News Releases

2016-2017 SEASON

October 9, 2016 – Handel to Haydn – 3 pm
Brilliant compositions for two harpsichords, from late-baroque Handel to early-classical Haydn. Music includes works by three sons of Bach: Johann Christian (the London Bach); J.C.F. (youngest of Johann Sebastian’s composer sons); and Wilhelm Friedemann (the eldest), whose two-harpsichord sonata is simply stunning. Harpsichordists Beverly Biggs & Elaine Funaro enjoy a ten-year history of performing together, having done regional performances, touring with baroque programs, and world and national premieres of new works.

PROGRAM

  • G.F. Handel – Suite in c minor for two harpsichords
  • Johann Christian Bach – Sonata in G major, W.A. 21 – Allegro
  • Wilhelm Friedemann Bach – Sonata Concertante in F major
  • J.C.F. Bach – Sonata in C major (four hands) – Rondo
  • Haydn – Hob. XVIII/11, Concerto in D major

elaine-bev-a_4-21-13

 

 

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January 22, 2017 – Echoes of Love – 3 pm      Beloved sopranos Florence Peacock and Penelope Jensen reunite for this program of music focused on love. The program features Venus & Adonis, a secular cantata by George F. Handel, with its text about beauty and passion. Handel is also represented with two arias, Spesso mi sento dir and Sei bugiarda, umana steme. To these are added arias by J.S. Bach which extoll the open heart and the longing of the soul. The delightful Echo Aria from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio provides a light and happy touch. The instrumental ensemble is William Thauer, baroque oboe and oboe da caccia; Christopher Nunnally, baroque cello; and Beverly Biggs, harpsichord. They will accompany the vocal works and offer instrumental works as well.     Tickets ($18) are available in advance from Preservation Chapel Hill (http://www.preservationchapelhill.org/baroque-beyond) and make wonderful stocking stuffers. Tickets will also be available at the door.

March 12, 2017 – The Splendors of Italy – 3 pm
Guest artists Frances Blaker, recorder, and Keith Collins, baroque bassoon, are featured in a program of Italian masterpieces by famous composers like Vivaldi, as well as Bononcini, Besozzi, and Veracini, whose works deserve greater exposure. Veracini came from a large family of musicians; survived a shipwreck; and twenty years ago, had an asteroid named for him. Barbara Krumdieck, baroque cello; Beverly Biggs, harpsichord.

2015-2016 SEASON

FINAL CONCERT of the 2015-16 season
Mediterranean Baroque – Sunday, March 13, 2016
Musical sunshine is offered in the final concert of the season for Baroque & Beyond. The concert features music of baroque composers from Mediterranean countries.

Opening with Diego Ortiz, the program also includes compositions by Fontana, Domenico Gabrielli, Bertali, and Marini. While dance rhythms are nearly always found in music of this era, this program focuses more on music that sounds improvised, and sometimes slightly wild. That’s not surprising when you consider the personal lives of some of the composers. For example, Antonio Pandolfi Mealli is rumored to have murdered a castrato!

Canadian baroque violinist Peter Lexk will be featured, along with Robbie Link, viola da gamba, and Barbara Krumdieck, baroque cello. This instrumentation not only makes possible solos for gamba or cello with the opposite bass string instrument playing continuo – it also provides the continuo team of your dreams when the composition is for violin. Harpsichordist Beverly Biggs rounds out the ensemble; she also serves as Artistic Director of Baroque & Beyond.

PROGRAM

  • Diego Ortiz – Three Recercadas
  • Giovanni Batista Fontana – Sonata Duodecima (violin & gamba)
  • Antonio Pandolfi Mealli – “La Bernabea”
  • Domenico Gabrelli – Sonata in G for cello & continuo
  • Antonio Bertali – Ciacona in C
  • Giovanni Benedetto Platti – Cello Sonata
  • Biagio Marini – Arie, Madrigal et Corenti on Romanesca
  • Alessandro Stradella – Sinfonia #22 for violin & continuo band

Tickets are $18, available through Friday (3/11) from Preservation Chapel Hill (919-942-7818, www.preservationchapelhill.org) and on Sunday at the door. The concert takes place at 3:00 pm Sunday afternoon, March 13, in the historic chapel at Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Parking can be found in the Planetarium parking lot next door, or the Rosemary Street parking garage a short distance away.

