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The Seven Last Words of Christ for String Quartet, Op. 51 by Joseph Haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece The Seven Last Words of Christ expresses the immense sorrow of Christ’s suffering in an Introduction, seven slow movements, and a depiction of the earthquake. Haydn wrote, “each movement is expressed by purely instrumental music in such a way that even the most uninitiated listener will be moved to the very depths of his soul.” This work was originally commissioned in 1783 for the Good Friday services at the Cathedral in Cádiz, Spain, providing a sonic backdrop for meditation on each of the seven last utterances of Christ. This musical treasure has endured the test of time, remaining in the performance repertory for more than 200 years

Haymarket String Quartet
Rachel Barton Pine, violin
Jeri-Lou Zike, violin
Dave Moss, viola
Craig Trompeter, cello

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2018 Emerging Artists Showcase: Costanoan Trio

The Costanoan Trio

The Costanoan Trio will perform as part of the Early Music America’s Emerging Artists Showcase, May 24-26, 2018, as part of the Bloomington Early Music Festival.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the members of the Costanoan Trio explore the piano trio repertoire of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, with special interests in lesser-known composers and recreating the world of domestic music-making in intimate concert spaces. 
2018 Showcase Program: The Costanoan Trio will present a pastiche piano trio featuring movements from three works by composers of different origins and backgrounds from the turn of the 19th century and showcasing the diversity and transition of styles during that time – from Boccherini’s galant style in the royal court of Spain to young Beethoven’s boldness and virtuosity. This program also features a trio by the well-traveled Anton Reicha, friend of Beethoven and teacher of Liszt, Berlioz and Franck, who mingled German and French aesthetics with flavors from his Czech origins.
Boccherini, Beethoven, and Reicha: Forming a Genre
  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
    • Adagio—Allegro vivace from Piano Trio in G Major, Op. 1, No. 2 (1795)
  • Anton Reicha (1770-1836)
    • Adagio from Piano Trio (Sonata) in C Major, Op. 47 (1804)
  • Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)
    • Menuetto militare from Sonata (Trio) in D Major, Op. 12, No. 4 (1781)
  • Beethoven
    • Finale. Presto from Piano Trio in G Major, Op. 1, No. 2 (1795) 

Performer bios

In demand as a conductor and historical keyboardist, Derek Tam performs regularly in the Bay Area and elsewhere. Praised for his “deft” conducting (San Francisco Chronicle), Derek appears frequently with choral and orchestral ensembles. Recent engagements include collaborations with Ars Minerva, Bay Pointe Ballet, and Oakland Ballet. A specialist on historical keyboards, Derek has been lauded as “a master of [the harpsichord]” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Recent concerto appearances include performances with Chamber Music Silicon Valley, Elevate Ensemble, and the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. Derek is also a founding member and the harpsichordist of MUSA, a San Francisco–based baroque ensemble.

Baroque violinist and violist Cynthia Black performs at home in the Bay Area and across the United States. She regularly performs with the American Bach Soloists and MUSA Baroque, and other appearances include concerts with Quicksilver, Les Délices, the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. She recently completed a doctoral degree in Historical Performance Practice at Case Western Reserve University and holds modern viola degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her primary teachers include Julie Andrijeski, Lynne Ramsey, and Robert Vernon.

Since moving to the United States, Swiss-American cellist Frédéric Rosselet has been performing with local ensembles and music festivals such as American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, Chamber Music Silicon Valley and Yellow Barn. Equally at ease on modern and period instruments, he enjoys exploring new repertoire for the cello and discovering early works on baroque cello and viola da gamba. Frédéric studied at both the Basel Music Academy and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, then obtained his DMA from the University of Southern California. He is now on faculty at Santa Clara University.

