Classical Orchestra and Concentus impress with dynamic Haydn

Bloomington Herald – MUSIC REVIEW

Chang’s performance was remarkable

By Peter Jacobi H-T Reviewer | pjacobi@heraldt.com | Posted: Monday, March 9, 2015 12:00 am

The Historical Performance Institute, formerly known as the Early Music Institute, brought great beauty to Auer Hall Friday evening with a program of music by Haydn.

In charge was Dana Marsh, an eminent scholar/conductor/organist/singer currently serving as visiting associate professor and coordinator at the institute. He had assembled the Indiana University Classical Orchestra, the ensemble Concentus and a brilliant fortepianist, Hsuan Chang, for an hour of Franz Joseph Haydn: his Piano Concerto Number 4 in G Major and the Mass in B-Flat Major (“Harmoniemesse”). The results of his assembling and preparing were delightful.

Chang, a doctoral candidate concentrating on mastery of both the fortepiano and the harpsichord, turned in a remarkable performance of the 1782 concerto, a lovely piece of music. Her limber and sensitive finger work on the gentler-than-piano instrument brought admirable flow and clarity to her interpretation. To that, she added a welcome warmth and elegance that the score appears to beg for. With the Marsh-led orchestra contributing complementary partnership, one heard a delicious collaboration, Haydn done in classic period style, the way the composer might have heard it or have wished to hear it.

The “Harmoniemesse” (“Wind-Band Mass”) was Haydn’s last major work, and he led its premiere at a church in Eisenstadt, back to where, earlier in his life, he had served the noble Esterhazy family. The music calls for a large contingent of wind instruments; thus, it acquires a majesty as a beefed up orchestra is joined by a chorus and four soloists who get to sing some sublime music, set to the standard text. Marsh led his forces with formidable energy and to strong impact, coaxing beauteous and stirring sound from the orchestral delegation, the 21-member chorus, and the fine soloists taken from within its ranks: soprano Madeline Stern, alto Amber McKoy, tenor Bille Bruley, and bass Jason Eck. Bravo to the whole of it.

Fortepianist, Hsuan Chang, offered a remarkable performance of Haydn Piano Concerto No. 4

Fortepianist, Hsuan Chang, offered a remarkable performance of Haydn Piano Concerto No. 4

Dana Marsh, Director
Dana Marsh, Director

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Historical Performance Institute Guest Recital

Byron Schenkman and Ingrid MatthewsThe Indiana University Jacobs School of Music welcomes baroque violinist Ingrid Matthews and harpsichordist Byron Schenkman in recital on January 17 at 7pm in Ford Hall.  The duo, along with alumna baroque cellist Shelley Taylor, will present a recital of virtuosic repertory from the late 16th century through the 18th century music of Fontana, Selma, Picchi, Uccellini, Leonarda, Scarlatti, and Veracini.

The violin and harpsichord duo are familiar to the Bloomington community.  Alumni of the Jacobs School of Music Historical Performance Institute (formerly the Early Music Institute), Matthews and Schenkman have returned to Bloomington on multiple occasions to perform.  Both are currently faculty at Cornish College and are active as recitalists and guest teachers across the country.  They founded the Seattle Baroque Orchestra in 1994, which flourished under their direction.  Ingrid will be a guest lecturer this spring at the Jacobs School during Stanley Ritchie’s sabbatical leave.

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Historical Performance Institute – What’s in a Name?

EPSON DSC Picture

Why Historical Performance Institute?

Dana Marsh

In recent months, a number of faithful friends of the HPI have expressed an interest in our change of name. Why change from “Early Music Institute” to “Historical Performance Institute”? Words are important when it comes to conveying definitions and meanings. These meanings can and do shift over time, so here follows our rationale.

