Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's HIP to be square

Last week I went to two concerts of the Bloomington Early Music Festival. On Saturday, May 19th, I took my daughter to see Bloomington Baroque, really a catch-all name for any group of musicians organized by Stanley Ritchie. In this case, it included my daughter's violin teacher, Allison Edberg, along with Kiri Tollaksen and Bruce Dickey (!) on cornetto, bassoon, continuo, tenor, and two violas da gamba. Kiri and Bruce were fabulous, they can play so in tune and with wonderful dynamic shadings. Allison played the Schmelzer violin sonata, and turned in a great performance. Then this last Thursday I schlepped back to Bloomington to see Kiri and Bruce play in Kiri's group, Quarter Comma (a tuning system joke). This included a great soprano, continuo, dulcian (bassoon) and harp. The bassoonist hit some clunkers in his featured pieces, and the harpist made me nervous with her uncertain stage presence, but overall the concert was great. I sat closer for this concert so I could watch Bruce's and Kiri's fingers, picking up some good tips from these observations.

Boston's WGBH will be broadcasting Boston's Early Music Festival from June 11-17. It looks like the only opportunities to hear period brass music will be Nachtmusique and the festival orchestra (which includes former classmate Alex Bonus). Full details of the broadcast schedule can be found here or here for pdf.

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