by Mike Telin
Les Délices, Cleveland’s period instrument ensemble specializing in French Baroque music, will settle into Ohio City beginning on Thursday, March 17 for a weekend full of free events. As a resident of the neighborhood, Artistic director Debra Nagy feels strongly about reaching out to Cleveland’s Near-West Side community. “The primary goals for the residency are to build awareness of chamber music performance, expand the group’s West-Side audience, and increase visibility for Cleveland artists,” Nagy said in an interview.
The ensemble’s residency also celebrates Early Music Month, devised by Early Music America. Nagy, who is an EMA board member, explained that the month is designed to draw attention to the quantity, breadth, and richness of the country’s early music scene. “It’s a great way to highlight the efforts of early music groups across the nation and have a sense that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
The agenda begins on Thursday, March 17 when Debra Nagy (baroque oboe and recorder), Julie Andrijeski (violin), David Ellis (viola da gamba), and Christopher Bagan (harpsichord) present two open rehearsals from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Historic St. John’s Episcopal Church (2600 Church Avenue). Nagy pointed out that these will be working rehearsals. “People will be able to hear and watch us rehearse the music that we’ll be playing throughout the residency. There’s not often a sense among the general public, and even among connoisseurs, about what happens during a rehearsal of a small group without a conductor. Rehearsing is work for musicians and this will give people a glimpse into the process. It’s an opportunity for them to be with us in the fishbowl.”
On Friday, March 18 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the ensemble will play short “Pop-Up” concert sets at The Canopy (3910 Lorain Avenue). Nagy said that passersby are invited to come in and have a listen to short, set-based presentations where the performers introduce themselves and the music. “I think we’ll be playing in the street level window, so it’s another way for people to experience what Les Délices does.”
On Saturday, March 19 from 11:00 am to noon, the activities move to the Carnegie West Library (W. 38th & Fulton Rd.) for a Performance-Presentation that will introduce audiences to the harpsichord, viola da gamba, baroque violin, baroque oboe, and recorder.
Later that afternoon, from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm, you can learn the basics of baroque dance under the expert tutelage of violinist and baroque dancer Julie Andrijeski in a workshop at Franklin Circle Church (1668 Fulton Road).
“This is not at all like classical ballet,” Nagy noted. “Julie’s a wonderful and patient teacher and has presented a lot of dance workshops for general audiences. Essentially she’ll teach you how to walk. It’s about being aware of your body and holding it in an elegant way. It’s a lot of fun and I thought it would be a great way to round out our offerings over the course of the weekend.”
The workshops will include live music taken from the ensemble’s program titled Caractères de la danse. Children (8+) and adults are welcome, but space is limited — pre-registration is recommended.
The weekend will culminate in a concert by the ensemble on Sunday, March 20 at 4:00 pm at Historic St. John’s. The free, one-hour concert will include François Chauvon’s 5ème Suite, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier’s Deuxième Balet from Balets de Village, Francois Couperin’s 9ème Concert, François Duval’s Sonata III from Amusemens pour la chamber, and Jean-Féry Rebel’s Caractères de la danse, as well as Nagy’s arrangements of selections from Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Bourgeois Gentilhomme.
Nagy said that Early Music Month seeks to connect all early music enthusiasts, and this Ohio City residency is sure to do just that.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com March 15, 2016.
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