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Italian Music through the Ages  – Sunday, January 24, 2016

Yes, there will be Vivaldi. However, much of Baroque & Beyond’s concert on January 24 will be music of Vivaldi’s predecessors. Some of these composers are familiar, such as Corelli. Others, not so much.

The concert explores repertoire that is a specialty of guest artist David Wilson, a baroque violinist who lives in California and works across the United States and abroad. Wilson holds a doctorate from Indiana University, where he has taught. His West Coast activities are centered in the San Francisco Bay area, where he now lives and teaches when he is not touring.

Wilson will be featured in sonatas for violin and continuo by Corelli, Dario Castello, and Isabella Leonarda, as well as in trio sonatas by Vitali and Vivaldi. Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704) was one of the most productive women composers of her time, yet she is little-known today, even among classical musicians. Sonata Duodecima is her only solo violin sonata and is one of her most renowned works – free, passionate, and unpredictable in the most Italian way.

William Simms, an outstanding player of lute, baroque guitar and theorbo, will bring the latter instrument to North Carolina for this concert. He will treat the audience to a theorbo solo by the Italian composer Alessandro Piccinini, a set of variations on Aria Francesca detta l’Alemana. He will also serve as a member of the continuo team (theorbo, harpsichord, cello).

Making a cameo appearance on this concert is soprano Molly Quinn, who took the audience by storm one year ago on Baroque & Beyond’s Pan & Syrinx concert. Ms. Quinn’s concert and recording credits grow each year. She maintains a full schedule of touring, while still appearing regularly with various ensembles in New York. She will perform ‘L’Amante Segreto’ by Barbara Strozzi. Among the group of women baroque composers whose works have come down to us, Strozzi is one of the best-known.

The ensemble is rounded out by baroque violinist Allison Willet, baroque cellist Barbara Blaker Krumdieck, and harpsichordist Beverly Biggs, who also serves as Artistic Director of Baroque & Beyond.

Tickets ($18) are available in advance (until Jan. 22) from Preservation Chapel Hill, which sponsors the concert series: call 919-942-7818 or visit their website at http://www.preservationchapelhill.org/#!baroque-beyond/co6x. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The concert takes place at 3:00 pm Sunday afternoon, January 24, in the historic chapel at Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Parking can be found in the Planetarium parking lot next door, or the Rosemary Street parking garage a short distance away.

PROGRAM

Vitali – Selections from Op. 1 (two balletti, one corrente)
Strozzi – L’Amante Segreto
Castello – Violin Sonata 2, Book 2
Piccinini – theorbo solo (variations)
Corelli – Trio Sonata, Op. 1, no. 2
Leonarda – Sonata duodecima
Corelli – Violin Sonata, Op. 5, no. 3
Vivaldi – Trio Sonata, Op. 1, no. 12 (La Folia)

Eisenach to the Elbe  – Sunday, Oct. 11    3pm

If a young boy today declared his intention to become a composer of classical music, there’s no telling whether his family would support or oppose that decision. But the family of Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) was decidedly against it. Lucky for posterity, he ignored their wishes and became one of the most prolific composers of all time, and one of the musical giants of the late baroque era.

Baroque & Beyond will open its 2015-2016 season with a concert of Telemann’s music, entitled Eisenach to the Elbe. It features two cantatas for soprano, violin and continuo, along with several sparkling instrumental works.

The dragon takes center stage in Packe dich, gelämter Drache. In this work, an allegorical battle takes place between St. Michael and the evil dragon. Florence Peacock is the soloist, with violinist Andrew Bonner, and a continuo team of Stephanie Vial, cello, and Beverly Biggs, harpsichord.

