Art of the Prophets, December 2012
Tempesta di Mare
Laura Heimes, Jennifer Lane, Aaron Sheehan and David Newman
MUSIC FROM THE GENERATION BEFORE JS BACH
plus pre-performance talk by author Tanya Kevorkian (Millersville University)
The Tempesta di Mare Chamber Players perform a program of glorious vocal and instrumental music from the generation before JS Bach on December 8 in Center City, and December 9 in Chestnut Hill. “Art of the Prophets” features music from the peace-time following the Thirty Years War with singers Laura Heimes, Jennifer Lane, Aaron Sheehan and David Newman. For tickets and information visit tempestadimare-dot-org or 215‑755‑8776.
Music and celebration reemerged with the peace that followed the devastation of the Thirty Years War while a new generation of composers redefined German music with ravishing results. Art of the Prophets showcases some of the finest examples of the era, with spiritual and secular music by forward-looking contemporaries Nicolaus Bruhns, Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, Johann Rosenmüller, and Johann Christoph Bach (J.S. Bach’s cousin of his father’s generation).
Opening the program, Bruhns’ joyous and florid setting of Psalm 100, “Jauchzet dem Herren,” for tenor and strings, could nearly represent the breadth and daring of this wonderful period of music all on its own, a vocal tour-de-force that the likes of Handel and Vivaldi would later aspire to equal. Erlebach’s Ouverture III, modeled after Lully’s dance music for the spectacles of Versailles, betrays innovations that led to the German orchestral suite’s becoming its own genre. Rosenmüller’s “O dives omnium bonarum,” for alto and violas, draws on a burnished, deep-sounding texture and old-fashioned compositional models to meditate on texts of Saint Augustine. Pez’s Christmas-themed Concerto Pastorale, for recorders and strings, reveals a modernizing trend with its then-new Roman-flavor. Finally, cousin Bach’s wedding cantata, “Meine Freundin, du bist schön,” a dialogue for soprano and bass, sets strains from the Song of Songs so sensually as to prove an eye-opener for anybody who thinks that Johann Christoph’s young cousin, Johann Sebastian, was the first Bach to find sensuality in Lutheran Protestantism.
Social historian Tanya Kevorkian, author of Baroque Piety: Religion, Society, and Music in Leipzig, 1650–1750 and history professor at Millersville University, will give pre-concert talks on the reemergence of music and celebration in Germany after the Thirty Years War. Each talk will start one hour before the concert.
This program is supported in part by an ArtWorks Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tempesta di Mare’s Philadelphia Concert Series has brought numerous modern world, national and regional premieres to the area and is supported by such funders as the Pew Charitable Trusts, the William Penn Foundation, the Presser Foundation and the NEA. It is the only American baroque music group to record for the prestigious British label Chandos in a marketplace otherwise dominated by European ensembles.
Tempesta has toured from Oregon to Prague. Our full orchestra went to Germany in 2011 for the International Fasch Festival and our 2009 European tour included the Göttingen Handel Festival. National broadcasts of live performances include SymphonyCast, Performance Today, Sunday Baroque and Harmonia. With worldwide distribution via the European Broadcast Union, Tempesta’s concerts were aired by national radio stations in Serbia, Moldavia, Belgium, Ireland, Romania, Austria, Finland, Australia, Latvia, Spain, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Vatican City, Estonia, Lituania, and the Czech Republic during the past year. Tempesta is represented in the US by MCM Artists.