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Rebel Baroque with Matthias Maute

Rebel Baroque with Matthias Maute

Hailed by the New York Times as “Sophisticated and Beguiling” and praised by the Los Angeles Times for their “astonishingly vital music-making,” the award-winning, New York-based ensemble, REBEL (pronounced “Re-BEL”) is one of North America’s top-tier ensembles specializing in 17th- & 18th-century repertoire performed on period instruments. Named after the innovative French Baroque composer Jean-Féry Rebel (1666-1747), REBEL was formed in The Netherlands in 1991; that same year the ensemble took first prize in the International Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht, succeeded by their sensational début on the world stage at the Holland Festival Oude Muziek and their critically-acclaimed American début in New York City in 1992. Since then the ensemble has garnered an impressive international reputation, enchanting diverse audiences with their unique style and their virtuosic, highly expressive and provocative approach to baroque and classical repertoire. The core formation of two violins, recorder/traverso, cello/viola da gamba and harpsichord/organ/fortepiano expands in a variety of formations with additional strings, winds, brass, theorbo and vocalists, as needed.

REBEL, through its long-term residency from 1997-2009 at historic Trinity Church, Wall Street in New York City, achieved high acclaim for its collaborations with Trinity Choir in performance, radio broadcasts, webcasts and recordings with works ranging from the cantatas of Bach to large scale works by Monteverdi, Handel, Bach, Purcell, Mozart and Haydn. An 8-CD set of the complete masses of Haydn was released in 2009 on the Naxos label. The REBEL Baroque Orchestra first gained worldwide recognition for its acclaimed performance of Mozart’s Requiem with Trinity Choir under the direction of Dr. Owen Burdick, broadcast nationally over National Public Radio in September 2001, and for its subsequent annual performances of Handel’s Messiah and the choral works of Haydn, which were broadcast live over WQXR-FM in New York City and internationally over the internet. Currently the RBO enjoys collaborations with various choirs including the Westchester Oratorio Society and the Central City Chorus in New York City.

REBEL has performed at prestigious festivals and venues in Europe, including the Holland Festival Oude Muziek, Tage Alter Musik Berlin, the Konzerthaus (Vienna), La Chapelle Royale (Versailles), Internationale Festtage für Alte Musik Stuttgart, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Les Luminères Festival (Helsinki), the Händel Festspiele Halle and the Göttingen- Handel Festival in Germany, amongst others. In the U.S., REBEL has been presented in thirty-eight states at distinguished venues including the Da Camera Society (Los Angeles), the Schubert Club (St. Paul), Friends of Music (Kansas City), Spivey Hall (Atlanta), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (College Park, MD), Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.), Caramoor (Katonah, NY) Chautauqua Institution, Stanford Lively Arts, University of Chicago Presents, Market Square Concerts (Harrisburg, PA), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), the Cleveland Museum of Art, the early music festivals of Boston and Berkeley and Music Before 1800 in New York City.

REBEL has collaborated with renowned vocalists Max von Egmond, Derek Lee Ragin, Suzie Le Blanc, Daniel Taylor, Marta Almajano, Peter Kooy, Barbara Schlick, Yulia Van Doren and Rufus Müller; in 2005 REBEL gave its Carnegie Hall début with Renée Fleming at Carnegie Hall to high acclaim. The ensemble has recorded for all the major European national radio networks and has been showcased in performance and interview on BBC’s Radio 3. Arguably the most aired American baroque ensemble in the U.S. today, REBEL is regularly featured on the nationally syndicated shows Performance Today and Sunday Baroque, and has appeared several times on Minnesota Public Radio’s St. Paul Sunday. REBEL remains the only period instrument ensemble ever to have been awarded an artists residency at National Public Radio. REBEL has recorded over twenty discs and can be heard on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, ATMA, Hänssler Classic, Dorian, Sono Luminus and Bridge Records.

Since 2013 the ensemble has been in residence at the venerable Downtown Music at Grace series in White Plains, N.Y. and maintains a self-produced concert series in Bedford, NY, now entering its eighteenth season. Their latest CD, ‘Johann Gottlieb Goldberg: Beyond the Variations’ was released on Bridge Records in November 2016.

