The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Madison Choral Project and the Madison Chamber Choir will give a joint concert of music by Frank Martin, Ralph Vaughan Williams and more this Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

May 16, 2016
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By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear has received the following notice, which is noteworthy on several counts artistic, educational and social:

On Friday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, May 22, at 2:30 p.m., two Madison choirs join forces on a unique pair of fantastic concerts.

The two performances will take place at the First Congregational Church of Madison, 1609 University Ave., near Camp Randall.

Tickets are available in advance at www.themcp.org as well as at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, $20 in advance; students are$10 student with student I.D)

The conductor will be of Albert Pinsonneault (below), who used to teach at Edgewood College and now teaches at Northwestern University.

albert pinsonneault Edgewood mug BW

The Madison Choral Project (below top) and the Madison Chamber Choir (below bottom) will team up for the first time to present the transcendentally beautiful “Mass for Double Choir” by Frank Martin.

Madison Choral Project color

Madison Chamber Choir 1 BIGGER

The Mass for Double Choir (1926) by Swiss composer Frank Martin (1890-1974, below) is one of the masterpieces of 20th-century choral music. Lush and gorgeous, with sweeping melodies, it is brilliant vocal writing on a grand scale. The 25-minute Martin Mass is truly a symphony for voices. (You can hear the “Agnus Dei” movement in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

Frank Martin

The two choirs will also present “The Gallant Weaver” for three soprano soloists and a cappella (unaccompanied) choir by Scottish composer James MacMillan (below) and Jonathan Quick‘s arrangement of the Scottish folk tune “Loch Lomond.”

James MacMillan headshot

The choirs will additionally perform separately, with the Madison Chamber Choir singing Ralph Vaughan Williams’Serenade to Music,” and the Madison Choral Project performing David Baker’s “Images, Shadows, Dreams: Five Vignettes.”

Jazz icon David Baker (1931-2016, below) set text of poet Mari Evans (b. 1923) in “Images, Shadows, Dreams: Five Vignettes.” The poetry describes five tableaux or scenes from the perspective of the underprivileged in America.

The music is jazz-derived, with voices joined by a full rhythm section of string bass, drums, and piano as well as flute and guitar.

David Baker

During the performance of the Baker piece, students from UW-Odyssey Project (below) will recite original works, giving a local voice to complement the poems of Mari Evans. The UW-Odyssey Project serves adults near the poverty level.

Odyssey students have gone from homelessness to become college graduates, and from incarceration to doing meaningful work in the community. We are especially excited to share their voices in our concert.

UW Odyssey Project


Classical music: This Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m., Wisconsin Public Radio — the biggest friend of classical music in the state — will broadcast the fifth annual holiday concert by the Madison Bach Musicians that took place last Saturday night.

December 19, 2015
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By Jacob Stockinger

Last Saturday night saw one of those unfortunate train wrecks.

And making it even more unfortunate was that it came at holiday time, when music takes on special meaning and seems more festive or celebratory.

The conflict centered on two very worthwhile concerts by two very reliable groups.

The first was the fifth annual Holiday Concert by the Madison Bach Musicians at the First Congregational Church of Christ, seen below in a photo by Kent Sweitzer.

The program featured two cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, a recently discovered “Gloria” Cantata by George Frideric Handel; and the Christmas Concerto in G minor by Arcangelo Corelli plus chamber music by Georg Philipp Telemann. (You can hear the lovely Corelli concerto performed by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra in a YouTube video at the bottom.)

Here is a link with much more information as well as an interview with MBM founder, director and harpsichordist Trevor Stephenson:

https://welltempered.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/classical-music-trevor-stephenson-explains-why-baroque-music-sounds-so-good-at-holiday-time-his-madison-bach-musicians-will-perform-their-annual-baroque-holiday-concert-of-bach-corelli-and-telemann/

Madison Bach Musician -Baroque Holiday 2015 cr Kent Sweitzer

The second concert was a single performance – there used to be two – by the UW-Madison Choral Union and UW Symphony Orchestra with graduate student and guest soprano Tyana O‘Connor, all under the baton of Beverly Taylor, in Mills Hall on the UW-Madison campus.