Penelope Jensen sings the other cantata, Dass Herz un Sinn, o schwacher Mensch – also with violin obbligato and continuo. This one is happy and charming – a good balance to the drama of dragon-killing.

Instrumental selections round out the balance of the program. There are three little pieces, Spielstücke, with lively material. Each string player is featured in a sonata for their instrument. The program concludes with a brilliant Trio for the instrumental ensemble.

Tickets ($18) are available in advance (during the week) from Preservation Chapel Hill, which sponsors the concert series: call 919-942-7818 or visit http://www.preservationchapelhill.org/#!baroque-beyond/co6x. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The concert takes place at 3:00 pm Sunday afternoon, October 11, in the historic chapel at Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Parking can be found in the Planetarium parking lot next door, or the Rosemary Street parking garage a short distance away.

For additional information on the musicians and Baroque & Beyond, please visit www.baroqueandbeyond.org.

 

Italian Music Through the Ages – Sunday, Jan. 24     3 pm

Experience the sparkling and fiery music of the Italian baroque! Get to know the amazingly inspiring 17th century chamber music of composers Fontana and Castello, as well as the luxurious and moving music of the more familiar Corelli. Duo baroque violins are featured: David Wilson (California) and Allison Willett; with William Simms, theorbo (Baltimore); Barbara Blaker Krumdieck, cello; Beverly Biggs, harpsichord; and a cameo appearance by soprano Molly Quinn.

 

 Mediterranean Baroque – Sunday, March 13     3 pm

We welcome spring with the sunny music of Domenico Gabrielli (Italian composer and virtuoso cellist) and Antonio Vivaldi, representing Italy. Spain is represented by Diego Ortiz, and by Domenico Scarlatti, who served the Spanish royal family. Adding spice, Antonio Pendolfi Mealli wrote very dramatic music, as you might expect from a composer who lived a colorful life and is reported to have murdered a castrato. The rich tones of viola da gamba and baroque cello will be featured (Robbie Link and Barbara Blaker Krumdieck) along with Canadian baroque violinist Peter Lekx, and Beverly Biggs, harpsichord.

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PREVIOUS SEASONS

Baroque & Beyond: Bach & Erlebach           March 8, 2015

Sometimes musicians grow fond of an obscure composer. Sometimes they play one piece and it never quite leaves them. Such is the case with a Trio by Philipp Heinrich Erlebach (1657-1714).

If you don’t know about his music, there’s a good reason. He was a prolific composer; after his death, his widow parted with over 1,000 works. But there was a fire in 1735, and most of his compositions were destroyed. Fewer than a hundred pieces are reputed to have survived, and only 13 of those are instrumental works. One of these, Erlebach’s Trio in A major, was the piece that Dana Maiben (baroque violinist from Boston) and harpsichordist Beverly Biggs (Artistic Director of Baroque & Beyond early music concerts) played together near the beginning of their professional careers. On March 8, they will play it again, joined by Brent Wissick, viola da gamba.

As a twenty year old, Dana Maiben had a reputation for virtuosic (dare we say wild) performances. She has mellowed only slightly over the years, adding conducting and other skill sets to her resume. A chance meeting in 2014 resulted in the decision to create a German baroque program built around this special Erlebach Trio that will be featured on March 8th at 3:00 pm at Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill .

The program also includes J.S. Bach’s violin sonata in G major (BWV 1021); a Bach aria, sung by Florence Peacock; a set of variations by Kuhnel for viola da gamba; and two works by Buxtehude. The ensemble will perform his sprightly cantata, Singet dem Herrn, and the instrumentalists will play his Trio in B-flat, Op. 1 no. 2.

The Baroque & Beyond concert series is presented by Preservation Chapel Hill. Advance tickets (through March 6) can be purchased through their website at http://www.preservationchapelhill.org/#!baroque-beyond/co6x . Tickets are also available at the door ($18).

The concert venue is Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Suggested parking – the Planetarium lot and the Rosemary Street parking deck. The March 8th performance takes place in the historic chapel.

 

Baroque & Beyond: Pan & Syrinx         Jan. 25, 2015   3:00 pm

When Michel Pignolet de Montéclair published his second volume of chamber cantatas in 1716, it included Pan & Syrinx. The work is based on the mythological tale of the chaste huntress Syrinx, the Greek satyr Pan who pursues her, and what happens when her pleas for help are fulfilled and she is turned into a river reed. The work is filled with beautiful music for all the key characters, culminating in an Air in praise of love.

New York soprano Molly Quinn, a native of Chapel Hill, returns to perform the title role with Baroque & Beyond on Sunday, January 25, at 3:00 pm at Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill. She will be joined by an instrumental ensemble with Gesa Kordes baroque violin; Rebecca Troxler, baroque flute; Gail Ann Schroeder, viola da gamba; and Beverly Biggs, harpsichord. Biggs is artistic director of the Baroque & Beyond concert series.

Molly Quinn’s career is impressive, garnering critical praise from the media. She works regularly with New York-based TENET and the Trinity Wall Street Choir, and has toured extensively in the United States and abroad. For details, visit www.mollyquinn.com.

The entire program focuses on music of the French baroque. Opening with La Sonnerie by Marin Marais, the instrumental ensemble will be joined by Salome Sandoval, archlute. This work – the complete title is Sonnerie de Sainte-Geneviève du Mont de Paris – “The Bells of St. Genevieve” in English – was written in 1723 for viol (gamba), violin, and basso continuo. It is a chaconne with a repeating bass line. This is one of the most famous works of Marais, and explores the various techniques of the viol, an instrument that Marais studied with Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe.

Another of his most famous works is La Follia, a tour-de-force set of variations for viola da gamba, which concludes the first half of the program. In between these two works is a delightful Trio Sonata by Leclair.

The concert takes place in the sanctuary at Chapel of the Cross, 304 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Tickets ($20) are available in advance from Preservation Chapel Hill (http://www.preservationchapelhill.org/#!baroque-beyond/co6x) and at the door the day of the concert.

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CPE Bach & Bros.            300th birthday and still going strong

CPE Bach’s anniversary will be celebrated at Baroque & Beyond’s October 12 concert, with music by him and two of his brothers (sons of the famous JS Bach). Featuring solos, duets, trios and quartets in various arrangements for a beautiful fortepiano, classical flute, violin, viola, and cello. The concert takes place in the historic chapel at Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Concert time is 3:00 pm. Tickets ($18) are available at the door.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) was the fifth child of Johann Sebastian and his first wife Maria Barbara. His godfather was the famous composer Georg Philipp Telemann, from whom he got his middle name. He was one of four Bach sons to become professional musicians. Like the others, he received his musical training from his father.  While his musical style is most likely (of all the brothers) to show the contrapuntal influences of his father, CPE’s musical style is markedly different, notable for sudden changes of mood, unpredictability, and emotional range.

CPE’s work influenced Haydn, Mozart, and even Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Mozart is said to have commented, “He is the father, we are the children.” CPE’s works were catalogued by Alfred Wotquenne (1906) and later by Eugene Helm (1989), thus are often identified by Wq. or H. numbers.

The musical style of his younger brothers is considered galant. Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (1732-1795) was the ninth son of JS Bach (and the oldest surviving son with JS Bach’s second wife, Anna Magdalena). He served at the court in Bückeburg from the age of 18 until his death, and was considered a keyboard player of virtuoso rank. When he visited his brother JC Bach in London, he became fond of the music of Mozart.

Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782) was the eleventh child and youngest son, born when his father was 50 years old. He lived in Italy for years, then moved to London. He is considered a classical era composer and had a strong influence on Mozart. In London, he formed a musical partnership with Carl Friedrich Abel. Together they launched a highly successful series of public concerts.

The concert features a beautiful period-fortepiano, classical flute and strings. Performers are John O’Brien, fortepiano; Rebecca Troxler, classical flute; Leah Peroutka, violin; Joey O’Donnell, viola; and Chris Nunnally, cello.

