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2019 Young Performers Festival: Oberlin Baroque

Oberlin Baroque (representing Oberlin College and Conservatory) will perform at 3:00pm EDT on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at Trinity Episcopal Church as part of Early Music America’s Young Performers Festival during the Bloomington Early Music Festival. The concert will also be streamed live via EMA’s Facebook page.

Created in 1986, Oberlin’s Historical Performance Program is one of the oldest in the country, but their commitment to the field goes back to the founding of the Baroque Performance Institute (BPI) which has taken place every summer since 1972. Oberlin’s concert program’s performances will be drawn from Oberlin’s Baroque Ensemble program–small, coached ensembles that perform once or twice per semester–and from the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra, which has an intensive (6 hours/week) rehearsal schedule for a four-week period each semester. Some of the instrumentalists are majors in Oberlin’s Historical Performance program; others are taking secondary lessons on a historical instrument.

2019 Festival Program

Paris and Beyond

This program features music by some of Baroque Europe’s most cosmopolitan composers, including a Telemann Paris Quartet. This concert is an outgrowth of our Baroque Ensemble program. We hope this performance will show the breadth of repertoire our students work with on a regular basis.

  • Sonata Prima – Dario Castello (1602-1631)
  • Fantasie à 4 – William Byrd (1539/40-1623)
  • Passacaglia in d – Johann Caspar Kerll (1627-1693)
  • Sonata in g, QV 2:35 – Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773)
  • Sonata in e, BWV 1034 – J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
  • Suite for 3 viols in D major, Livre IV – Marin Marais (1656-1728)
  • Deuxième recreation de musique, op. 8 – Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764)
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2019 Emerging Artists Showcase: Joyce Chen

Harpsichordist Joyce Chen will perform at 7:00pm EDT on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, as part of Early Music America’s Emerging Artists Showcase during the Bloomington Early Music Festival. The concert will be streamed live via EMA’s Facebook page.


A native of Taiwan, Joyce Chen is a recipient of the 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts. As an active keyboard player, Joyce has a busy performing schedule in the Greater Philadelphia and New York areas. She is Minister of Music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Glenside, PA, and is a co-founder of an all-female period instrument ensemble, Muse Camerata. She has been a guest artist and lecture at the University of Delaware as well as Delaware State University.

As a solo harpsichordist, Joyce has been gaining recognition both nationally and internationally. From 2015-2016, Joyce performed extensively with Brandywine Baroque on the regular concert series as well as Harpsichord Heaven at the Flint Collection of Antique Keyboard Instruments. In March 2016, Joyce was one of six finalists at the Eighth International Jurow Harpsichord Competition in Oberlin. In 2018, Joyce made her international debut at the Musica Antiqua Festival and Harpsichord Competition in Bruges, Belgium as well as the International Normandy Baroque Music Competition in Rouen, France.

Joyce holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Harpsichord Performance from Stony Brook University. Her primary harpsichord teachers include Davitt Moroney, Charlene Brendler, and Arthur Haas. Joyce is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Historical Musicology at Princeton University, where she is also a graduate student director of Early Music Princeton.

2019 Showcase Program

Con tutti gli affetti e l’immaginazione
This program will feature ‘affective’ and passionate harpsichord works that are not often heard in public recitals, including works by Frescobaldi, Rossi, Storace, and Poglietti.
  • Girolamo Frescobaldi(1583-1643)
    • Toccata terza from Toccate e Partite d’intavolatura di cimbalo, libro (1615)
    • Capriccio Sopra il Cucho from Il primo libro di capricci fatti sopra diversi soggetti, et arie in partiture (1624)
    • Cento Partite sopra Passcaglia (1637)
  • Michelangelo Rossi(1602-1656)
    • Toccata Settima from Toccate e correnti d’intavolatura d’organo e cembalo (1657)
  • Bernado Storace (1637-1707)
    • Ciaccona from Selva di varie compositioni d’intavolatura per cimbalo ed organo (1664)
  • Alexandro Poglietti(d. 1683)
    • Excerpts from Rossignolo(1677)
      • Toccata
      • Ricercar per Il Rossignol
      • Sincopatione del Ricercar
      • Capriccio per Io Rossignol Sopra’l Ricercar
      • Aria bizarra del Rissignolo
      • Imitatione del medesimo Uccello

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CD Review: Devienne Sonatas Delight

A portrait of François Devienne attributed to Jacques-Louis David circa 1792


François Devienne: Flute Sonatas
Joanna Marsden, flute; Mark Edwards, harpsichord
Centaur CRC3675

By Karen Cook

François Devienne (1759-1803) was a well-known Parisian musician in the late 18th century. He was one of the earliest teachers at the Paris Conservatoire, a pedagogue who wrote a popular practical methods book for the flute in 1793, and apparently an exceedingly fine performer to boot, playing both bassoon and flute for theater orchestras and solo occasions. He also composed hundreds of pieces over his lengthy career, all of which reflected the most popular genres of the day: operas, symphonic works, and a variety of chamber compositions. On this album, flutist Joanna Marsden joins forces with harpsichordist Mark Edwards to perform five of Devienne’s flute sonatas, two of which are accompanied by an introductory prelude.

These preludes in and of themselves tell us a bit about Devienne’s compositional, and likely also performative, approach. He and his colleagues at the Paris Conservatoire did not particularly see eye to eye on flute technique; while the others were more interested in newer technical innovations, larger ensemble playing skills, and the primacy of a single melody as established by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Devienne continued to write and teach in an older style that emphasized ornamentation, improvisation, and fuller basse accompaniment. The preludes included here thus reflect this tendency toward continuing to improvise or provide improvisatory introductions to his sonatas.

Devienne was also an advocate for the one-keyed flute, an instrument that was threatened by the four-keyed flute preferred by his colleagues. Marsden performs these works on a late 18th-century one-keyed flute made by Tortochot.

Joanna Marsden

Lest anyone think of this instrument as a transitional or less capable flute, Marsden performs dazzling virtuosic passages (listen, for example, to the beginning of the Sonata in D minor or the end of the third movement of the Sonata in D major) and explores the entirety of the instrument’s range throughout the recording. Its lowest register is surprisingly warm, as evidenced in the Sonata in D major, while passages across the upper ranges are bright and surprising in their projection. In all cases, the beautiful timbre of Marsden’s flute is well matched by that of Edwards’ harpsichord; he manages to realize the basse in a way that prioritizes the flute’s melody while at the same time playing an equally interesting role full of rhythmic and rhetorical vitality.

Devienne’s sonatas tend to include graceful melodic lines, a supportively rich accompaniment, and frequent sections of virtuosic technical display peppered throughout. The ones chosen on this recording are some of the more challenging, and both Marsden and Edwards handle the material with grace and verve. As Marsden’s debut recording, it is one that shows a great deal of promise. A worthy addition to any flute-lover’s library.

Karen Cook specializes in the music, theory, and notation of the late medieval and early Renaissance periods. She is assistant professor of music at the University of Hartford in Connecticut.

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