As a performance discipline, Historical Performance (HP) has always moved forward via new discoveries and understandings in musical research. A century ago, the scholarship and performance communities tended to keep each other at a distance. Individuals from both groups who were interested in HP often had to collaborate outside of conventional professional circles. Over the past five decades, practitioners of HP – whether scholars, performers, or both – have brought the two pursuits together in a revelatory way. Globally, audiences now listen to Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque (not to mention Classical and Romantic) music with different ears than they did 40 years ago. Modern orchestras have over time felt obliged to adjust their interpretation of Baroque repertories. Historical Performance has caused a powerful transformation in musical culture worldwide.

As a scholarly activity, HP draws from a long continuum of overlapping research disciplines: the historiography of music, dance, and languages; the history of vocal and instrumental pedagogy, music theory, art, iconography, religion, and architecture; cultural and social history, philosophy, aesthetics, literary and textual criticism, paleography, the design and construction of historical instruments, etc. These disciplines variously combine to provide valuable insights through which today’s musician can devise a historically tenable basis for the interpretation of Early Music. As the surviving evidence will tend to give us only a fragmentary picture of the past, it is also our inevitable purpose as performers to move beyond the mere accidents of survival. A duly informed musician combines scholarly understanding with fresh skill, imagination, inspiration, and passion – to deliver a performance that present-day audiences find edifying, moving, and transformative.

Nearly a century after its beginnings, it could be said that “Early Music” refers to the founding group of interests and projects first taken up by a budding school of thought which we now call Historical Performance. Over the past five decades, “Early Music” has been used as a slogan to describe an expanding chronology of repertory. A consequence of that explosive growth is that the word “Early” has lost a good deal of its specificity and descriptive force. Moreover, Early Music as a label has referred chiefly to an “end” in itself (repertory), rather than a “means to an end” (method/process). We affirm that our work in HP is a means to many ends in higher education – a multidisciplinary vehicle that joins scholarship and performance, with flexibility to operate within any musical period.

It is our aim to bring the perspective and discipline of Historical Performance directly to the core of conservatory curricula. Most path-breaking progress within the profession has taken place collaboratively outside the curriculum of higher education. In recent decades of course, generations of students have benefited from the establishment of HP focused departments and programs. Given contemporary trends in new institutional configurations of arts and humanities research, it seems inevitable that in half a century the group of disciplines that have informed the work of HP thus far will coalesce in wholly new ways. We believe that our field has a great deal to offer towards that process.

Our change in name, then, does not alter the substance of our founding vision, but it does mark a critical step in charting a sustainable future for our work through the 21st century. We are not narrowing the scope of historical repertories included within our curriculum. Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music will continue to be the life-blood of our institution. We are committed as ever to provide our students with access to the broadest possible range of study.

Our founder, Thomas Binkley, once expressed his hope that “Early Music as a frontier” would one day disappear, so that “just music” would remain.* We see this change in name – which is not at all new or without precedent – as marking for us a timely step in that direction.

—————————

*Review Article: Ross Duffin, “The End of Early Music: A Period Performer’s History of Music for the Twenty-First Century by Bruce Haynes”, Bach 40, i (Riemenschneider Bach Institute, 2009): 84.

© Indiana University Jacobs School of Music – Historical Performance Institute, 2014

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

HPI Update

December 2014

A Message from Dana Marsh – Coordinator, Historical Performance Institute

IMG_8503

In Gratitude

Since emerging in Bloomington as a new, “green”, full-time faculty member some 12 weeks ago, I am grateful for the warm welcome offered by so many colleagues, staff, and students at the Jacobs School of Music (JSoM). It’s abundantly clear that the Historical Performance Institute (HPI) is an exceptional community of people – an admirable result of a long-time commitment and investment on the part of a caring faculty. HPI fosters a friendly, family atmosphere, and it is a privilege to work with such a special and supremely talented group of people. It’s no less inspiring to be party to the many currents of change and renewal taking place this year as we together implement new goals that point us towards an exciting future.

Fall 2014

New Faculty

We offer a very warm welcome to two new adjunct faculty this year: Keith Collins (bassoon, recorder), and Steven Rickards (voice). Special thanks also to EMI/HPI alum, Joanna Blendulf, who taught the students of Wendy Gillespie during her sabbatical leave this semester.