Date/time:       Oct. 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Address:          304 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill 27514

Tickets:           $18 at the door

Advance:         Advance tickets from Preservation Chapel Hill: 919-942-7818

Website:          www.baroqueandbeyond.org

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Waking the Spirit: Andrew Willis & Friends     March 2, 2014    3:00 pm

Chapel of the Cross, 304 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

PROGRAM

  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach – Rondo in B flat major, Wq. 58, No. 5 (1779)
  • CPE Bach – Sonata for Flute and Obbligato Keyboard, Wq. 84 (1749)
  • Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach – Sonata for Violoncello and Piano in A major (1789)
  • Joseph Haydn – Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano in F major, Hob. XV: 17 (1790)
  • Ignaz Moscheles – Grande Sonate in E flat for Piano, Four Hands, Op. 47 (1819)

Musicians for this performance are Andrew Willis, fortepiano; Rebecca Troxler, flute; Stephanie Vial, cello; and Sally Renée Todd, fortepiano. The first half of the program (CPE Bach, JCF Bach, and Haydn) will use a Stein-replica fortepiano. On the second half, the Moscheles will be performed on a Graf-replica fortepiano.

Tickets $20. Available at the door. Or click here to order tickets online from Preservation Chapel Hill using PayPal. Scroll down the green page, and select the March 2, 2014  concert date.

Waking the Spirit_Mar.2, 2014

 

Zephyr ~ Gentle Winds       January 26, 2014    3:00 pm

Chapel of the Cross, 304 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

ZEPHYR CONCERT

PROGRAM

  • TELEMANN  Concerto in F major, TWV 44: 41 for recorders, flutes, oboes, and basso continuo
  • BOISMORTIER  Concerto a 5 in e minor (Op. 15 no. 6) for flutes and basso continuo
  • ZELENKA  Sonata in c-minor, ZWV 181 #6 for two oboes, bassoon, and basso continuo
  • TELEMANN  Quatuor in d minor, TWV 43:d1 for recorder, two flutes and basso continuo
  • VIVALDI  Concerto grosso, after the Sonata Op. 1, no. 12, “La Follia” RV 63

Musicians for this performance are Frances Blaker and Jennifer Streeter, various recorders; William Thauer, Alicia Chapman, and Aaron Reichelt (New York), baroque oboe; Rebecca Troxler, Tom Moore (Miami), Nancy Schneeloch-Bingham, and John O’Brien, traverso; and Sally Merriman (Boston), baroque bassoon. The continuo group includes Barbara Blaker Krumdieck and Chris Nunnally, baroque cello; and Beverly Biggs, harpsichord.

This performance is part of the 2014 HIP Festival, a celebration of historically informed baroque concerts produced by a collaborative of early music organizations and ensembles.

Tickets $20

NEW!  Order tickets online. Click here to order tickets online from Preservation Chapel Hill using PayPal. Scroll down the green page, and select the concert date you want.

Additional details: http://baroqueandbeyond.org/hip-festival/

 

Vanish Ev’ry Torment     October 13, 2013 – Chapel Hill, NC

Chapel of the Cross (in the historic chapel) – 3:00 pm

Guest artist for this performance is bass-baritone James F. Weaver, a frequent performer with many of the finest orchestras and chamber ensembles in North America and Europe. As a young singer Mr. Weaver’s interest in Early Music led him to Amsterdam, where he studied with Dutch baritone Max van Egmond, receiving a performance degree from the Sweelinck Conservatory in 1988. Since then he has performed with many of the world’s finest period instrument ensembles, including Collegium Vocale Ghent, The Academy of the Begienhoff, the Orpheus Band, The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Dryden Ensemble, Santa Fe Pro Musica, the Seattle and Portland Baroque Orchestras, New York Pro Musica, the Baltimore Consort, The Newberry Consort, Columbus Consort, and the Ricercar Consort, Joshua Rifkin and The Bach Ensemble, Jeffrey Thomas and the American Bach Soloists, Kenneth Slowik and the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the San Francisco Bach Choir, Bethlehem Bach Choir, and the Washington Bach Consort. He is also a sought-after interpreter of Lieder and an active teacher and choral conductor.

