How do you meld 12th-century music with psychedelic synth-pop? Composer Charles Mueller created new settings of troubadour and trobairitz poetry, where boundaries are a blurry mirage in the distance. Medieval ensemble Alkemie and Freelance Nun collaborate for an impressive blend of the medieval and the modern.
Like a jukebox musical, a pasticcio opera takes hit tunes from an artist or era and stitches them together with a bespoke plot. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Portland Baroque Orchestra is set to perform ‘Dinner with Handel,’ a pasticcio where the great composer is caught in a surprise dinner party—revealing the man and his complicated relationships.
Like Monteverdi, Emilio de’ Cavalieri took a ‘seconda pratica’ approach by breaking counterpoint rules to better convey the texts. He also experimented with new styles and techniques, such as dividing a whole-step into more than two pitches. Elam Rotem and his ensemble Profeti della Quinta specialize in this sort of treacherously difficult music to sing, and they deliver Cavalieri’s ‘Lamentations’ with exquisite precision. The effect is a little disorienting and thoroughly mesmerizing.
Playing an exceptional 1806 Broadwood fortepiano, Anders Muskens makes Beethoven’s beloved ‘Waldstein’ and ‘Appassionata’ sonatas sound not just vital and exciting but revolutionary and new.
Even before the ubiquity of Zoom, we were all conditioned to think that in-person musical interactions are always superior to anything online. Always. But what if a musician can’t spend the money or time to connect in person? The author argues that newer technology allows us a more nuanced approach: we can pick solutions that are financially, logistically, and artistically preferable.