That program was all 20th-century and featured the Overture to “The Wasps” by Ralph Vaughan Williams; the Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky; and the Gloria by Francis Poulenc.

Here is an interview about the program with Beverly Taylor who is the choral director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music:

https://welltempered.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/classical-music-the-uw-choral-union-and-uw-symphony-orchestra-will-perform-an-all-20th-century-program-of-works-by-vaughan-williams-stravinsky-and-poulenc-this-coming-saturday-night-plus-conductor/

The Ear couldn’t go to both and went to the memorable Choral Union concert, which I will comment on tomorrow.

But veteran critic John W. Barker (below), who writes for Isthmus and often for this blog, did go to the Madison Bach Musicians and filed this rave review:

http://isthmus.com/music/baroque-holiday-madison-bach-musicians/

John-Barker

Thanks to Wisconsin Public Radio – the biggest friend of classical music in the state – you can hear most of the Madison Bach Musicians’ concert (the Bach, Handel and Corelli) this Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

The broadcast may be delayed and not live. But it is NOT too late for the holidays!

The Ear will be tuning in.

If you also missed it, perhaps you will too.


Classical music: The Madison Choral Project adds a second performance in late May with famed guest conductor Dale Warland. Plus, you can hear J.S. Bach’s famous “Goldberg” Variations arranged for string trio in a FREE concert on Friday at noon.

April 30, 2015
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ALERT: This week’s FREE Friday Noon Musicale, to be held from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed First Unitarian Society of Madison Meeting House at 900 University Bay Drive, will offer a transcription of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations, originally composed for solo harpsichord, arranged for string trio by Russian violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky. Performers are Kangwon Kim, violin (below); Micah Behr, viola; and Mark Bridges, cello. (You can hear the opening of this transcription, with the arranger who was inspired by Glenn Gould, in a YouTube video at the bottom.)

Kangwon Kim

By Jacob Stockinger

Our friends at the Madison Choral Project (below) write:

Madison Choral Project color

Dear Friends of Great Choral Music,

Due to high interest, we are pleased to announce we have added a second concert with guest conductor Dale Warland (below).

Maestro Warland’s program is titled: “Music of Our Time,” and features a wonderful array of music including Morten Lauridsen, Arvo Part, Ola Gjeilo, Carol Barnett, and even a work by Warland himself.

Dale Warland

We will now offer two concerts on the last weekend of May, both at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1609 University Ave, Madison:

Friday May 29th, at 7:30pm (Tickets are still available)

OR

Sunday May 31st, at 2:30pm

You can get your tickets by clicking on the links above, or going through our website: www.themcp.org/tickets 

Join us for this memorable evening of music-making!

A reception at the church to follow each concert.

The distinguished career of choral composer and conductor, Dale Warland, spans more than six decades and has made a profound contribution to the music of our time.

As founder and music director of The Dale Warland Singers, he commissioned over 270 new choral works and fostered the careers of an entire generation of composers.

This program, “Music of our Time,” features compositions by 20th and 21st century composers such as Ola Gjeilo, Arvo Pärt, Dominick Argento and Morten Lauridsen, as well as several others. With just over an hour of music, the concert will be divided into six thematic sets: 1- American Voices; 2- From the Balkans; 3- From Belgium; 4- Traditional Texts: International Voices; 5- Classic American Folk and a Madrigal; and 6- From Minnesota.

All musical selections were chosen by Dale Warland, specifically for this collaboration with the Madison Choral Project.

If you would like to change your tickets from Friday to Sunday, please reply to this email and we can assist you.

 


Classical music: The Madison Choral Project celebrates the holidays and the Winter Solstice on this Saturday with reading, carols and music.

December 17, 2014
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By Jacob Stockinger

The Madison Choral Project’s founder and music director Albert Pinsonneault (below) writes:

Albert Pinsonneault 2

Hi Jake!

Here is information about the Madison Choral Project’s upcoming concert: “O Day Full of Grace” on this coming Saturday, Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m., First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1609 University Avenue, Madison.