Mr. Weaver will be featured in two arias for bass and basso continuo by J.S. Bach, and will be joined by soprano Florence Peacock in Bach’s Cantata BWV 32, Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen.

 The cantata’s instrumental ensemble is William Thauer, baroque oboe; Andrew Bonner & Robert Garbarz, baroque violin; Joey O’Donnell, baroque viola; Robbie Link, viola da gamba; and Beverly Biggs, harpsichord. Biggs is Artistic Director of Baroque & Beyond. They will be featured in the following instrumental works:

  • Graun, Trio Sonata in F major (oboe, violin, and basso continuo)
  • Buxtehude, Trio Sonata Op. 1 no. 1, BuxWV 252  (violin, viola, and basso continuo)
  • Telemann, Concerto in F major, TWV 42:F4 (oboe, violin, and basso continuo)

Please note that the church is constructing a new wing. Parking should be available in the Rosemary Street parking deck, and may also be available in the Planetarium parking lot and on nearby streets.

 

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Encore Baroque!      March 10, 2013 – Chapel Hill, NC

Chapel of the Cross (in the historic chapel) – 3:00 pm

Florence Peacock and Penelope Jensen, two of the Triangle’s best-loved sopranos, are featured in arias and duets by Handel, Steffani, and Fiocco. They are backed by an instrumental ensemble of Rebecca Troxler, baroque flute; Robbie Link, viola da gamba; Barbara Blaker Krumdieck, baroque cello; and Beverly Biggs, harpsichord. Biggs is Artistic Director of Baroque & Beyond.

The instrumentalists are featured in two contrasting works by French baroque composer Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764), considered the founder of the ‘French violin school’. Born in Lyon, Leclair left to study dance and violin in Turino, Italy, where he married a dancer. After her death 12 years later, he married the engraver Louise Roussel, who prepared all his works for printing from Opus 2 onward. Both instrumental selections on the program come from this opus. Rebecca Troxler will play his Sonata, Op. 2, no. 1. She will be joined in a Trio Sonata, Op.2, no.8, by gambist Robbie Link. Cello and harpsichord provide the basso continuo for these works.

George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) is one of the titans of the late baroque period. Handel will be represented with a duet for two sopranos and instruments, Caro autor di mia doglia. In addition, Florence Peacock will sing an aria from his opera Alcina. Credete al mio dolore pairs the soprano with cello obbligato in a work of haunting beauty.

A duet by Agostino Steffani (1654-1728) will also be heard. Steffani was an Italian ecclesiastic, diplomat and composer.

Penelope Jensen is featured in Joseph-Hector Fiocco’s first Lamentation, from one of his most famous works, Lamentations Du Jeudi Saint. Fiocco (1703-1741) was born in Brussels, one of fifteen children. He was musically educated by an elder brother and by his father, Italian composer Pietro Antonio Fiocco. His career was spent in Antwerp and Brussels.

The Baroque & Beyond series is presented by Preservation Chapel Hill. The concert takes place in the historic chapel at Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Tickets ($18) will be available at the door. They can also be ordered in advance from the Preservation Chapel Hill office at 919.942.7818.

Encore Baroque! press release

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Michael Maniaci, countertenor

Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 – 3:00 pm – Chapel of the Cross

Acclaimed countertenor Michael Maniaci is featured in this concert of music from the baroque era.  Italy is represented in the first half by music of Strozzi and Vivaldi. In the second half, Germany & England are represented by music of J.S. Bach, Caporale, and Handel.  Instrumentalists are Peter Lekx, baroque violin (from Cleveland); William Simms, theorbo (from Baltimore); and Stephanie Vial, baroque cello & Beverly Biggs, harpsichord (both from the Triangle). Tickets ($20) are available at the door, or in advance from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill, 919.942.7818.

