Danny’s Dispatch from the Amherst Early Music Festival
I’m in New London, CT for the Amherst Early Music Festival and, looking at the weather in Texas, I was feeling a bit guilty, what with the temperature being in the mid-70s last week and dropping at night… but it warmed up substantially for a few days and we had the same kind of rain that’s being soaking Austin. Summer has its way with us no matter where we are….
All of that takes a backseat to the energy, excitement, and profound musicality that we’ve enjoyed at the workshop. San Francisco’s Farallon Recorder Quartet (with Annette Bauer, a frequent TEMP guest artist) opened the concert series last week and charmed us all. The Baroque Academy Faculty concert was an eye-opener and ear-pleaser with some music and composers I had never heard of; knocked my socks off!
The Baroque Academy opera Der geduldige Socrates (The Patience of Socrates) by Telemann revealed a side of Telemann I had only dabbled with. I’ve performed and taught his secular cantatas, but knew nothing about the opera. It has some very nice arias, which were sung by some really good students. Quite fine!
Saturday was crazy with 6 concerts. My Baroque Academy ensemble of 3 singers and continuo, hailing from Connecticut, Arizona, and Winnipeg, performed Schütz and did very well! On the faculty concert, I performed 2 of my favorite things with some of my favorite people: “Da Jakob nu das kleid Ansah” by Senfl which I first learned as a junior in college, and “Anima mea liquefacta es” by Schütz, which has been a favorite for decades; TEMP regular Cayla Cardiff and TEMP guest Temmo Korisheli were some of the stars of the all-workshop Collegium’s performance of “Musikalische Exequien”.
The second week of concerts started with an exquisitely beautiful concert of viol and lute music, performed by Italy’s Vittorio Ghielmi and Luca Pianca. Life-changing performances of Forqueray, Marais, and others, including a sonata by Andras Lidl who was previously unknown to me. Simply amazing.
In the midst of this are classes, rehearsals, administrative duties, and an expected lack of sleep. Still, it’s wonderful and I love it; this is my 32nd Amherst Early Music festival; I’m hoping for at least two more handfuls of them….
And, somehow at the same time, there is planning the upcoming TEMP season, working on the season brochure with TEMP Board president Wendy Brockett, who is here also, and scouting for some new guest artists to join us for concerts in Austin.
Off to the next event – more soon!