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Marianna Martines: Classical Composer in Vienna (1744-1812)

Hispanic Society of America presents SONNAMBULA

Marianna Martines was a composer of Spanish lineage living and working in Vienna at the height of the Classical era. She lived with her family on Vienna’s Michaelerplatz, in a stately building whose other inhabitants included Esterházy court poet Metastasio and composer Nicola Porpora, the latter of whom taught Marianna to compose and play the harpsichord. Marianna’s lessons with Porpora were accompanied by yet another neighbor: a young Haydn, then a struggling musician who lived upstairs in the attic rooms. Mozart was a frequent guest to her salons, and composed four-hand piano sonatas to perform with her.

Join us to celebrate this 18th-century urban tale with a rare concert featuring her music and a lecture devoted to her life and times.

Lecture at 6:30 PM
Concert at 7 PM
Free Reception to Follow

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Spain Culture New York-Consulate General of Spain and New York State Council on the Arts.

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Essays Define Early Music Making in England

The Country Dance, by Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721)

The Country Dance, by Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721)


Beyond Boundaries: Rethinking Music Circulation in Early Modern England. Linda Phyllis Austern, Candace Bailey, and Amanda Eubanks Winkler, editors. Indiana University Press, 2017. 317 pages.

By Valerie Walden

BOOK REVIEW — Beyond Boundaries is a collection of 15 essays that seek to re-examine 19th- and 20th-century attitudes towards early modern English music making (ca. 1550-1800). The editors explain in the introduction that the artificial social and purpose-driven boundaries created in earlier scholarship are not sufficient to describe the music making of the period, which “fluidly moved between social and professional hierarchies, oral/aural and written traditions, and sacred and secular contexts.” These richly resourced essays, organized in chronological order, convincingly re-evaluate the use of architectural space and the distinctions between nationalities, gender, professional status, and class distinctions to arrive at a deeper understanding of the musical practices of this era.

BeyondBoundariesCover 400Chapters 1, “Tudor Musical Theater: Sounds of Religious Change in Ralph Roister Doister” (Katherine Steele Brokaw), and 2, “English Jesuit Missionaries, Music Education, and the Music Participation of Women in Devotional Life in Recusant Households from ca. 1580 to ca. 1630” (Jane Flynn), describe how musicians negotiated the political dangers inherent in the antagonistic relationships between the ever-changing Protestant and Catholic governments of the 16th century. Brokaw, for example, demonstrates how the composer Nicholas Udall was able to utilize what she calls “shape-shifting to successfully negotiate the social and religious anxieties of the court of Mary Tudor,” while Flynn provides an interesting account of the clandestine accommodations made to liturgical practice by Catholics during the reigns of Protestant monarchs.

Chapters 3, “The Transmission of Lute Music and the Culture of Aurality in Early Modern England” (Graham Freeman), and 4, “Thomas Campion’s ‘Superfluous Blossomes of His Deeper Studies’: The Public Realm of His English Ayres” (Christopher R. Wilson), discuss the popularity and dissemination of solo lute music and songs with lute accompaniment, detailing the performance environment, including choice of location, which sometimes created incentives for publication and sometimes did not.

Dramatic vocal music is the topic of the next three essays: “Oyez! Fresh Thoughts about the ‘Cries of London’ Repertory” (John Milsom); “‘Locks, Bolts, Barres, Barricados’: Song Performance, Gender, and Spatial Production in Richard Brome’s The Northern Lass” (Katherine R. Larson); and “‘Lasting-Pasted Monuments,’ Memory, Music, Theater, and the Seventeenth-Century English Broadside Ballad” (Sarah F. Williams). These describe English audiences’ fascination with text taken from working class topics, including Williams’s look at the “pop” tunes printed on broadsides being especially engaging.

Moving forward to the post-Restoration period, Chapter 8, “The Challenge of Domesticity in Men’s Manuscripts in Restoration England” (Candice Bailey), regards gender and musical purpose in the evaluation of keyboard music. Chapters 9, “A Midcentury Musical Friendship: Silas Taylor and Matthew Locke” (Alan Howard); 10, “Music and Merchants in Restoration London” (Bryan White); and 11, “Daniel Henstridge and the Aural Transmission of Music in Restoration England” (Rebecca Herissone), examine the practice of categorizing the professional or amateur status of musicians by social level and question the validity of evaluating compositional worth and purpose by the degree of difficulty in the notated music. Also interesting is the observation that, despite rising literacy rates in England, aural transmission of music remained an important method of distribution well into the 18th century.

