroque chapel – it’s truly lovely – and to hear the music of a harp choir. The small lever harps this group plays create a different sound than their big modern concert cousins. The repertoire ranges widely through centuries and countries, yet the effect is intimate and cohesive. The audience learns not only about an unusual instrument but about what it’s capable of in the aggregate. A rare opportunity for a revealing afternoon. Free.

Cantigium's leader
At 7:30 that same evening, Cantigium returns to St. Boniface in Northside. Cantigium is a chamber choir made up of former music students from Xavier who have now been singing together purely for the love of the thing for several years. Time and the firm hand of its conductor Scot Buzza have created a purity of sound and tone unmatched in many professional organizations. The range of music they tackle goes back to the very oldest written music extant, and in an acoustical space like St. Boniface the music shimmers as it did when it was new. Insanely, this concert is free.

On Sunday, Feb 5, at 6pm, the Choral Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral downtown will feature three works by German Baroque masters. One is J S Bach, who needs no introduction.
The other is Heinrich Schütz, and you might want to take note, as Schütz will be featured in several concerts this month. Born in 1585, exactly 100 years before Bach, he is generally considered the most important German composer before Bach. He is credited with importing Italian stylistic innovations into German music, and his influence echoes as far as Brahms and Webern. If a contemplative hour of prayer seems your best recourse this evening – this performance is part of an Episcopal service, to which all are welcome – fall under the influence of these giants in their field.

Tuesday, Feb 7, is the first of a month of lunchtime early music concerts as part of Christ Church Cathedral’s Live at Lunch series. Starting at 12:10, the concerts are all free. Bring your lunch, or purchase the lunch provided for $5. This week, the Shakespeare Band, consisting of lutes, guitars, bass, and soprano, perform music of Venice, including Monteverdi and Landi.

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