The Fantastic Mr. Telemann
Oct
12
7:30pm 7:30pm

The Fantastic Mr. Telemann

Musical improvisation and pre-planned, notated music that simulated improvisation remained in vogue throughout the eighteenth century. The main locus of improvisatory style was the fantasia, a genre epitomized by Telemann’s solo instrumental works for solo flute, violin, and viola da gamba and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s keyboard works. Our program is built around three fantasias: two by Telemann, and one by the younger Bach, who was his godson and namesake. Alternating ensemble pieces bring the solo instruments in dialogue with one another and explore the fantasia’s influence on other genres.

With guests Francesca Brittain, fortepiano, Sarah Cunningham, viola da gamba, and Margaret Humphrey, violin

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Diversions & Distractions
Nov
16
7:30pm 7:30pm

Diversions & Distractions

Early Classical music for home entertainment both personal and celebratory centered around the lighthearted divertimento. With no set form or instrumentation, divertimenti ran the gamut from intimate duos to miniature orchestra: think of Mozart’s ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik’, often performed as a string quartet but equally successful in an expanded ensemble. Symphonies were often arranged and published for home performance, as in Salomon’s version of Haydn’s “Surprise” symphony for flute and strings. Smaller works for less conventional, even whimsical combinations – as in Dittersdorf’s charming duo for viola and bass – were surprisingly common. While the flexible string quartet’s expressive capabilities and efficiency ultimately led it to dominate home musicales, it climbed there on the shoulders of the divertimenti that preceded it. 

** Please note: Diversions & Distractions is presented as part of the PhilaLandmarks Concert Series.  

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This concert will also be performed on the Early Music at St. James series in Lancaster, PA on Friday, November 17 at 7:30 PM. For more information click here.  

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A Night at the Opera
Apr
26
7:30pm 7:30pm

A Night at the Opera

Since its inception, opera’s extravagant sets, over-the-top costumes, and legendary superstars have kept the genre wildly popular. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century music lovers who couldn’t get enough of opera’s expensive thrills brought it into their homes on a smaller scale through arrangements of overtures and arias, operatically-inspired instrumental music, and theatrical cantatas or “Singspiels” such as those on our program by Michael Haydn (Der Bassgeiger du Wörgl) and Thomas Arne (The Morning). We also introduce our own arrangement of Mozart’s concert aria “Per questa bella mano” for bass and obbligato double bass. 

With guest singers Laura Heimes and Graham Bier

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