“Sophisticated and Beguiling” The New York Times

“Fiery, alive and beautifully controlled” The Washington Post

Members:

Jörg-Michael Schwarz (violin)
Karen Marie Marmer (violin)
Matthias Maute (recorder & traverso)
John Moran (cello)
Dongsok Shin (harpsichord)

Program

CHAPEL, COURT & COUNTRY
Treasures of the 17th & 18th-Centuries

VIVALDI
Concerto in  a minor RV 108

CORELLI
Sonata Op.4 No.8 in d minor (1694)

FASCH
Sonata in B-Flat Major

TELEMANN
Sonata in G Major TWV 42: G 11

BLAVET
Concerto à 4 parties  in  a minor

-Intermission-

SCARLATTI
Sonata Nona  in  a minor (1725)

FUX
Partita à 3  in d minor K 326 (1701)

TELEMANN
Quartet/Concerto  in a minor TWV 43: a 3 (ca1730)

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

The Mystery Program

I know you were shuffling through your program notes at Sunday’s concert.  I saw you.  You had no idea what Pacifica String Quartet – let alone Sharon Isbin – would be performing next, and, like me, you feel insecure when you don’t know who the composer is, how many movements there will be, when it will be time to applaud (or get caught out as the only person in the room who is doing so).  I know.  But I will let you in on a little behind-the-scenes wizardry/witchery that went on about an hour before the doors opened at 3:00.

You know that Pacifica and Sharon Isbin are incredibly talented musicians, right?  They don’t give those Grammys away like marshmallows at a camp out.  So about an hour before the concert began, first violin Simin Ganatra told a few of the board members that Pacifica and Ms. Isbin would like to make some changes in the program.  They would rearrange the sequences and could throw in a few surprises, if that would be ok.  And I’m standing there thinking, “Good grief!  What kind of versatility does it take to change a whole program only an hour before a  performance?!  How can they have practiced and prepared a whole basket of music that they can just draw out at will and perform?!”

... about an hour before the concert began, first violin Simin Ganatra told a few of the board members that Pacifica and Ms. Isbin would like to make some changes in the program. They would rearrange the sequences and could throw in a few surprises...

So that’s how the program got shuffled.  Now you know.  And I’ll bet you know something else, as well.  Pacifica has earned its stellar reputation for precision, lyricism and, yes, pure enjoyment.  Theirs is an almost ethereal  joy in performance, and tell me you didn’t really feel the pathos of the third movement of the Haydn.  The composer himself would have cried.

And then there’s Sharon Isbin.  It’s difficult for me not to repeat what’s been written time and time again about her uncanny ability to elicit thoughts of a Spain that we all imagined:  white marble, the scent of oranges, the swirly of color in dancers’ skirts and the haunting loneliness of a midnight street in Barcelona.  All of these and more ran through my mind as I listened to the brilliant tones and the smoky echoes of her truly magical guitar.  Centuries of exquisite sounds and rhythms tumbled out.  It was pure magic, don’t you agree?

I’m so glad you were there to enjoy this extraordinary concert with me, and I hope you’ll come back for more.   The New York based ensemble, Rebel Baroque, will weave more magic with the help of flutist Matthias Maute November 12.  I promise enchantment.

– E Doyle

Pacifica Quartet with Sharon Isbin

Pacifica Quartet

Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, over the past two decades the Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today.

Formed in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music’s top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 2002 the ensemble was honored with Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award and the appointment to Lincoln Center’s CMS Two, and in 2006 was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Also in 2006 the Quartet was featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of “five new quartets you should know about,” the only American quartet to make the list. And in 2009, the Quartet was named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America.

The Quartet’s 2017-18 season features performances with the guitar legend Sharon Isbin, the complete Beethoven cycle for the University at Buffalo’s renowned Slee Cycle, and multiple performances of the Mendelssohn octet with the Dover Quartet. Highlights of the 2016-17 season included a return performance at New York’s famed 92nd Street Y; the culmination of a two-season residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston; tours with Johannes Moser, Jörg Widmann, and Marc-André Hamelin; and the debut of a new cello quintet by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe.

Sharon Isbin

Hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time”, Sharon Isbin,  as a woman in a male-dominated field,  has been a trailblazer in more ways than most classical musicians could ever dream. She has appeared as soloist with over 170 orchestras and has given sold-out performances in the world’s finest halls.

Born in Minneapolis, Sharon Isbin began her guitar studies at age nine in Italy, and later studied with Andrès Segovia and Oscar Ghiglia. Her teachers also included the legendary piano doyenne Rosalyn Tureck. She’s the first guitarist to record with the New York Philharmonic. What’s more, Sharon Isbin has had no difficulty straddling the worlds of classical music and pop culture; her playing is on the soundtrack of the Martin Scorsese Academy Award-winning film The Departed. She has won multiple Grammys and has commissioned an impressive number of works for guitar, from composers of vastly different styles including Leo Brouwer (Cuban) , John Duarte (British) and Tan Dun (Chinese). A frequent guest on NPR’s All Things Considered and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, she has been profiled on television throughout the world. On September 11, 2002, Ms. Isbin performed at Ground Zero for the internationally televised memorial. Among other career highlights, she performed  at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama in November 2009, and was the only classical artist to perform in the 2010 GRAMMY Awards. She has been profiled in periodicals from People to Elle, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, as well as appearing on the covers of over 45 magazines. Her 2015 national television performances on PBS include the Billy Joel Gershwin Prize, Tavis Smiley, and American Public Television’s presentation of the acclaimed one-hour documentary on her life and work produced by Susan Dangel titled Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, seen by millions on nearly 200 PBS stations across the US, and the winner of the 2015 ASCAP Television Broadcast Award. The film was released with bonus performances on DVD/Blu-ray by Video Artists International. Watch the trailer at: www.sharonisbintroubadour.com

