The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The early music group Ensemble SDG will perform psalms by Heinrich Schütz and other composers as well as sonatas and a canticle this Saturday night at Luther Memorial Church.

November 20, 2014
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By Jacob Stockinger

The Madison-based duo Ensemble SDG will perform a concert of early music on this Saturday night, November 22, 2014, at 7 p.m. in the Luther Memorial Church (below), 1021 University Avenue, in Madison, Wisconsin.

luther memorial church madison

The concert will feature special guests William Hudson, tenor, and Katherine Shuldiner, viola da gamba.

The program includes settings of Psalm texts by Heinrich Schütz (below with his psalms at bottom in a YouTube video), Johann Hermann Schein, and Jacques de Bournonville, with a setting by Johann Philipp Krieger of the anonymous canticle Laetare anima mea, as well as sonatas by Giovanni Battista Fontana, Dieterich Buxtehude and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre.

Heinrich Schutz

Ensemble SDG (below) features Madison musicians Edith Hines, baroque violin, and John Chappell Stowe, professor of harpsichord and organ at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. The duo has performed across the United States, and their recording of the complete works of J. S. Bach for violin and keyboard is soon to be released by Arabesque Records.

William Hudson is a founding member and director of LIBER: Ensemble for Early Music and was recently appointed Assistant Professor of voice and diction at Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, Ill.).

Katherine Shuldiner recently graduated from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, specializing in viola da gamba performance. She lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

ensemble sdg new USE

Admission to the concert on November 22 is $15; admission is free for students with a valid ID.

Ensemble SDG, a baroque violin and keyboard duo formed in 2009, performs music spanning the entire Baroque period, with a particular focus on the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The duo has presented works by German, French and Italian composers of the 17th and 18th centuries in recitals from the Midwest to the East Coast. Venues include Fringe Concerts at the 2009, 2011, and 2013 Boston Early Music Festivals; a recital featuring the Brombaugh organ at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois; the biennial meeting of the American Bach Society and the annual joint conclave of the Midwest and Southeastern Historical Keyboard Societies; the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music; Wisconsin Public Radio’s Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen; and multiple appearances at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, one being a performance of J.S. Bach’s six sonatas for violin and obbligato keyboard. This fall the duo will release a recording of Bach’s complete works for violin and keyboard.

Ensemble SDG takes its name from the epigraph (below top) used by Johann Sebastian Bach (below bottom) to sign many of his works. Soli Deo Gloria (“to God alone the glory”) represents the members’ common approach to music and to life, and it is with this grounding that they approach their technique, choice of repertoire, and interpretative decisions.

sdg

Bach1

Highly sought after as a specialist in historical performance, tenor William Hudson has been described as “positively hypnotic” by Gramophone magazine.  An accomplished ensemble singer, Mr. Hudson has performed with many of the nation’s leading early music ensembles including the Boston Early Music Festival Opera, The New York Collegium, The Waverly Consort, The Rose Ensemble, Boston Bach Ensemble, and Ensemble Project Ars Nova (PAN).

As a founding member and director of LIBER: Ensemble for Early Music (formerly Liber unUsualis), he has performed extensively throughout North America and abroad at international music festivals in England, Wales, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, France, Latvia, Estonia, and Spain. Mr. Hudson also enjoys an active solo career, singing the Evangelist in Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. John Passion, Apollo in Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo, the title role in Giacomo Carissimi’s Jephte, Lucano in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Mercury in Eccles’ Judgment of Paris, and Alessandro Stradella’s oratorio San Giovanni Battista with the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra.

An active scholar and clinician, Mr. Hudson (below, in a photo by Tall & Small Photography) was the winner of the 2009 Noah Greenberg award and has presented at the International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo. He has led master-classes and given lecture-demonstrations in medieval performance practice at universities throughout North America. He has recorded with Naxos, Passacaille, Arsis, Titanic and Dorian. Mr. Hudson holds a Master’s degree in Historical Performance from the Longy School of Music and a Doctor of Music in Early Music from Indiana University. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor of voice and diction at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.

William Hudson Tall & Small Photography

Katherine Shuldiner graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in viola da gamba performance under the tutelage of Catharina Meints. She has performed with Chicago based ensembles such as The Newberry Consort, BBE: Bach and Beethoven Ensemble, and The OC (The Opera Company).

