HP WinterFest Celebrates Early Music Through Recitals and Master Classes

February 16, 2018

By Erich Burnett

Flanders Quartet photo

Oberlin faculty and esteemed guests to perform February 20-25 in venues on campus.

A performance by the Flanders Recorder Quartet highlights Oberlin’s 2018 Historical Performance WinterFest, a series of public concerts and master classes featuring faculty and guest artists who specialize in early music.

The HP WinterFest takes place February 20 through 25 in venues on the Oberlin campus. The schedule is as follows (all events are free):

four people posing with their recorders

Tuesday, February 20

Master class: Flanders Recorder Quartet (4:30-6 p.m., Bibbins Hall 325)

Recital: Flanders Recorder Quartet (8 p.m., Fairchild Chapel)

Wednesday, February 21

Recital: Nigel North, lutenist (8 p.m., Kulas Recital Hall)

Thursday, February 22

Master class: Nigel North, lutenist (3:30-6:30 p.m., Bibbins Hall 232)

Saturday, February 24

Recital: Oberlin Baroque Ensemble: Cembalo Obbligato (8 p.m., Kulas Recital Hall)

Musician Mark Edwards headshot

Sunday, February 25

Recital: Mark Edwards, harpsichord (8 p.m., Warner Concert Hall)

The Flanders Recorder Quartet is celebrating 30 years of performing together around the globe—some 2,500 concerts in 52 countries. In that time, they have exalted their instrument as few others have and showcased countless extraordinary reproductions of little-known historic recorders. They were recently honored with the American Recorder Society’s 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award. At the conclusion of their 2018 performance season, the ensemble’s members have agreed to disband—making their Oberlin engagement one of the final opportunities for their artistry to be heard live.

Flanders’ Oberlin February 20 program will mingle the old and the new as well as a variety of styles:

  • Praetorius’ Summa Parenti Gloria from Hymnodia Sionia (1611)
  • Pieter Campo’s 2015 works Meditation and Fire
  • Schein’s Suite 15 from Banchetto Musicale (1617)
  • Boismortier’s Concerto VI in G from VI Concertos Pour 5 Flûtes, Op. 15 (1727)
  • Sören Sieg’s 2016 composition Inxaxheba
  • Bach’s Fantasia in C BWV 570 and Fuga in C BWV 545
  • Jeroen d’Hoe’s 2005 piece Ella’s Blues
  • Louis Prima’s Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) (1936)

A preview of works on the program can be heard here.

“They are a spectacular group—by far the best of their kind,” Professor of Recorder and Baroque Flute Michael Lynn says of Flanders. “I want to stress that they aren’t just great recorder players, but superb ensemble musicians on the level of any fine string quartet. And Fairchild Chapel is a perfect place to hear them.”

Lutenist Nigel North found his initial inspiration in the ’60 instrumental pop group the Shadows. Self-taught on the lute beginning at age 15, he has come to be regarded as one of the world’s leading teachers and performers on the instrument. North devoted two decades as lute professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, in addition to appointments at other prestigious conservatories. He has taught at Indiana University’s Early Music Institute since 1999. His February 21 performance features lute pieces attributed to J.S. Bach’s and catalogued as BWV 997, 998, 999, and 1000. On the recital’s second half will be a performance of the famous Violin Partita in D Minor (BWV 1004), which has been adapted for the lute.

On Saturday, February 24, the Oberlin Baroque Ensemble, featuring Oberlin’s HP faculty Mark Edwards (harpsichord), Michael Lynn (Baroque flute), Marilyn McDonald (Baroque violin), and Catharina Meints (viola da gamba and Baroque cello), will perform a program of ensemble music by Boismortier, Richter, Rameau, as well as Bach’s Sonata for Viola da Gamba in D major.

The fest will close with a harpsichord performance by Edwards on Sunday, February 25. The concert includes works by Byrd, Sweelinck, Louis Couperin, Scarlatti, and Handel, which will be played on a variety of instruments from Oberlin’s extensive collection.

Lynn notes that the WinterFest came about in part through a fortunate convergence of events on the Oberlin calendar. He had been seeking an engagement with the Flanders Quartet, whose extensive farewell-tour schedule was filling quickly. He later learned that Professor of Classical Guitar Stephen Aron had booked lutenist North for the same week. Lynn had also been eyeing a date for Edwards to showcase an array of newly acquired harpsichords.

“It immediately came to my mind that if possible we should put all this together and have a festival,” he says.

Stay up to date on all events at Oberlin at calendar.oberlin.edu.

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