By Jacob Stockinger
Every summer, the Holy Wisdom Monastery (below) in Middleton (4200 County Road M) puts on “Prairie Rhapsody.” It is a benefit event designed to raise money for environmental restoration and preservation, and features light snacks and refreshments as well as terrific live music.
This year, the event will be held on this Thursday, June 28, with refreshments at 5:30 p.m. and the concert – featuring keyboardist Trevor Stephenson (below) and the Madison Bach Musicians plus special guests – at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $50 with $25 being tax-deductible. To sign up just follow the link below or call Mike Sweitzer-Beckman at (608) 836-1631 x124.
The Ear attended last summer’s concert and found it a restorative event. The grounds, full of wild flowers, and the handsome building are beautiful; the refreshments are tasty and plentiful; the socializing and conviviality are easy and welcome; and the music is first-rate and lovely.
Here is a link to the glowing review I wrote and posted last year:
For more information and reservations, visit:
Here is the more information about the event and program from Trevor Stephenson himself, who has performed at Holy Wisdom’s “Prairie Rhapsody” several times:
“Holy Wisdom Monastery is a wonderful space — spiritually and acoustically — and a great cause! On the program I’ll be joined by outstanding Canadian-American soprano Erin Cooper Gay from Toronto (who is making her Madison debut!) and the stellar Anna Steinhoff (below, in 2011) on viola da gamba.
“We’ll perform music by Bach, Handel, Scarlatti (both Alessandro and Domenico, father and son), Purcell, Marais and Monteverdi.
“Also, I’ll give a talk about the composers and the repertoire.”
The program features four harpsichord sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti (in D minor, “Pastorale,” K. 9, E major, K. 380, F minor, K. 238, and F minor. K. 239); Three Spiritual Songs by Johann Sebastian Bach (“Gib dich zufrieden,” “Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist Dir,” and “Dir, Jehovah, will Ich singen”) as well as his Sonata in G major for viola da gamba and harpsichord, BWV 1027; “If music be the food of love, play on (third version) by Henry Purcell; “Quel Sguardo Sdegnosetto” by Claudio Monteverdi; the Air and Variations (“The Harmonious Blacksmith”) plus three opera arias by Handel; the Chaconne for solo viola da gamba by Marin Marais; and a song by Alessandro Scarlatti.
The double-manual harpsichord played in the concert was made in 2010 by Norman Sheppard of Madison. It is modeled on an early 18th-century German instrument made by Mietke of Berlin.