Michael Maniaci POSTER

PROGRAM:

  • Vivaldi – Non ti Lusinghi la crudeltade  (Tito Manlio)
  • Corelli –  Violin Sonata in D minor, Op. 5 no. 12, “La Folia”
  • Strozzi  –  Lagrime mie
  • JS Bach –  Erbarme dich, mein Gott, from the Matthew Passion, BWV 244
  • JS Bach –Laudamus Te, from the B-minor Mass, BWV 232
  • Caporale – Cello Sonata #3 in D major
  • Handel –  Agitato da fiere tempeste (Oreste)

Press release_Jan. 27, 2013 concert

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CLASSICAL RICHES

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2013 – 3:00 pm

Chapel of the Cross – in the historic chapel

Wood and leather against string – the hammers of early pianos are remarkably different from the plump, felt-covered oval hammers of the modern piano. And the sound is remarkably different – some say better.

Not that Baroque & Beyond’s Artistic Director Beverly Biggs doesn’t love the modern piano. It was, after all, her first instrument and its repertoire still makes her heart sing. But along the way, she was seduced by other sounds and musical sensibilities. First, the harpsichord, with its crisp pluck and (particularly with French harpsichords) its deep, rich sonorities. Then later, by the early fortepiano, with its smaller keys, strong fortissimo, and utterly magical pianissimo.

When Baroque & Beyond opens its season on October 14, listeners will hear not one, but two fortepianos. Bev’s instrument is a replica of an original by Andreas Stein from 1784. John O’Brien’s instrument is a replica of an original by Anton Walter from 1782. In the late 1700’s, fortepianos were made by hand. As a result, no two instruments are alike. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortepiano#Viennese_school_of_builders)

Bev and John have programmed a sonata for two fortepianos by Dussek that offers ample opportunity to appreciate the similarities and differences between their instruments.

Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) was a Czech composer and pianist. He was an important representative of Czech music abroad in the second half of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century. Dussek was one of the first piano virtuosos to travel widely throughout Europe. He performed at courts and concert venues from London to St. Petersburg to Milan, and was celebrated as a performer.

The Dussek family history as professional musicians extends from the early 1700s at least until the 1970s. Jan Ladislav apparently did not make his family very proud with his school report cards. Poor grades followed him from his early years through his enrollment at the University of Prague, where he lasted one semester.

In spite of this, he clearly acquired both a solid musical education and considerable technical prowess as a performer. His biography on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Ladislav_Dussek) paints a picture of a colorful but chaotic personal life, during which his equally colorful career unfolded. His Sonata in F major, Op. 26, was first performed in London in 1790.

Other performers are John Pruett, violin, and Stephanie Vial, cello. The group will play works in various combinations – including a trio by Haydn, a cello sonata by Beethoven, and a violin sonata by Mozart.

 

 

2011-2012 CONCERTS

 

Shepherd on the Rock – Sept. 18, 2011 

Featuring Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock; Beethoven Trio for clarinet & strings; CPE Bach Sonata in B-flat for violin & fortepiano (Wq.77); Haydn Trio in C for strings & fortepiano (Hob. XV:21).

Florence Peacock, soprano; Jimmy Gilmore, clarinet; John Pruett, violin; Stephanie Vial, cello; Beverly Biggs, fortepiano

Historic 1843 chapel at Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill. 3:00 pm. Reception follows the performance.

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Goddess in the Grove     Postcard_Jan.29, 2012 concert

Jan. 29, 2012    306 N. Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, 3:00 pm

This French baroque program takes its theme from “Actéon”, a cantata by Boismortier. Like most cantatas and opera works from the baroque era, this one has a complicated but delightful story. Florence Peacock, soprano, is featured in this work.

Other featured musicians are  baroque oboist Alicia Chapman; viola da gambist Gail Schroder; and harpsichordists Elaine Funaro and Beverly Biggs. For bios, see the Musicians tab.

PROGRAM

Unmeasured prelude (in the style of Louis Couperin) by duo harpsichordists Funaro & Biggs, which segues into L’Imperiale by François Couperin. The ensemble will play the opening sonata of this work, which is written in sonata da chiesa (church) style.  L’imperiale is one of four large works that make up Couperin’s Les Nations.