“The playing is nothing short of phenomenal.” Daily Telegraph, London

“Classical guitar’s reigning diva.” Dallas Morning News

Members:

Simin Ganatra (violin)
Austin Hartman (violin)
Guy Ben-Ziony (viola)
Brandon Vamos (cello)
Sharon Isbin (guitar)

Program

HAYDN
Quartet in G major, Op. 76, No. 1

CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO
Guitar Quintet in F major, op. 143

VIVALDI
Concerto in D major for guitar and strings, RV 93

-Intermission-

PUCCINI
I Crisantemi

BOCCHERINI
Guitar Quintet No. 4 in D Major, G.448

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

Opening The Curtain

Ta-dah!  No, not big enough.  Ta-DAH!!  Better, but not there yet.
TA-DAH!!!

That’s more like it. Ladies and gentlemen and all the ships from Canyon to Woodlawn Lake, the San Antonio Chamber Music Society of San Antonio, Texas will soon open the curtain on a season unlike any in our 75 (yes, 75) years! You have enjoyed the music we have presented for many, many seasons, I hope, but this season’s programme (yes, it deserves the double-m and the e) is the best yet. Hang onto your hats, get out your credit cards and calendars and order your tickets for this diamond jubilee season.

October 15, 2017

Pacifica String Quartet with Sharon Isbin, guitarist

During their two decades of stellar performances, the Pacifica has earned its international stature with its virtuosity and style.  We have had the pleasure of their company in past seasons and are delighted to welcome them back.   Performing with them is the incomparable Sharon Isbin,  often called “the Monet of classical guitar”,  multiple Grammy Award winner and founding director of the Classical Guitar Department at Juilliard.  This will be an opening concert to remember!

November 12, 2017

Rebel Baroque with Matthias Maute, flute

Bearing the name of French Baroque composer, Jean-Féry Rebel, this quartet began in the Netherlands and has performed in every corner of the world since then.  They are known and admired for their interpretations of 17th and 18th Century music performed on period instruments.  Matthias Maute is a virtuoso performer, conductor and composer who won a JUNO Award in the category of year’s best classical music. This concert promises Baroque music at its finest.

January 21, 2018

Chanticleer

Twelve incredible male voices comprise the “world’s reigning men’s chorus” (according to The New Yorker).  They’ve won Grammys, they’ve traveled the world and they consistently delight audiences with their seamless blends and original interpretations of the classical genre.  We thoroughly enjoyed their dazzling performance a few years ago, as they quite literally filled the house with song.  Chanticleer founder Louis A. Botto was born in Texas and was a graduate of Incarnate Word College here in San Antonio. In the early 1970’s he was the director of the First Repertory Company of San Antonio. We look forward to having  Chanticleer in our midst to celebrate San Antonio’s Tricentennial.

March 4, 2018

American Brass Quintet

Five remarkable musicians, two trumpets, a horn, a trombone and a bass trombone combine to form a glorious sound.  They have premiered – premiered – more than 150 contemporary brass works and won Chamber Music America’s highest award in the process.  They have been in residence at the Juilliard since 1987, and at Aspen Music Festival since 1970.  They definitely know how to polish brass to a gleaming, lustrous brilliance. To make this concert extra special – San Antonio Chamber Music Society, as a partner in SA300, the Tricentennial celebration of our city, have commissioned beloved San Antonio composer James Balentine to write a special work for this auspicious occasion. Be there to hear this gift from SACMS to you,  San Antonio!

April 15, 2018

Orion String Quartet

Closing out a season you’ll wish could last forever, our dear friends, the Orion.  The Quartet in Residence at Lincoln Center, the Orion is known for standing ovation evoking performances.  They are famous  for the diversity of their programs, their blending of classical and contemporary – and the devotion of their fans (count us in!).  You can plan on an afternoon of textures, surprises and just beautiful sounds.  (Note:  this concert will be at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church, 227 W. Woodlawn at Belknap Place.)

Are you ready to celebrate with us our Diamond Jubilee?  This San Antonio Chamber Music Society season will be extraordinary, over the top, fabulous, gorgeous – where’s my Roget’s when I need it?  But you get the picture, so get your tickets, better yet, get a season subscription because you won’t want to miss even one of these concerts.  Tickets are always available here at sacms.org,  or drop us a check at San Antonio Chamber Music Society, PO Box 12702, San Antonio, TX 78212.  And don’t forget – students and active duty military are admitted free to all concerts.

