The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: Nov. 24-30 features lots of early music and holiday fare

November 24, 2010
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By Jacob Stockinger

The Fall Semester is wrapping up and the holidays are fast upon us, officially kicked off with the “Black Friday” shopping extravaganza.

Over the year’s one of the reliable holiday staples – so popular it gets two performances on the same day – is the “Winter Lights” program by the Oakwood Chamber Players. Another favorite is the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s holiday pops concerts in Middleton.

And don’t forget the radio and TV, especially public radio and TV, which will feature a lot in the coming weeks.


Because of Thanksgiving, there is NO Friday Noon Musicale at the First Unitarian Society.

At 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, the Oakwood Chambers Players  (below) will perform its “Winter Lights” (Celebratory Clearing) program in the auditorium at Oakwood West Auditorium at 6206 Mineral Point Road on Madison’s far west side.

The program features audience favorites plus new works and a guest singer.

Tickets for concerts can be purchased at the door.  Ticket prices are $20 for general admission, with special prices of $15 for senior citizens and $5 for students. Cash and personal checks are accepted, but NOT credit cards.

If you have questions about any of the concerts, call and use the voice mail at (608) 230-4316.

For more information, visit:

In Beloit at 7:30 p.m., in the Eaton Chapel of Beloit College, the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble peforms.  See Saturday’s listings.


At 8 p.m. in the historic Gates of Heaven synagogue in James Madison Park, 300 East Gorham Street., the early music group the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble performs.

The program features Cello Sonata No. 1 by Vivaldi and Cello Sonata No. 2 by Geminiani; the canon for two cellos by D. Gabrielli; Handel’s cantata “Nice che fa?”; Bach’s aria “Betorte Welt”; Blavet;s flute sonata, Op. 2, No. 4; and selections from J.S Bach‘s “Well-Tempered Klavier.”

Tickets at the door are $15 general admission, $10 for students.

(In Beloit on Friday night, tickets at the door are $10 per person, $15 per couple, students free.)

For more information, visit:

For information about the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Holiday Middleton Pops Concert, at 8 p.m. at the Madison Marriott West, visit:

The WCO (below) will also have guest singer soloists and the Middleton High School Chorus will be featured.


At 1 p.m. the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra holiday pops concert repeats. See Saturday’s listing and visit:

Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen welcomes soprano Susan Bender and pianist Michael Keller on Sunday, November 28, at 12:30-2 p.m. in Brittingham Gallery III at the Chazen Museum of Art. The concert will be broadcast live by Wisconsin Public Radio.

The performance will feature a variety of pieces by different composers like Franz Schubert’s “Vier Conzonen,” D. 688; Claude Debussy’s “Paysage sentimental”; and Samuel Barber’s “Hermit Songs,” Opus 29.

Susan Bender is Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.  Bender has performed with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the United States Navy Band Sea Chanters, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and many more.

Michael Keller was a Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point until his retirement in May of 2008.  As a soloist he has performed in numerous concert series including Dame Myra Hess Series and St. Martin in the Fields, London, England.

Members of the Chazen Museum of Art or Wisconsin Public Radio can call ahead and reserve seats for Sunday Afternoon Live performances. Seating is limited. All reservations must be made Monday through Friday before the concert and claimed by 12:20 p.m. on the day of the performance. For more information or to learn how to become a museum member, contact the Chazen Museum at 608.263.2246.

A reception follows the performance, with refreshments generously donated by Fresh Madison Market, Coffee Bytes and Fair Trade Coffee House. A free docent-led tour in the Chazen galleries begins every Sunday at 2 p.m.


At 8:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall, the UW Early Music Ensemble under director Jeanne Swack (below), will perform works by Castello, Frescobaldi, Carr, Petri, Barbara Strozzi, Telemann and Handel.

Participants are Emily Worzalla, Karen Bishop and Jennifer Sams, sopranos; Jeanne Swack, recorder; Kristen Davies, baroque flute; Brian Ellingboe, baroque bassoon; Doug Lindsey, cornetto; Emily Fox, natural horn; Lauren Basney, baroque violin; Elias Goldstein, baroque viola; Kirsten Ihde, harpsichord and organ; and Richard Adams and Greg Schultz, harpsichord.

Admission is free and open to the public.

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