Suite des Oiseaux. Funaro & Biggs have assembled several delightful bird pieces from the pens of Rameau, Daquin and Couperin – including Le Rappel des Oiseaux(bird songs), La Poule (The Chicken) and Le Dodo, a beautiful lullaby.

Suite in D major for oboe & basso continuo by Jacques de Saint-Luc. Saint-Luc is primarily known today for his lute compositions but he also wrote music for one soprano instrument with accompaniment. This suite offers a feast of baroque dances, including a rigaudon with trumpet calls. It concludes with a passacaille, giving everyone a chance to be daring.

The final rousing set features music by Royer: his stately Allemande, followed by one of the great hits of the baroque era – March of the Scythians. A tour de force when played by one harpsichord (as Royer composed it) this piece takes on new sweep and vigor in this version for two harpsichords – a practice encouraged by French harpsichord composers of the period. A reception follows the concert.

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Gulliver & Gusto     Baroque&Beyond concert_Mar.4, 2012

 

 

 

2010-2011  CONCERTS

Oct. 24, 2010 – Age of Elegance

From Mozart’s Divertimento to Lalliet’s stunning variations on Carnival of Venice; from the ethereal Fauconier Reverie to E.T. Paull’s famous Ben Hur Chariot Race. This concert features music from concerts in the late 1800’s – America’s age of elegance, with the award-winning duo of Beverly Biggs, fortepiano and David Dutton, oboe. Biggs & Dutton have garnered high praise for this program in concert tours throughout the United States and Canada, and for their CD recording of this program. With guest soprano Florence Peacock.

Venue:  The home of James & Florence Peacock, 306 Boundary Street, Chapel Hill

Time:   3:00 pm

Musicians:  Beverly Biggs, fortepiano; David Dutton, oboe; guest soprano Florence Peacock

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Voices of the Baroque – Jan. 23, 2011 – 3:00 pm

Horace Williams House, 610 E. Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill

Penelope Jensen and Florence Peacock are featured in three Telemann Cantatas that reveal the interesting variety of Telemann’s compositions.  “Packe dich gelähmter Drache”  is an energetic, delightful work that uses baroque violin as the obbligato instrument (Florence Peacock sings).  “Seele, lerne dich erkennen” and “Schmeckt und sehet unsers Gottes Freundlichkeit”, both sung by Penelope Jensen, use recorder and baroque oboe, respectively, as the obbligato instrument. In addition to these works, a set by J.S. Bach includes two arias and two instrumental works, the most famous of which is the aria, “Sheep May Safely Graze.”

Instrumental selections are by Handel: a Trio Sonata and a Violin Sonata. William Thauer plays both recorder and baroque oboe. Leah Peroutka is the baroque violinist. Stephanie Vial is featured on baroque cello. Harpsichordist  Beverly Biggs completes the ensemble.  Musician biographies and photos are found on the ‘Musicians’ tab.

A reception follows the performance.

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Totally Telemann – March 6, 2011 – 3:00 pm

618 Beech Tree Court, Chapel Hill

Peter Lekx, the stunning baroque violinist who electrified audiences in October 2009 in a series of  early Italian baroque concerts around North Carolina, is coming again from Cleveland. This time the music is from the pen of Telemann, by far the most prolific composer of the baroque era, and possibly of all time. Musicians who specialize in period music love Telemann. His output is interesting and varied. He was enormously popular during his lifetime, and remains so today.

Other ensemble members are Rebecca Troxler, baroque flute; Stephanie Vial, baroque cello; and Beverly Biggs, harpsichord. Musician biographies and photos are found on the ‘Musicians’ tab.

The program includes two Solos from Douze Solos (1734) – one featuring violin, the other featuring flute, both with basso continuo. Cello is featured in a Sonata from Der getreue Music-Meister, and joins with violin in a Trio from Essercizii Musici. The program also includes a Solo for unaccompanied violin, and one of Telemann’s Paris Quartets.

The concert venue is a private home in Chapel Hill. For directions, please enter the address above into your favorite online map service.

A reception follows the performance.