The concert will feature the 22-voice professional chamber choir the Madison Choral Project (below to), and readings from Noah Ovshinsky (below bottom) of Wisconsin Public Radio, as well as audience sing-along carols.

Madison Choral Project color

Noah Ovshinsky

Tickets are $20 online or $25 at the door.

Here is a link for tickets: http://themcp.org/tickets/

Here is a link to the Madison Choral Project general website: http://themcp.org

And here is the complete program:

– Reading from Ovid’s “Amores”

– Carol with Audience: “Once in Royal David’s City

SET 1: THERE WILL BE LIGHT

– “Benedictus Dominus” by Ludwig Daser (1525-1589)

– “Die mit Tränen Säen” by Johann Schein (1586-1630)

– “Helig” from “Die Deutche Liturgie” by Felix Mendelssohn (below, 1809-1847)

mendelssohn_300

SET 2: UNDERSTANDING THROUGH LOVE

– “Mary Speaks” by Nathaniel Gawthrop (b. 1949)

– Reading from Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning”

– “The Gallant Weaver” by James MacMillan (b. 1959)

– “Entreat Me Not To Leave You” by Dan Forrest (b. 1978)

– Carol with Audience: “Silent Night”

INTERMISSION

SET 3: HAVE JOY NOW

– Reading from Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese”

– “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” arr. Dale Grotenhuis (1932-2012)

– “Away in a Manger,” arr. Bradley Ellingboe (b. 1958)

– “Ding Dong! Merrily on High,” arr. Carolyn Jennings (b. 1929)

SET 4: AT THE END OF DAYS, GRACE

– Reading, e.e.cummings’ “i thank you”

– “O Day Full of Grace” by F. Melius Christiansen (1871-1945)

– Reading Ranier Maria Rilke‘s “Sunset”

– Carol with Audience: “Day Is Done”

– “The Long Day Closes” by Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), which can be heard in a YouTube video at the bottom.

ENCORE

– “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord” by Moses Hogan (1957-2003)

 


Classical music: The Madison Choral Project celebrates receiving tax-exempt status with a fundraiser on Nov. 2 and announces its new season, which features the renowned choral conductor Dale Warland.

October 10, 2014
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ALERT: This week’s FREE Friday Musicale at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 University Bay Drive, will run 12:15 to 1 p.m. and feature classical guitarist Steve Waugh (below) playing music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Jorma Kaukonen, Francisco Tarrega, Rodgers and Hart, and more. This concert is in the Landmark Auditorium.

Steve Waugh

By Jacob Stockinger

Albert Pinsonneault (below), who founded and directs the Madison Choral Project, writes:

Albert Pinsonneault 2

Dear Friends,

I am so proud to share with you some amazing news:

The Madison Choral Project is the newest official 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit in the state of Wisconsin!

We couldn’t have done it without you!  All future donations to us are tax-exempt — as are past donations, retroactive to August of 2013.

Help us celebrate!

We are hosting our second annual Gala Event and Fundraiser on Sunday, November 2, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Hotel RED on the corner of Monroe and Regent streets near the UW-Madison Badger’s Camp Randall Stadium.

There will be live music from MCP musicians from 3 to 4 p.m.; a silent auction with many unique items from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.; light appetizers served and a cash bar; and many amazing people to meet!

CLICK HERE to learn more about our event and to purchase tickets!

If you have an item that you would like to donate to our silent auction, contact us by replying to this message!

With all our thanks,

The Madison Choral Project

Madison Choral Project color

THE NEW SEASON

And here is the coming three-concert season of the MCP:

The Madison Choral Project (MCP) has announced its third season, which features internationally renowned choral conductor Dale Warland (below), and notable local artists Martha Fischer, Bruce Bengtson, Noah Ovshinsky and the Madison Youth Choirs.

Dale Warland

CONCERT 1: “O Day Full of Grace,” MCP’s second annual holiday concert, opens the season on Saturday, December 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the First Congregational Church of Christ in Madison, 1609 University Ave.  It will feature an evening of traditional holiday music, secular music, narrated texts and audience singing all surrounding the theme of a transformative time, place or experience.

MCP is again partnering with Noah Ovshinsky (below), Assistant News Editor at Wisconsin Public Radio, who will narrate readings interposed amongst the musical selections.

