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Handel’s “Angels ever bright and fair,” from the oratorio Theodora (HWV 68).
Stefanie True, soprano, with the Early Music ensemble Voices of Music. This work is presented for the first time in 4K, ultra high definition video and performed on original instruments.
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Q. What is Early Music performance, or historical performance?
A. We play on instruments from the time of the composers, and we use the original music and playing techniques: it’s a special sound.
Q. Why are there no conductors?
A. Conductors weren’t invented until the 19th century; since we seek to recreate a historical performance, the music is led from the keyboard or violin, or the music is played as chamber music~or both 🙂
Q. What are period instruments or original instruments; how are they different from modern instruments?
A. As instruments became modernized in the 19th century, builders and players tended to focus on the volume of sound and the stability of tuning. Modern steel strings replaced the older materials, and instruments were often machine made. Historical instruments, built individually by hand and with overall lighter construction, have extremely complex overtones—which we find delightful. Modern instruments are of course perfectly suited to more modern music.
Q. Why is the pitch lower, or higher?
A. Early Music performance uses many different pitches, and these pitches create different tone colors on the instruments. See https://goo.gl/pVBNAC
Recit: O worse than Death indeed!
Lead me, ye guards Lead me, or to the rack, or to the flames, I’ll thank your gracious mercy.
Aria: Angels ever bright and fair, take, O take me to your care.
Speed to your own courts my flight, clad in robes of Virgin white.
Voices of Music
Stefanie True, soprano
Hanneke van Proosdij & David Tayler, directors
Cynthia Miller Freivogel, baroque violin by Johann Paul Schorn, Salzburg, Austria, 1715
Lisa Grodin, baroque viola by Mathias Eberl, Salzburg, Austria, 1680
Katherine Heater, baroque organ by Winold van der Putten, Finsterwolde, Netherlands, 2004, after early 18th-century northern German instruments
Kati Kyme, baroque violin by Johann Gottlob Pfretzschner, Mittenwald, 1791
Carla Moore, baroque violin by Johann Georg Thir, Vienna, Austria, 1754
Maxine Nemerovski, baroque violin by Joseph Gaffino, Paris, 1769
Farley Pearce, violone by George Stoppani, Manchester, 1985, after Amati, 1560
Elisabeth Reed, baroque cello, anonymous, 1673
William Skeen, five string baroque cello, Anonymous, Italy, c1680
David Tayler, archlute by Andreas von Holst, Munich, 2012
after Magno Tieffenbrucker, Venice, c1610
Hanneke van Proosdij, harpsichord by Johannes Klinkhamer, Amsterdam, 2000 (after Cristofori, Florence, 1725)
Gabrielle Wunsch, baroque violin by Lorenzo Carcassi, Florence, Italy, 1765