Special Guests

HPI has been a dynamo of activity this semester. We began with an extended visit from Professor Angela Mariani (D.M. alumna) from Texas Tech University, who led us on an insightful journey into the practices of “Improvisation and Invention in Medieval Music.” This series of symposia drew participation from the entire institute, as well as an extended family of local alums, associated faculty and students from neighboring departments. Through the congenial graces of the Medieval Studies Institute, we also welcomed Mary Carruthers for her presentation, “Stylistic Effects and Bodily Health in Medieval Aesthetics.” While that title may seem a bit far removed from the study of Medieval music, Professor Carruthers has written extensively on the Middle Ages from a variety of perspectives – many of which have proven highly germane to the work of Historical Performance. Her visit provided an intellectual breath of fresh air for all who attended.

The dynamic Dutch soprano, Josefien Stoppelenburg, presented two spirited Five Friends Master Class sessions in honor of Georgina Joshi. Josefien’s visit also opened the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project (BBCP) series – now at 27 cantatas and counting – and the sixth year is well under way. Stanley Ritchie directed the centrepiece BWV 17, “Wer dank opfert, der preiset mich” before a capacity crowd at St Thomas Lutheran Church in Bloomington. Fortuitously, the Jacobs School of Music has henceforward incorporated the BBCP into its official array of concerts. Indiana University, then, is now the only institution in higher education with a series devised to perform the entire cantata repertory of J.S. Bach (with a lecture at every performance), thanks to the redoubtable efforts of Professors Wendy Gillespie and Daniel Melamed.

5 Friends

(Pictured above: Josefien Stoppelenburg, Professors Wendy Gillespie and Elisabeth Wright with Yatish Joshi)

As I write this, we are looking forward to hosting a master class by the renowned soprano, Christine Brandes. Christine is an exceptional singer with substantial credits not only in the field of Historical Performance, but also within mainstream Opera and the expanding arena of New Music. Christine will also appear in a JSoM Project Jumpstart session entitled, “Navigating a Vocal Career that is Right for You”, in collaboration with IU voice faculty Mary Ann Hart (Chair), and Marietta Simpson.

Baroque Orchestra Recording Sessions in December

As ever, under the fearless leadership of Professor Stanley Ritchie, the IU Baroque Orchestra has been on especially good form this year – so much so, that the group is scheduled to record concerti of Handel, Telemann, and Marcello before the Christmas break. Two IUBO concerts were presented this semester, the first featuring music by Venetians, the second offering works by German and Bohemian composers. In addition to an excellent complement of string, wind, and continuo forces, we’ve also benefitted from a sturdy contingent of natural trumpet and horn players, whose talents were duly represented in Professor Ritchie’s programming.

Concentus NPR Broadcast and a New Recording from Nigel North

The HPI ensemble, Concentus, produced two exciting projects this semester, beginning with a program centered on Baroque music of Latin America. The menu included four modern premier performances of works by Manuel de Sumaya (1678-1755), including a four-movement solo cantata, beautifully sung by HPI doctoral student, Kathryn Summersett. There was a significant academic focus to the project as well: first, a JSoM Lecture Series presentation by Craig H. Russell, Distinguished Professor at Cal Poly and leading expert on Baroque music of Latin America, followed by a panel presentation consisting of three papers, co-sponsored by the Latin American Music Center. After a rousing concert in Auer Hall, students and faculty spent three days further refining their performances in recording sessions. The results of that venture are forthcoming this Christmas on 200 NPR stations nationwide via the syndicated radio program, Harmonia Early Music (WFIU-FM Bloomington), with added distribution coming from Public Radio International (PRI). Check your local NPR listings in December for the PRI program entitled, A Baroque Christmas in the New World. Read more and listen to excerpts here.

A second Concentus project brought listeners through a splendid selection of sixteenth-century arrangements of popular chansons, all masterfully programed and woven together by Professor Nigel North. Nigel also spent two weeks in Europe during October performing and teaching at the Aarhus International Guitar Festival (Denmark), the Northeast Guitar Festival (London), and the London Guitar Festival. He additionally completed a second volume disc recording of music by Francesco de Milano, the first of which was released in October of this year on the BGS label.

Historical Keyboard Fest

Three historical keyboard studio recitals in as many days showcased HPI’s harpsichordists and fortepianists in mid-November. Professor Elisabeth Wright, Dawn Kalis, and Hsuan Chang presided over these occasions, which offered a wonderfully varied selection of repertory. The harpsichordists were excellent, as one would come to expect in this department; but equally impressive was the superb coterie of fortepianists that have through solo and chamber music performances become among the chief adornments of HPI. Bravi tutti!

Update - Elisabeth Wright has released an exquisite new CD recording featuring keyboard works by J.S. Bach. It’s now available online!

Gamma-Ut

Gamma-Ut, HPI’s student-led organization, has fresh wind in its sails this year. Reorganized and reconfigured, the group has set new goals with exciting implications, not only for current students, but for ensuing generations of Gamma-Ut folk. New work has begun on our alumni pages, and there will be a series of blogs in 2015 chronicling the work of HPI alumni. Watch the Gamma-Ut page in the coming months for more information!

 

Spring 2015

Projects

What impresses me most about HPI is the sheer stylistic range of performance projects possible under one roof. For example, a grad-student led production will offer Hildegard’s Ordo Virtutum (c.1151) on April 18th; within weeks of that performance on March 6th, two of our department ensembles will have joined forces in Joseph Haydn’s final major work, Harmoniemesse (1802). As the name suggests, the latter work includes a full band of classical winds: flute, clarinets, oboes, bassoons; plus horns and trumpets. At similarly close range will be two performances of Bach’s Trauerode (BWV 198 – 1727). The first outing in Auer Hall will also feature Bach’s Missa in A (BWV 234 – c.1739), with another reading of Trauerode the next day at St Thomas Lutheran Church in Bloomington. The Auer Hall performance will offer a larger complement of performing forces than has been customary for the BBCP; the St Thomas Lutheran concert will involve our normal deployment, chiefly one-per-part (except for doubled first and second violins), which is thought to be truer to Bach’s own performance expectations. Musicology Chair and Bach specialist, Daniel Melamed, will present an insightful pre-concert lecture.

Wendy Gillespie will lead the Viol Consort in a rich program of music by Christopher Simpson (c.1605-1669). Performed at the Lilly Museum, and drawing from the rare book collection at the IU Lilly Library, this will be a program not to be missed, March 8th.

It’s truly remarkable that the fruition of the aforementioned projects will take place over a six week period, from March 6 to April 18. We shall update these pages regularly during that period with accounts of each project.

Five Friends Master Class – Robert Smith, Viola da Gamba

International Viola da Gamba sensation, Robert Smith, will lead a series of Five Friends Master Class sessions and a solo recital January 20-22. Watch this space for a special blog covering his visit in the New Year.

Ingrid Matthews Olson and Byron Schenkman return!

We are especially pleased also to welcome two of EMI/HPI’s most illustrious alumni – Ingrid Matthews Olson and Byron Schenkman – for a concert January 17th in Ford Hall. Gamma-Ut will run a special story on the work of these two graduates, early in 2015.

Stanley Ritchie on Sabbatical, Spring 2015

Professor Stanley Ritchie will be on sabbatical next semester undertaking a book project focusing on the interpretation of unaccompanied works by J.S. Bach. As his 2012 publication from IU Press (Before the Chinrest) has been received with high acclaim, we know that his wisdom gathered from many years experience teaching unaccompanied Bach will yield a resource of considerable utility for string players and interested scholars alike.

During Professor Ritchie’s absence, there will be four teachers resident at different periods: Ingrid Matthews Olson, Myron Lutzke, Cynthia Roberts, and Julie Andrijeski.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

MUSIC REVIEW: Baroque Orchestra

Music of the Baroque

By Peter Jacobi

 

On Sunday afternoon in Auer Hall, Stanley Ritchie led the IU Baroque Orchestra in four period works that tested the ensemble and offered a banquet of Baroque goodies.

Stanley Ritchie

Stanley Ritchie

A sprightly and tuneful Symphony No. 11 by the Bohemian Georg Benda got matters underway in well-tuned and unified fashion. Ritchie followed with “Le journal du printemps — Suite No. 1 in C Minor” by the German Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer, a series of fetching dances strongly influenced by the French composers of the time, that time being dominated in Europe by the Sun King, Louis XIV.

Conductor Ritchie followed with Telemann and Handel, two of the most prominent Baroque masters. Telemann’s contribution was the Overture Suite in G Minor: “Burlesque de Quixotte,” an instrumental setting that gives attention to the knight and to his Dulcinee and to Sancho Panza.

The music suggests little happenings from Cervantes’ story, and it made for pleasant listening, as did the concert-completing Handel Concerto Grosso in C Minor, the eighth in a series of 12, filled with engrossing instrumental twists and turns, each and all handled deftly and with welcome energy.

 

© Herald Times 2014

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

FURIOSO: An Evening of Handel Opera at the John Waldron Arts Center, July 18

Gamma Ut, the early music student organization at the Jacobs School of Music team up with New York-based opera company operamission in an evening of opera arias by George Frideric Handel.

Furioso

  • WHERE: John Whikehart Auditorium, John Waldron Arts Center, 122 South Walnut Street, Bloomington, IN
  • WHEN: Friday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m.
  • TICKETS: A FREE offering to the Bloomington Community
  • A project supported by Early Music Associates, Inc., Ivy Tech Community College, The IU Jacobs School of Music Historical Performance Institute and Project Jumpstart.

——————————————————————————————————–

18th century composer George Frideric Handel, perhaps known best by modern day audiences for his famed oratorio Messiah, was also one of the most prolific and significant composers of Italian opera. Many of Handel’s operas, a total of 42 and almost all of which survive to this day, have recently enjoyed an increased interest from several mainstream opera companies and audiences nationwide.

On July 18, Bloomington audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy selections from several of Handel’s operas in a concert titled Furioso: An Evening of Handel Opera. Indiana University early music student organization Gamma Ut, and operamission, a New York City based opera organization founded by harpsichordist, conductor, and Jacobs School alumna Jennifer Peterson, will join forces to present this ‘medley’ of Handel operatic arias and ensembles.

Backed by an orchestra performing on historical instruments, Peterson will lead a cast of seven talented singers. Hailed by the New York Times as performing with “spirit and polish”, Peterson is quickly establishing herself as a specialist in baroque opera.

This unique performance will be free and open to the public and is supported by Ivy Tech Community College and the Bloomington early music service organization Early Music Associates, as well as the IU Jacobs School of Music Historical Performance Institute and Project Jumpstart.

The performance will be presented on July, 18th at 7pm at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Historical Performance students perform before Indiana Festival Theatre’s performances of “Twelfth Night”

Sarah Huebsch

Sarah Huebsch

Let us whet your appetite for the “Bard of Avon.” In the tradition of Shakespeare’s productions, musicians from the Jacobs School of Music’s newly renamed Historical Performance Institute (established as the Early Music Institute) bring instrumental music of Elizabethan England to the Wells-Metz Theatre mezzanine.

Jacobs students will provide pre-show music at each performance of Indiana Festival Theatre’s (IFT) Twelfth Night, July 5-26, and will offer special lectures on the role of music in Shakespeare’s plays on July 17 and 23.

Music starts at 6:45pm for 7:30pm performances and 1:15pm for 2pm matinees. The group’s leaders—Keith Collins, Sarah Huebsch, and Kelsey Schilling—will present a free lecture on the role of music in Shakespeare’s plays, “Fie, that you’ll say so! He plays o’ the viol-de-gamboys” (Twelfth Night I:ii),” on July 17 and 23 at 6:30pm.

“In Shakespeare’s plays, musicians often attend the guests, play between scenes, and are summoned directly into the drama as it unfolds,” Huebsch said. “Ariel (The Tempest) dances and provides soft and strange music on the island. Desdemona sings “willow, willow, willow” (Othello IV: iii), which becomes an essential aria nearly 300 years later in Verdi’s Otello. Music on the Elizabethan stage played a crucial role within the drama.”

Tickets for the show are $25 Regular, $20 Seniors, and $15 Students at theatre.indiana.edu and 812-855-1103 (Ticket not required to enjoy the music!)

For details about the music and lectures, contact Sarah Huebsch at huebschs@indiana.edu. For more information about Indiana Festival Theatre, contact Amy Osajima at aosajima@indiana.edu or 812-855-0514.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Performance: The Hilliard Ensemble’s 40th Birthday Party

hillard ensemble11 December 2013 – Spitalfields Music Winter Festival 2013

Trust the Hilliard Ensemble to organise their fortieth anniversary concert on a date of numerological significance; I’m sure Josquin and his contemporaries would have appreciated the gesture! The anniversary programme spanned both the history of Western music and the history of the ensemble, beginning with plainsong antiphons for advent interwoven with polyphony from Josquin, Victoria and Nenna all performed with that magical vocal blend.

In 40 years there have been only nine full-time Hilliards, eight of whom were reunited for this concert (Paul Hillier having another concert to perform in). Hearing the singers together offered an opportunity to reflect on the special timbres of each voice and how they have all contributed to the overall style of the group. In particular, it was fascinating to hear John Potter and Paul Elliott singing the two tenor parts in Byrd’s Decendit de coelis, both sounding fabulous.

The programme also featured music from the very first Hilliard Ensemble concert, Britten’s Journey of the Magi and, characteristically, a new work by Roger Marsh for all eight of the singers: Poor Yorick. Marsh’s score was by turns witty and complex with an extended middle scene for the current Hilliard members framed by an eight-voice reflective chorus. It was a long text, set quickly and wittily, obviously with the deftness and clarity of the Hilliard Ensemble in mind. The singers’ voracious appetite for new music was evident as they performed it with both the precision of the Andrews Sisters and a palpable sense of mischievous enjoyment. Having promoted much new music over the years it was a fitting way to end their concert and in its own way it stole the show.

Perhaps it is this juxtaposition of old and new that has made the biggest contribution to the ongoing freshness and relevance of these performers?  The Hilliard Ensemble is a masterclass on how to age with style.

Ed Breen

- See more at: http://www.earlymusictoday.com/reviews/performance-the-hilliard-ensembles-40th-birthday-party/#sthash.WKppdjDD.DGqSOeOH.dpuf

© Early Music Today 2013

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Musicians to be featured on PRI holiday program

early music

From left: Stanley Ritchie, Rachel Gries, Alice Baldwin, Shelley Taylor and Martie Perry at St. Christophers Episcopal Church, Carmel, Indiana, on November 9, 2013 during a recording of Christmas music for the PRI program, Glad Tidings of Great Joy.

early music 2

Linsdey McClennan, Zachary Arneson and Christina Lynch at St. Christophers Episcopal Church, Carmel, Indiana, on November8, 2013 during a recording of Christmas music for the PRI program,Glad Tidings of Great Joy.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

BBC Radio 3 Music Matters

Paul Elliott, a founder member of British vocal group The Hilliard Ensemble, features in an interview on BBC Radio 3′s flagship classical music magazine program, Music Matters, airing on December 7.  The Hilliard Ensemble celebrates its 40 year anniversary this December and Elliott will perform with the group in three concerts to be given in London, Paris and Munich on December 11, 12 and 13.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006tnvx

  • Facebook
  • Twitter