Noah Ovshinsky

CONCERT 2: The stunning and sublime Requiem by French composer Gabriel Faure (below top) will headline the choir’s second concert, which will also feature the striking “Te Deum” of contemporary Scottish composer James MacMillan (below bottom) on Saturday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church. (You can hear the opening of James Macmillan’s “Te Deum” in a YouTube video at the bottom.)

faure-1

James MacMilllan

MCP is partnering with organist Bruce Bengtson, Director of Music at Luther Memorial Church in Madison, on both the Faure and MacMillan.

February is also the culmination of a period of educational exchange between MCP and the Madison Youth Choirs, and this concert will include a performance by the Ragazzi (below, in a photo by Dan Sinclair) and Cantabile ensembles of the Madison Youth Choirs, both alone and in a combined work with the MCP singers.

Madison Youth Choirs Ragazzi by Dan Sinclair

CONCERT 3: The season will close on Friday, May 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Christ under the direction of renowned guest conductor Dale Warland, and collaborating pianist Martha Fischer (below left, with her husband pianist Bill Lutes), Professor of Piano and head of the graduate collaborative piano program at the University of Wisconsin.

martha fischer and bill lutes

This concert marks Warland’s first return to conduct in Madison in 20 years.

Dale Warland is considered one of the most influential American choral musicians of all time, and is one of only two choral conductors to be inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

He founded the pioneering choral ensemble, the Dale Warland Singers, in 1972.  The group was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance in 2003, and their 29 commercial CDs remain standard issue for choral conductors and educators around the country.

Tickets for the 2014-2015 season are available online at www.themcp.org, and at the door before each concert.  Discounted student tickets are available with a valid student ID.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Classical music: The Madison Choral Project celebrates the holidays and the winter solstice with “A Light in the Darkness” concert this Saturday night.

December 19, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

The recently formed Madison Choral Project (below) will perform “A Light in the Darkness” concert this Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave., that features traditional holiday music combined with secular pieces focusing on the theme of light and darkness to mark the winter solstice — which falls on the same Saturday.

Madison Choral Project color

Perhaps Madison’s newest choral ensemble, the Madison Choral Project, is a fully professional 17-voice ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Albert Pinsonneault (below), who teaches and conducts at Edgewood College. You can hear the new choral group performing a work from Felix Mendelssohn‘s oratorio “Elijah” live in a concert this past May in a YouTube video at the bottom.

Albert Pinsonneault 2

MCP is a professional chamber choir dedicated to bringing international-caliber choral performances to southern Wisconsin.

Along with spoken texts, narrated by Noah Ovshinsky (below), assistant news director of Wisconsin Public Radio, the evening weaves together an eclectic range of old and new designed to be both balm and hope, joy and inspiration, on the darkest day of the year, December 21, the Winter Solstice.

Noah Ovshinsky

A world premiere performance (of a work by David Evan Thomas, below (will be featured among favorite composers such as Herbert Howells, Henry Purcell, Charles Ives, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Moses Hogan. (Update: The world premiere of a new work by Madison composer Jerry Hui has been taken off the program.)

Tickets are $20 general admission and $5 for students (with valid ID), and can be purchased online at www.themcp.org or at the concert.

David Evan Thomas

The program, arranged into four groups, includes:

Long, Long Ago (Herbert Howells)
; Silent Night (arr. Malcolm Sargent); 
Angels We Have Heard on High (arr. Matthew Culloton)
; Hear My Prayer (Henry Purcell); 
The Celestial Country: Double Chorus A Cappella (Charles Ives)

Prepare the Way (arr. Margareta Jalkeus); A Christmas Carol (Charles Ives)
; In Dulci Jublio (arr. Matthew Culloton); Jingle Bells (arr. David Moore)

“From Light to Light: Earth” by J. Aaron McDermid; and the 
WORLD PREMIERE of “Confirmatum est” by David Evan Thomas.