Portrait of Queen Anne by Michael Dahl (1705)

Portrait of Queen Anne by Michael Dahl (1705)

The final four chapters bring the reader fully into the 18th century and identify a variety of issues regarding patronage by the upper classes. Chapter 12, “Courtly Connections: Queen Anne, Music, and the Public Stage” (Amanda Eubanks Winkler), discusses the use of music to popularize Queen Anne’s rule, while Chapter 13, “Disseminating and Domesticating Handel in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain” (Suzanne Aspden), uses Handel’s career to demonstrate the “intermingling of the public and the private” in 18th-century London’s entertainment.

The final two chapters — “From London’s Opera House to the Salon? The Favourite (and Not So ‘Favourite’) Songs from the King’s Theatre” (Michael Burden) and “Education, Entertainment, Embellishment: Music Publications in the Lady’s Magazine” (Bonny H. Miller) — detail how publicly performed arias and popular songs migrated from the stage to the home, again blurring the distinction between public and private, professional and amateur music making. Burden is especially successful in explaining and visualizing the performance practices of 18th century opera singers.

While the academic style of the prose is occasionally dense and sometimes detracts from an easy understanding of the topics under discussion, this book is valuable in bringing new research and a fresh approach to demonstrate that music making in England during the 16th to 18th centuries was vibrant, varied, often spontaneous, and a shared experience enjoyed by all of its citizens.

Valerie Walden received her Ph.D. from the University of Auckland, is the author of One Hundred Years of Violoncello; A History of Technique and Performance Practice, 1740-1840, a chapter in The Cambridge Companion to the Cello and Reader’s Guide to Music, and 31 entries in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musician. She is preparing an edition of the music of the noted 19th-century London cellist Robert Lindley for A-R Editions.

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The Thrill of Discovery

The view form oboist Debra Nagy's desk with Handel and Haydn Society.

The view from oboist Debra Nagy’s desk with the Handel and Haydn Society.


First in our series of guest articles marking Early Music Month

By Debra Nagy

Everyone can understand the thrill of a really great thrift store find: top quality, lightly used, stylish, perhaps a bit unexpected, and a great price! Retro is IN and it’s new to YOU.

That’s one of the great things about being an early music lover: the thrill of discovering new music that no one else (or at least none of your friends) has heard or performed.

Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society is doing just that this week preparing Juan Cristomo de Arriaga’s Symphony in D with guest director Nicholas McGegan. It’s a rare and wonderful thing when everyone present has the opportunity to discover and enjoy something “new” — we’ll be playing a modern premiere in Symphony Hall on Friday, March 3 and Sunday, March 5.

Arriaga earned the moniker “The Basque Mozart” in his own lifetime. A true wunderkind, Arriaga was born on January 27, 1806 (50 years to the day after Mozart), in Bilbao, Spain, and composed his first piece at age 11. By 13, he had composed an opera, Los esclavos felices, of which only fragments survive. At 15, Arriaga traveled to Paris for studies in violin and composition at the Paris Conservatoire, where he was appointed a teaching assistant just two years later. An incredible, driven talent, Arriaga died of exhaustion just shy of his 20th birthday. His Symphony in D was one of his last works.

I learned today that Arriaga’s only symphony is powerful, richly expansive, and full of beautiful melodies. Audiences will get to hear it for themselves this weekend!

Baroque oboist Debra Nagy found it a bit odd when The New York Times saw fit to call her “busy and fluent” a number of years ago, but these days her playing is “distinctly sensual, pliant, warm, and sweet.” When she’s not busy performing, practicing, or dreaming up new projects, she can be found cooking up a storm in the kitchen or commuting by bicycle from her home in Cleveland’s historic Ohio City neighborhood.

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