With some quick organizing, enthusiastic musicians, and good colleagues, the unlikely is not impossible! The early music concert that almost happened a year and a half ago has been re-imagined and resurrected, and it’s taking place this Friday, January 9, in Berkeley, CA..
I almost didn’t bring up the idea with Eugene, but I did on a whim because I remembered how excited we were about the music and the chance to perform together. Ask and you shall receive — what a way to start the year!
Chabot Chamber Society presents a Baroque Concert for the New Year:
The two cantata’s, Bach’s Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten (Wedding Cantata, BWV 202) and Montéclair’s Le Dépit Généreux, were pieces I’d originally learned in 2013, and I’m so pleased to be singing them in less than a week.
Brushing them off has been a reminder that muscle memory is both a boon and a bane: the notes are all there, but not reverting to former technique is a challenge. Instead of stressing out and bringing more tension into my singing, I’ve decided to do what I can in the time I have to practice — be mindful of my support, breath, and vowels; phrase with intention; deliver the text — and to leave the rest as it is.
As fun and lovely as I find the two cantatas and as much as I adore Handel, my favorite piece on the program might just be Johann Heinrich Schmelzer’s Lamento sopra la morte di Ferdinando III. This has been my introduction to Schmelzer, and I plan to look him up further. At first it seemed strange to have a lament on a concert to ring in the new year, but after a listen, this choice made beautiful sense. While it’s mournful as a lament should be, beyond that is a sense of mystery and even renewal. Enjoy a rendition by Clemencic Concert, and happy New Year!