Go and Tell John (arr. Carolyn Jennings)
; Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Op. 31, No. 12 “We Hymn Thee” (Sergei Rachmaninoff); This Little Light of Mine (arr. Moses Hogan)
; Glory, Glory, Glory to the Newborn King (arr. Moses Hogan)

 


Classical music: The Madison Bach Musicians serve up a superb concert of “holiday” baroque music that goes beyond the holidays and shows the group has a new local tradition in the making.

December 17, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

Here is a special posting, a review written by frequent guest critic and writer for this blog, John W. Barker. Barker (below) is an emeritus professor of Medieval history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also is a well-known classical music critic who writes for Isthmus and the American Record Guide, and who hosts an early music show every other Sunday morning on WORT FM 89.9 FM. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the Madison Early Music Festival and frequently gives pre-concert lectures in Madison.

John-Barker

By John W. Barker

On Saturday night, the Madison Bach Musicians presented their third annual Baroque Holiday Concert at the First Congregational Church. That the event has taken solid hold was attested to by a record audience of over 300 people.

MBM group Holiday 2013

The idea is to avoid all the seasonal fluff and music mandated for hearing just because of its Christmas associations, and instead to present a program of excellent Baroque music, performed on period instruments, with stylistic skill and artistic vitality — material to be cherished any time of the year, not because the calendar tells us so.

The performers were, in effect, a vocal quartet and a string quartet (plus harpsichord and a bassoon for good measure). The guest singers were soprano Chelsea Morris, alto Sarah Leuwerke, tenor Peter Gruett, and bass Joseph Hubbard; the string players were Kangwon Kim and Brandi Berry, violins, Marika Fischer Hoyt, viola, and Martha Vallon, cello, with director Trevor Stephenson on harpsichord, and UW-Madison bassoonist Marc Vallon lurking in the wings. 

The program contained, in fact, almost no pieces with any Christmas connections.

The a cappella vocal quartet (below) launched the proceedings with a late Renaissance piece, to be sure: William Byrd’s beloved motet, “Ave verum corpus.” That is a work usually identified with choral repertoire, but Byrd composed it for more-or-less underground Catholic liturgies in Protestant England, probably to be sung by no more than one singer per part. It sounded very beautiful in this form, with the singers expertly balanced.

William Byrd Ave Verum Corpus MBM

Next, Morris sang the first half of George Frideric Handel’s setting of the Gloria segment of the Mass Ordinary, composed in Italy as a cantata for soprano, strings, and continuo.  Only recently discovered, this is not great Handel, but any Handel is good to have, and the bright and confident voice of soprano Chelsea Morris (below left) carried the segments beautifully.

MBM Chelsea Morris Vivaldi Gloria Holiday 2013

Marc Vallon (below) then joined in for one of Antonio Vivaldi’s many bassoon concertos, this one in A minor.  A bouncy but also thoughtful piece, it allowed appreciation of the very rich sounds of the Baroque bassoon.

MBM Marc Vallon bassoon Vivaldi holiday

Vivaldi also served to round out the first half of the program with his Trio Sonata, Op. 2, No. 12, a set of variations on the “La Folia” formula.  That idea was first carried out by Corelli in the last of his 12 Violin Sonatas, Op. 5. But Vivaldi showed that he could beat Corelli at his own game with a line of spectacularly varied variations. Kim and Berry (below left and right, respectively) brought off the virtuosic violin parts with precision and flair, a real rouser!

MBM Vivaldi La Folia

The second half was devoted in large part to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata 153, “Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind” about resisting the destructive temptations or “enemies” of the world in the coming year. The work calls for three soloists and a choir, with strings and continuo. In this case, the four singers constituted a “chorus” for the three chorale treatments, while the string players were one to a part. (The group is below.)

I fear I do an injustice to the other singers, but I have long admired the work of alto Sarah Leuwerke (below bottom, left) , and her singing this time was pure joy.

MBM Bach canata 2013 Dec

MBM Bach canata alto Sarah Leuwerke

Almost as an afterthought came three scant excerpts from — you guessed it — Handel’s Messiah. Hubbard gave sturdy renditions of the “darkness” recitative and aria from Part I, and then the four singers and the players (Vallon jumping in on bass line) joined in the chorus “For unto us a child is born”: it was fascinating to hear the almost madrigal-like qualities this familiar music took on in such a minimalist rendition.

