Kleine Kammermusik joins Piffaro in Fuguing from Obrecht to Bach

with guest artists Kleine Kammermusik

Fuguing from Obrecht to Bach
Streaming online May 28–June 3, 2021
Opening Night w/ Live Chat: May 28 @ 7:30PM EST
Tickets $15
215-235-8469 or piffaro.org

Piffaro’s final digital concert of the season delves into the roots of fugue, the musical form whose intricacies have obsessed generations of composers and music lovers. Philadelphia baroque ensemble Kleine Kammermusik augments Piffaro’s renaissance shawms, dulcians, and lute with their oboes, bassoons, and harpsichord, tracing the development of the fugue from the 15th century to J.S. Bach. The concert video, filmed at the historic Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Wilmington, DE, premieres at 7:30PM EST on May 28 and remains available on demand until June 3. Tickets are $15 and available for purchase at piffaro.org.

Preview concert highlights here: https://youtu.be/E6gOCq81P7U

“Call it what you will – polyphonic, contrapuntal, fugal, imitative – this music was the highest achievement of composers from Jakob Obrecht (1457/8–1505) through Johann Sebastian Bach in the 18th,” according to Bob Wiemken, artistic co-director of Piffaro. “The juxtapositions of early to late are striking, seeming worlds apart from one another. Who could have predicted in Obrecht’s day the eventual offspring of his Fuga in Bach’s great and justly famous Fugue in Gm?

A growing number of early musicians are choosing to call Philadelphia home, including a majority of those in the chamber ensemble Kleine Kammermusik, which is dedicated to reviving music for baroque winds and continuo. Geoffrey Burgess teaches baroque oboe at the Eastman School of Music but chooses to live in Philadelphia with his husband Leon Schelhase, the ensemble’s harpsichordist, who teaches historic keyboards at Curtis. Gambist Rebecca Humphrey helped found several local period music ensembles, including KKM, Night Music, and the Franklin Quartet. This geographic proximity of talent allows for a collaboration that traces the development of musical instruments through the centuries. The shawm evolves into the oboe, the dulcian into the bassoon, and the viola da gamba into the cello. And since the form of fugue gives equal weight and melody to each voice, we hear all these instruments as “soloists” within the intricate framework that fugue provides.

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