by Daniel Hathaway
The Oberlin Conservatory will present a four-concert Historical Performance WinterFest this month, including performances by the Flanders Recorder Quartet, lutenist Nigel North, the Oberlin Baroque Ensemble, and faculty harpsichordist Mark Edwards. Baroque flute professor Michael Lynn, who has organized the events, said, “They should all be excellent concerts, and the price can’t be beat — free!” The festival includes two public master classes as well as the performances.
HP WinterFest begins on Tuesday, February 20 with an 8:00 pm performance by the Flanders Recorder Quartet in Fairchild Chapel, a stop on the ensemble’s 30th Anniversary Farewell Tour. Founded in Belgium in 1987 and comprising Bart Spanhove, Paul Van Loey, Tom Beets, and Joris Van Goethem, the Quartet began touring following their success at the 1990 Musica Antiqua Competition in Bruges. After a career that has included more than 1,800 concerts in 42 countries, the ensemble has decided to disband at the end of 2018.
During that time, the Quartet has acquired an extraordinary number of instruments, including reproductions from the collection of Henry VIII, a contrabass recorder by Friedrich von Huene of Boston measuring 2.3 meters in length, and modern instruments by Hans Coolsma of Utrecht.
The Flanders Quartet’s program on February 20 will visit both old and new music, including transcriptions of music for organ and traverso, two commissioned works, and even some up-tempo swing numbers. A master class will precede the performance from 4:30 to 6:00 pm in Bibbins 325 at the Conservatory.
British-born lutenist Nigel North, who has been Professor of Lute at the Early Music Institute of Indiana University in Bloomington since 1999, will play a recital titled “Bach on the Lute” in Kulas Recital Hall on Wednesday, February 21 at 8:00 pm. The program includes the Prelude in c, BWV 999, the Fuga in g, BWV 1000, the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998, the Partita in c, BWV 997, and the Partita in d after BWV 1004 for solo violin.
Bach’s music has been a particular passion of North’s. The more than 100 CDs and LPs he has recorded include Bach on the Lute, four albums released on the Linn Records label from 1994 to 1997 and now available as a boxed set.
North will give a public master class on Thursday, February 22 from 3:30-6:30 pm in Bibbins 232 at the Conservatory.
Oberlin faculty will be featured on the other two concerts in the series. On Saturday, February 24 at 8:00 pm in Kulas Recital Hall, the Oberlin Baroque Ensemble — Marilyn McDonald, violin, Michael Lynn, flute, Catharina Meints, viola da gamba and cello, and Mark Edwards, harpsichord — will present a program titled “Cembalo Obbligato,” including Boismortier’s Sonata No. 1 in D, Op. 91, J.S. Bach’s Gamba Sonata in D, BWV 1028, Franz Xaver Richter’s Sonata da camera No. 2 in G (1764), and Rameau’s “Concert No. 3 in A” (Pièces de clavecin en concerts).
As the title implies, the concert will throw a spotlight on the newest member of Oberlin’s Historical Performance faculty, harpsichordist Mark Edwards, who will have more than the usual basso continuo role in the proceedings.
Edwards will also be featured in the final WinterFest event, a solo recital on Sunday, February 25 at 8:00 pm on the stage of Warner Concert Hall, where he will play music by Byrd, Sweelinck, Louis Couperin, Domenico Scarlatti, and Handel on instruments from Oberlin’s extensive harpsichord collection.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com February 13, 2018.
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