MBM Handel Messiah 2013

As an encore, we were given the final chorus from Bach’s cantata 172, which is an elaboration of the Christmas chorale “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” (How brightly shines the morning star). (You can hear a different setting of the well-known tune from Bach’s Cantata No. 1 in a YouTube video at the bottom.)

It should be noted, too, that Stephenson (below) prefaced the concert with one of his witty and personable but exceedingly informative lectures.

Prairie Rhapsody 2011 Trevor Stephenson

The event was a totally delightful concert, proving ideal and much-appreciated musical respite from all the dunning of seasonal rituals. This is a tradition that Stephenson and his MBM should surely continue in years ahead.  Meanwhile, though, watch for their all-stops-out presentation of Bach’s great Mass in B Minor, this coming April 18 and 19.


Classical music: The Madison Bach Musicians will perform a concert of Baroque holiday music by Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, Handel and William Byrd this Saturday night.

December 10, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

Except perhaps for centuries-old hymns and carols, Baroque music remains the gold standard when it comes to the holiday season.

The Ear suspects it has something to do with the easy melding of the sacred and the secular that took place during the Baroque era, and with the transparent appeal and accessibility of the music itself.

All the major composers – Vivaldi (below top), Handel (below middle) and Bach (below bottom) took the religion of the day, whether Catholic or Protestant, seriously. But they also created music that stands just fine on its own in a more secular age.

vivaldi

handel big 2

Bach1

Little wonder, then, that with such popular music to draw on, the Madison Bach Musicians (below) will perform its third annual Baroque Holiday Concert on this coming Saturday evening, December 14, at 8 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave.

Kangwon KIm with Madison Bach Musicians

The repertoire for the concert features: William Byrd’s celestial a cappella Ave Verum Corpus (heard at the bottom in a popular YouTube video by The Tallis Scholars); Antonio Vivaldi’s Bassoon Concerto in A minor, with UW-Madison bassoonist Marc Vallon as soloist; Vivaldi’s fiery “La Folia variations; George Frideric Handel’s gorgeous sacred cantata “Gloria” for soprano and strings; Johann Sebastian Bach’s probing and magnificent Cantata BWV 153Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind” (See, Dear God, How My Enemies); and selections from Handel’s well-known oratorio “Messiah.”

Trevor Stephenson (below), founder and keyboard artist of the Madison Bach Musicians and a master at giving entertaining explanations of music, will give a free pre-concert lecture at 7:15 p.m.

Trevor Stephenson Explains

For more information, visit: www.madisonbachmusicians.org and www.trevorstephenson.com

Advance ticket prices: $20 General, $15 Students/Seniors (over 65)
Tickets at the door: $25 general admission, $20 for students and seniors. Visit www.madisonbachmusicians.org or call 608 238-6092.

Performers include the critically acclaimed guest singers Chelsea Morris – soprano; Sarah Leuwerke – alto; Peter Gruett – tenor; and 
Joseph Hubbard – bass.

Chelsea Morris soprano

Sarah Leuwerke alto

peter gruett

joseph Hubbard bass

Other performers are Kangwon Kim and guest artist Brandi Berry (below top), baroque violins; Marika Fischer Hoyt, baroque viola; Martha Vallon, baroque cello; Marc Vallon (below bottom), baroque bassoon; and Trevor Stephenson, harpsichord.

Brandi Berry Marc Vallon playing Mozart on bassoon


Classical music: Madison Bach Musicians offers two Holiday Baroque Concerts — one especially for children — with vocal and chamber music by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Corelli, Schutz and Lassus this Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

December 12, 2012
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By Jacob Stockinger

Music – and especially baroque music — is such an integral part of holiday celebrations, and you would be hard put to find a better sampler than the one being offered this coming weekend.

The Madison Bach Musicians (below) will offer two Baroque Holiday Concerts on this Friday night, Dec. 14, and Saturday afternoon, Dec. 15, in Madison’s First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, 1609 University Ave.

Kangwon KIm with Madison Bach Musicians

MBM will play the same program twice, but with somewhat differing formats.

