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The scintillating aria “Sento Brillar,” from Handel’s “Il Pastor Fido,” Christopher Lowrey, countertenor. Live, 4K ultra HD video from the Voices of Music “Art of the Countertenor” concert, March, 2016.
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Q. Where can we hear you play in concert?
A. We perform in the San Francisco Bay Area. For a concert schedule, visit our website or join our mailing list https://www.voicesofmusic.org/
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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
A virtuoso opera singer in the time of Handel would have exploited the form of the Da Capo aria to the fullest extent possible by adding brilliant and original ornaments to the repeat of the first “A” section. When paired with the imagination of the best singers in Europe, the Da Capo aria proved to be one of the most popular and enduring forms of the baroque. This important composition of Handel is now available for the first time in 4K, ultra-high definition video.
*Voices of Music is creating a worldwide digital library of music videos and recordings, free for anyone in the world.* To support this vital project, which will enable new generations of people all around the world to enjoy Classical music, please consider a tax-deductible donation or sponsor a recording project. With your help, anything is possible! http://www.voicesofmusic.org/donate.html
Special thanks to Peter Jones for help with the musical score!
Sento brillar nel sen
Sento brillar nel sen
un novo lieto ardor,
che mi consola.
Ah! che la sola speme
del caro amato bene
al duol m’invola
—Giacomo Rossi, based on Giovanni Guarini
I feel a glimmer in my breast
A new happy burning
That consoles me
Ah! May the hope alone, merely the hope,
of my dear well-beloved
take me away from grief.
—Translation by Cynthia Craig Simon
The Musicians and their Instruments
Voices of Music performs on original instruments: hear the music played on instruments from the time of the composer.
Lisa Grodin, baroque viola by Mathias Eberl, Salzburg, Austria, 1680
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
Elisabeth Reed, baroque cello, anonymous, 1673
Farley Pearce, violone by George Stoppani, Manchester, 1985, after Amati, 1560
David Tayler, archlute by Andreas von Holst, Munich, 2012, after Tieffenbrucker, c1610
Hanneke van Proosdij, Italian single manual harpsichord by Johannes Klinkhamer, Amsterdam, 2000, after Cristofori, Florence, c1725
Gabrielle Wunsch, baroque violin by Lorenzo Carcassi, Florence, Italy, 1765