She has also performed with Washington Bach Consort and La Follia Austin Baroque. Katherine recently finished her two-year term on the board of the Viola da Gamba Society of America and was chosen to perform in the first Early Music America’s Young Performers Festival during Boston Early Music Festival. This past summer, Katherine taught at the Madison Early Music Festival as well as the VdGSA Conclave.

katherine shuldiner USE

 


Classical music: Madison resident and Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Kitt Reuter-Foss will perform a song journey next Saturday to benefit the piano restoration at Arboretum Cohousing.

January 12, 2014
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By Jacob Stockinger 

A while ago, The Ear put out a call for guest bloggers.

Madison resident Janet Murphy has since responded with several blog posts. The latest one is about a concert by mezzo-soprano Kitt Reuter-Foss (below) that is coming up this coming Saturday night, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m.

kitt reuter foss copy

The concert is last of two concerts — a very successful appearance by Madison keyboard player Trevor Stephenson of the Madison Bach Musicians was the first — this season will benefit the restoration of the historic Mason and Hamlin grand piano at Arboretum Cohousing (below bottom) at 1137 Erin Street. Tickets are $25. Adds Murphy: You’d be wise to reserve ahead at: www.ArboretumCohousing.org or ArbcoPiabo@gmail.com or call 608-204-7131.

Arbco Grand Piano

Here is some information about Janet: “I received my bachelor’s and masters in musicology from the University of Michigan. After toiling in the music industry for 20 years, I got a bachelor’s in nursing from UW, and have worked as an RN (Registered Nurse) ever since.

“Music is now my hobby. I sing in the UW Choral Union, play with an informal recorder group, and I am currently taking banjo lessons. Needless to say I am a big fan of The Well-Tempered Ear.”

Here is the guest post, with many of her own photos, by Janet Murphy (below):

Janet Murphy

By Janet Murphy

Mezzo-soprano Kitt Reuter-Foss came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison — ostensibly as an early childhood education major — with her real objective being admission to the UW Swing Choir.  Fortunately for all of us, music professor Lois Fisher heard something in Kitt’s voice and told her she could do it. 

The “it” was opera.

The “it” was the Metropolitan Opera.

(For more about her and her history, see the extended and very cordial interview done by John Roach with Kitt for The Big Ten Network, in a YouTube video at the bottom of the page.)

That bit of history helps explain why Kitt — I love that she is affectionately known about town as “Kitt” — has theatrical chops and stage presence as remarkable as her voice, and why she moves between so many musical genres with ease.  She even did back up vocals on Do You for rapper Bow Wow.

So, if Kitt were free to put together a concert … anything she likes … what would it look like?

You have the chance to find out this coming Saturday at Arboretum Cohousing (below) when she’ll perform an up-close-and-personal concert with accompanist Jennifer Hedstrom (a member of the Madison-based group Clocks in Motion).  What a rare treat!

Arboretum Cohousing Arbco

Here’s what Kitt herself has to say about the program:

“I am planning to take a little trip “musically” through my journey from Oconomowoc High School to the stages of the Metropolitan Opera and others throughout the world. I will include some Broadway and jazz selections which have always kept me busy, too.”

Kitt’s journey includes Mozart, Puccini and Saint-Saens, but also Lerner and Lowe, Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Wicked. Carmen. My Fair Lady. Faust. Plus, a bit of art song and jazz for good measure. 

It will be a fascinating musical night to hear this all stitched together. 

As always, creative sweets and savories will be provided by the hosts (below).

Arbco Refreshments

More from Kitt (below): “Hi there: Here is the program — I will say a few words about the pieces and why I chose them.”

Kitt Reuter-Foss BW small photo
He touched me                                                                  Levin/Schafer

Se tu m’ ami, se sospiri      (attributed to Pergolesi)                   Parisotti

Pieta, Signore!                                                                           Stradella

Faites lui, mes aveux (Faust)                                                      Gounod

L’ amour est un oiseau rebelle: Habanera (Carmen)                        Bizet

Voi che sapete (Le Nozze di Figaro)                                            Mozart

Mon coeur s’ ouvre a ta voix (Samson et Dalila)                   Saint-Saens

O mio babbino caro (Gianni Schicchi)                                         Puccini

The Letter Scene (Werther)                                                      Massenet

INTERMISSION (a little break of 10 minutes)

Where is love?  As long as he needs me (Oliver)                      L. Bart

I could have danced all night!   Show me! (My Fair Lady)        Lerner/Loewe

Anyone can whistle!  No one is alone (Anyone can Whistle and Into the Woods)                                                                 Stephen Sondheim

I’m not that girl   For good (Wicked)                                 S. Schwartz

Memory (Cats)                                                   Andrew Lloyd Webber


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