Friday night will be the usual sequence of a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert lecture followed by an 8 p.m. concert.

On Saturday, the program will start at 3 p.m. in the afternoon and have lecture and demo interludes between the pieces. The Saturday concert will be geared particularly toward children and young adults and promises to be very fun and informative.

MBM founder and artistic director, keyboardist Trevor Stephenson (below) will talk about the featured composers lives — Bach, Handel, Corelli, Vivaldi, Schütz and Lassus.

Prairie Rhapsody 2011 Trevor Stephenson

The Madison Bach Musicians players will talk about their 18th-century instruments — such as the baroque violin, viola, and cello. The singers will discuss their approach to singing baroque music. And the audience will be invited onto the stage after the program to speak with the players. For the Family Concert, ticket prices for ages 6-18 are half-price.

The program includes J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV 122, “Das Neugeborne Kindelein”; 
Schütz’ “Allein Gott in der Höh
”; Lassus’ “Ave Regina Coelorum
”; Vivaldi’s Concerto for Strings in D major, RV 12; 
Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in C minor, Op. 6, No. 3 (middle movement is at bottom); 
selections from Handel’s “Messiah
” including “Every Valley” (tenor), “Thus saith the Lord” (bass), “But who may abide” (countertenor), “If God is for us” (soprano) and “
His yoke is easy” (vocal quartet).

Performers include Chelsea Morris, soprano; 
Joseph Schlesinger, countertenor
; Peter Gruett, tenor; 
Joshua Copeland, bass
; Kangwon Kim (below), Edith Hines, Lauren Basney, Mary Perkinson on baroque violins; Marika Fischer Hoyt and Micah Behr on baroque violas; Martha Vallon and Anna Steinhoff on baroque cellos; and 
Trevor Stephenson on harpsichord.

Kangwon Kim

Tickets
 are $20 general admission and $15 for students and seniors over 65 if purchased in advance; $25 and $20, respectively, at the door

The Dec. 15 Family Concert tickets are half-price for children and young adults 
ages 6-18 ($7.50 in advance, $10 at the door)

Advance-price discount tickets are on sale at: A Room of One’s Own, Farley’s House of Pianos, 
Willy St. Co-op (east and west), Orange Tree Imports & Ward Brodt.
Tickets also available at the door. Call (608) 238-6092 or visit www.madisonbachmusicians.org for more information.


Classical music news: Con Vivo plays music by The Four G’s – NOT the more famous Three B’s – to end its 10th anniversary season this Saturday night

June 7, 2012
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By Jacob Stockinger

Con Vivo! (below) – or “Music With Life” — will conclude its 10th anniversary season with a chamber music concert called “Gee, Isn’t That Grand!” The concert will be this Saturday night (June 9) at 7:30 p.m. in the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1609 University Ave., across from Camp Randall.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.  (Please note the date was changed from May 31.)

You probably know The Three B’s – Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. But when it comes to composers, can you name four G’s that don’t include Grieg?

Con Vivo’s concert will feature an eclectic selection with music by Gershwin, Gould, Glinka and Gigout.

The program includes eight jazzy Duets for Clarinet and Strings Bass written for Benny Goodman’s 70th birthday by Morton Gould (below), and “Three Preludes” for clarinet and piano by George Gershwin.

The early Romantic era is featured with the rarely performed Septet by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka.

And the “Grand Choeur Dialogue” in G major for solo organ by Eugène Gigout (below) will be played on the impressive organ at First Congregational Church.

Audience members are invited to join Con Vivo! musicians after the concert for a free reception to discuss this chamber music literature and to celebrate our 10th season.

The ensemble’s artistic director Robert Taylor (below), in remarking about the concert said, “We have always strived to present chamber music in an enjoyable and enlightening manner.  This program shows how varied the chamber music canon can be.  With our 10th season, we continue the tradition of bringing to our audience works that are familiar and some that are perhaps new, as well as the occasional surprise piece!”

Con Vivo! (below) is a professional chamber music ensemble composed of Madison area musicians assembled from the ranks of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and various other performing groups familiar to Madison audiences. 

For more information including background, here is a link:

http://convivomusicwithlife.org/


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