2016-17 International Series Concerts (More information will follow...)
Vivaldi’s the Four Seasons: Nature Transformed
House of Time
Gonzalo X. Ruiz, oboe
Stephen Schultz, flute
Tatiana Daubek, violin
Beiliang Zhu, cello
Arnie Tanimoto, viola da gamba
Avi Stein, harpsichord
To open our 35th season, SDEMS is proud to present Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as you’ve never heard it before! In a naturalistic masterpiece newly and imaginatively arranged by Gonzalo X. Ruiz, the instruments will vividly portray bird song, brooks bubbling, and dogs barking, as well as the sounds of summer storms and wintry winds! We’ll also hear several works by J.S. Bach in this diverse and lively concert.
“[Ruiz is] one of only a handful of truly superb baroque oboists in the world.”
–Alte Musik Aktuell
"Breathtaking: A Voice and a Cornetto Entwined"
Hana Blažíková, soprano, and Bruce Dickey, cornetto
Monica Huggett, violin
Tekla Cunningham, violin
Joanna Blendulf, viola da gamba
Stephen Stubbs, theorbo
Michael Sponseller, organ and harpsichord
“Breath-taking” defines the power which creates and animates the sound of the cornetto and the human voice. And in another sense, “breathtaking!” is the perfect term for the performances of Hana Blažíková and Bruce Dickey. In this concert, Blažíková’s sparkling soprano converses with Dickey’s brilliant cornetto performance on an instrument renowned in the 16th and 17th centuries for its ability to imitate the human voice, and called by Mersenne a “ray of sunshine piercing the shadows.” Another amazement will be the world premiere of Nigra sum sed formosa by prominent Greek composer Caliope Tsoupaki, a text heard earlier in this program set by 17th century composers Victoria and Tarquinio Merula.
“The plangent eloquence and dare-devil bravura of Bruce Dickey’s cornetto playing
would charm the skin off a snake.”
–BBC Music Magazine
Boston Camerata: "Puer Natus: A Medieval Christmas"'
The Boston Camerata
Anne Azema, soprano and director Camila Parias, soprano
Deb Rentz-Moore, alto
Christa Patton, harp
Michele Levy, vielle
and featuring the San Diego Children's Choir
A gift to open your holiday season! “A Child is Born” is a presentation of festive music of Medieval Europe that will lift your heart. The Boston Camerata, accompanied by the San Diego Children’s Choir, will present songs to the Virgin Mary, processionals from Saint Martial of Limoges, hymns, lyrics, and miracle ballads, sung in Latin, Old French, Old Provençal, and Saxon, interlaced with Medieval English texts of the Nativity.
“A power beyond words, elevating your heart with the music.”
Hesperion XXI and Jordi Savall: "Musica Nova"
SDEMS is proud to present Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI! Their program focuses on the richness of Venetian music for a quartet of violas da gamba joined by theorbo, chitarra, and percussion. Here is a great opportunity to hear this premier group in the warm, mellow embrace of St. James church, playing music composed between the end of the Renaissance and the Baroque, 1540 to 1690: a memorable evening of Gabrieli, Legrenzi and Merula, among others!
“Savall’s group functions as a flawless, completely engaged ensemble, but their real strength lies in bringing the wonderful colors of these ancient instruments to life.”
–Jacob Street, Boston Musical Intelligencer
“In a word: perfection.”
–Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune
Akademie für alte Musik Berlin: "Of Frogs and Men - Nature of the Baroque"
The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin is one of the world’s pre-eminent ensembles performing on original instruments. Their program promises to be charming – and highly unusual! Devoted to baroque music centered on nature, it presents pieces compared to animals or birds, such as Telemann’s Violin Concerto in A, “The Frogs,” and Farina’s Capriccio Stravagante whose movements portray such creatures as cats, dogs, and roosters! Also portrayed will be natural events such as a La Tempesta di Mare (storm at sea), depicted by Vivaldi. The program will conclude with Geminiani’s variations on La Follia after Corelli.
“When the acclaimed period-instrument chamber orchestra Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin f inished its fleet, incisive performance of this work, there were gasps of delighted surprise from people in the audience, including one audible ‘Oh, gee!’”
Orlando Consort: "The Rose, the Lily, and the Whortleberry"
Immerse yourself in sound and surroundings! The liquid stream of the four voices of the famed Orlando Consort sing among the mosaic beauty of Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Cardiff. A musical bouquet for spring, the program features a veritable garden of music centered on flowers, plants and horticulture. Throughout history, the symbolic and allegorical allure of plants and flowers has been irresistible to composers who have delighted in the overt beauty and secret codes they convey. This program features European composers from the 13th-16th centuries who used floral imagery to illustrate both earthly and heavenly love.
“The Orlando Consort’s performances are staggeringly beautiful.”
Paul O'Dette and Ronn McFarlane: "For Two Lutes: Virtuoso Duets from Italy and England"
Paul O’Dette and Ronn McFarlane, lutes
A dream combination come true! The two pre-eminent lutenists of our time perform a program of virtuoso duets from Italy and England, in the intimacy of a welcoming chamber setting at Cuyamaca College. In music both improvised and explicitly composed, O’Dette and McFarlane will inspire each other and dazzle you with delightful and inventive pieces by such composers as Francesco da Milano and John Dowland. Come and revel in flourishes of fantasias and contrapuntos, pavans and galliards!
Throughout the night, both performers demonstrated unflagging technical mastery,
a subtle sense of poetry, and an easy ensemble rapport.”
–Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe