Musica Pacifica's core ensemble of recorder, violin, cello/gamba, and harpsichord expands to include oboe, percussion, additional strings, bassoon, lute, and voice, according to program and presenters' desires. Suggested instrumentation is listed with each program.
A “smorgasbord” of early music! In this very popular program of Baroque gems, we visit the major artistic centers of Europe and sample the musical forms of the 17th and 18th centuries. Colorful suites by Rameau and Marais and brilliant chamber concertos by Vivaldi and Telemann rub shoulders with virtuosic trio and solo sonatas by Handel, Purcell, Castello, Bach, and others.
Dancing in the Isles
Rousing Baroque Folk and Dance Music from Scotland, Ireland, and England.
Something for everyone! This program includes Musica Pacifica’s arrangements of traditional Irish and Scottish folk tunes, dance suites from the English theater, Jacobean masque music, trio sonatas by Scots Oswald and McGibbon, as well as works with a Scottish flavor by Matteis and Veracini, and Purcell’s famous "Three Parts upon a Ground." (Instrumentation: rec, 2 vlns, continuo; plus lute/guitar and/or percussion, if logistics permit)
In the Gardens of Spain A colorful array of delicate passacalles, brilliant sonatas and vibrant dances from baroque-era Spain and its territories. The program features lively Spanish dance music in our arrangements of guitar pieces by De Murcia and Santa Cruz alongside the more cosmopolitan music from across Europe collected in the Eleanor Hague Manuscript. Sonatas and canzonas of Spanish composers who worked abroad, like Pla and De Selma y Salaverde, are juxtaposed with works by foreigners drawn to the Spanish style, like Falconieri, who wrote spirited folias and wild correntes with a Spanish flavor. And more! Guitarist/theorbist Kevin Cooper joins the ensemble for this sweet and spirited program.
Dolci di Napoli
In this program of music from Baroque Naples, you’ll hear rarely performed chamber concertos for recorder, two violins, and continuo by Alessandro Scarlatti, Francesco Mancini, and Nicola Fiorenza, along with trio sonatas by Matteis, a piquant harpsichord sonata by Domenico Scarlatti, an unusual duo for two violins without bass by Barbella, a sonata by Domenico Sarri, and more! (6-8 performers: rec, 2 vlns, (vla), lute/guitar, and continuo)
Experience the toe-tapping rhythms and exotic flavors of Baroque folk music from Mexico, Spain, and Scotland side-by-side with so-called "rustic" pieces by such composers as Vivaldi, Marais, Rameau, and Telemann who imitated in a more genteel fashion the popular music of their time and place. Virtuoso percussionist Peter Maund, of Ensemble Alcatraz, Davka, and Alasdair Fraser's Skyedance, joins Musica Pacifica for this rousing program.
(Instrumentation: rec, vln, (guitar), percussion, continuo; can also include oboe or 2nd violin)
A Venetian Carnival
This lively program includes music that evokes the festive and magic Carnival season for which Venice was so renowned. Vivaldi’s colorful chamber concertos La Notte (The Night) and Tempesta di Mare (Sea Tempest), as well as 17th-century sonatas by Uccellini, Cazzati, and Merula, reflect the extreme affects and topsy-turvy of this whimsical time. A suite from Campra’s Les Festes Vénitiennes represents a foreigner’s “take” on Venice and Carnival, while evoking the popular style and characters of the commedia dell'arte. Chamber music by other Venetian composers, such as Veracini, Albinoni, and Vitali, and amusing readings from the period round out the program. (Photo of Venetian character: David Blankenhorn/See 360 Studios.) (Instrumentation: rec, vln, oboe or 2nd violin, (bassoon), continuo).
Invitation to a Salon
We invite you to partake of the pleasures of a Parisian salon: become a member of the French bourgeoisie for an evening and enjoy the vast range of musical choices they did--opera, ballet, intimate chamber recitals and concerts featuring the hottest visiting Italian virtuosi. Our salon concert offers them all: ballet and opera suites by Lully and Rameau, bravura sonatas by Veracini or Geminiani, and Telemann's enormously popular "Paris" quartets. This program may also include guest soprano from among Ellen Hargis, Mary Wilson, Clara Rottsolk, et. al., singing the passionate and beguiling cantatas of Montéclair and Clérambault. (Instrumentation: rec, ob, vln, continuo)
A Family Affair, or The Father, the sons, and the Godfather
Trio, duo, solo sonatas, and chamber concertos from one of the greatest musical families ever, including works by J.S. Bach, W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach and his godfather, Georg Philipp Telemann. Readings from the personal letters of these composers offer an intimate glimpse into their lives and provide a context for the works themselves. (Instrumentation: any)
PROGRAMS WITH GUEST ARTISTS
AIRS OF CALEDONIA: Baroque and Scottish Traditional Music
David Greenberg, Baroque violinist and Cape Breton-style fiddler extraordinaire, joins Musica Pacifica for a program of 18th-century Scottish and Baroque music. In this delightful and high-energy program, you'll be tapping your feet to the driving strathspeys and reels of Cape Breton. Soulful airs and merry jigs are heard alongside more studied compositions of Henry Purcell, Jean-Féry Rebel, Arcangelo Corelli, Georg Muffat, and Antonio Vivaldi. In addition, the music of ancient Scottish composers such as James Oswald, "Red Rob" Mackintosh, and Niel Gow will delightfully confound your ability to classify it as either classical music or folk. Greenberg has been praised as both "one of the most impassioned folk-fiddlers you'll ever hear" (Winnipeg Free Press) and "the best baroque violin soloist in Canada, if not North America" (Halifax Mail-Star).
SUCH SWEET ACCENTS: In Praise of Harmony
Rising star tenor Aaron Sheehan joins Musica Pacifica in a varied program of vocal and instrumental masterworks of the high Baroque. Program highlights include Rameau's dramatic cantata "Orphee," and one of the Pièces de Claveçin en Concert, a delightful Paris Quartet by Telemann, and inspiring vocal music by Bach, Handel, and Lambert.
DRAMA QUEENS: Mad Songs and More
Mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek of Anonymous 4 joins Musica Pacifica in a program of passionate, dramatic and heartfelt music from the stages of 17th and 18th century England. Featuring selections by masters such as George Frideric Handel, Henry Purcell, John Blow, and John Eccles, this program reflects the swirl of popular local and refined Continental influences that excited the diverse audiences of the day. Readings from contemporary dramatists and diarists make vivid the tumultuous daily life of those revolutionary times. (Instrumentation: recorder, violin, continuo, and voice)
THE COAL-SELLER'S CONCERT HALL: Music from Purcell’s London
with Robert Mealy, violin
Music from the world’s first public concert-series—produced by coal-seller Thomas Britton—presented in London in 1678. The program features some of the greatest 17th-century works for three trebles, including Purcell's ingenious "Three Parts on a Ground," less well-known works for this combination by foreign visitors like Matteis and Baltzar, favorite hits from the theater, and brilliant dances and canzonas by "fam'd Itallian Masters" like Uccellini, Marini, and Merula.
Il GIARDINO D'AMORE
with Ellen Hargis, soprano
Love requited, love unrequited, love proffered and love rejected are the subjects of the great Italian cantata literature. Recorder, violin, cello and harpsichord accompany the doyen of American sopranos. Cantatas and arias by Handel, Alessandro Scarlatti, and Steffani--including Handel's gorgeous Mi Palpita il Cor--as well as instrumental works by Corelli, Vivaldi and Sammartini.
CROSSING THE CHANNEL — Baroque Airs and Dances from France and England
with New York Baroque Dance Company (Catherine Turocy, director), three Baroque dancers
This enchanting program features evocative French dances in the noble style, from dreamy musettes to lively entrees de bacchantes, in charming pastoral scenes. Virtuoso choreographies from the London stage contrast with the elegance of ball dances created for Queen Anne’s court. Musica Pacifica collaborates with noted Baroque dance authority Catherine Turocy and her dancers costumed in elegant, period-style costumes and wigs, presenting dances set to music by Handel, Lully, Marais, and Campra and Instrumental selections by Handel, Couperin, Purcell, and Boismortier. Program can also be adapted to include German music by Telemann and Bach. Lecture-demo by Ms. Turocy also available.
SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS PAST
with Mary Wilson, soprano
In a refreshing change from the usual holiday fare, Musica Pacifica presents a wide variety of Christmas music from 18th-century Italy, France, and Germany. The ravishing "Christmas Cantata" of Alessandro Scarlatti, heartfelt arias from Bach's cantatas, virtuosic chamber works of Vivaldi and Telemann, and familiar carols in unusual settings, arranged by Musica Pacifica, are featured in this program celebrating the spiritual and festive moods of the season.