– E Doyle

Calmus Ensemble

Join us on Sunday, April 23, 2017

A perfect blend of sound, precision, lightness and wit. These are the hallmarks of Calmus, now one of the most successful vocal groups in Germany. The ensemble has forged a refined sound which few groups achieve. The wide range of sound colors, the joy in performing that musicians convey on the concert platform, and their varied and imaginative programs are praised by the press time and time again. These five Leipzig musicians have won a whole string of international prizes and competitions, including the ECHO Klassik and Supersonic Award, and the reach of their activities is constantly expanding, taking them throughout Europe as well as to North and South America. In 2010 the quintet made its debut at Carnegie Hall, New York.

The musicians are tireless in their quest to discover new repertoire. Shaped by the centuries-old tradition of great German boys’ choirs, they are naturally at home in the vocal music of the Renaissance, the Baroque and the Romantic. The music of our own time is also a real passion. In all their ventures, there are frequently interesting partnerships with musicians such as the Lautten Compagney Berlin, the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, Hamburger Ratsmusik and the Frankfurt Radio Bigband. As this often means totally new repertoire in the area of contemporary music, over the years Calmus has commissioned numerous new works from composers including Bernd Franke, Steffen Schleiermacher, Wolfram Buchenberg, Mathew Rosenblum, Bill Dobbins, Michael Denhoff and Harald Banter, and the group has given many world premieres. It goes without saying that they revel in singing pop, folk and jazz, as well as chansons and golden oldies from the 1920s.

Part of their work is devoted to encouraging the up-and-coming generation, so teaching and workshops are part of their regular schedule, both at home in Leipzig and on their travels. It’s no wonder that Calmus, with its unique line-up of soprano, countertenor, tenor, baritone and bass, is gaining more and more fans worldwide.

“…a flawlessly blended sound, relying not only [on] seamlessly meshed vocal timbres but on ornaments placed with absolute precision across all five voices… the singers bring tremendous character and musical depth to their interpretations, conveying the tone and meaning of lyrics in a fashion that transcends the language of the lyrics.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“They infuse their singing with wonderful lyricism and exquisite expressiveness, they bring passion to their interpretations and they, quite simply, bring whatever they sing to glorious life.”

Deseret Morning News

Members:

Anja Pöche (soprano)
Sebastian Krause (countertenor)
Tobias Pöche (tenor)
Ludwig Böhme (baritone)
Manuel Helmeke (bass)

Program

“All the World’s a Stage”, a program of music inspired by the plays and poetry of the immortal bard, William Shakespeare.

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

Les Amies, Our Friends, Too

Who needs the Oscars when you have friends like Les Amies?

If you had told me that a harp, a flute and a viola made a viable musical combination, I would have questioned your hearing if not your sanity.  OK, so I was wrong and you were right.  Somehow, these three widely different instruments can come together to produce heart-breaking harmonies and timing so precise that it is sometimes difficult to discern which instrument is playing the lead.  Les Amies, three distinguished musicians whose regular jobs are with the NY Philharmonic and teaching at Juilliard, realized they really enjoyed performing and creating music together as a trio – an unlikely trio, I think – and we are all the lucky beneficiaries of that enjoyment.

The music they performed for the fourth San Antonio Chamber Music Society concert this season was beautifully suited to their three (and sometimes just one or two) instruments.  It was a trip to another realm, far away from the hum drum and hustle of life (and Oscar Sunday) and out into the stratosphere, where every note and phrase has a life of its own.  They often invited us to “sit back and relax,” and that we did.  The music produced by this unlikely trio was somewhat akin to submerging into a warm bath.  It was peaceful music, such a welcome relief from the world outside Temple Beth-El.  Oscars, schmoscars!

It was a trip to another realm, far away from the hum drum and hustle of life (and Oscar Sunday) and out into the stratosphere, where every note and phrase has a life of its own.

Their program built to the Debussy, their last selection.  The Sonata pour flute, alto et harpe is devilishly difficult to perform with all its twists, turns, changes in tempo and keys, but it could have been written for these musicians.  They performed it effortlessly.

And I don’t know about you, but when as an encore they performed “Scarborough Fair,” I could have just cried.  (By the way, they will be recording a three-part piece including “Scarborough Fair” in the near future.)

So now we have three new amies.  Did you miss the Oscar hoopla?  Not I.  These three consummate musicians have certainly worked very, very hard to be able to produce their sound, but – to use a time-honored Texas saying – we never even saw ‘em sweat.

Harp, viola and flute?  You could have fooled me!

– E Doyle

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