by Michael Caruso
Although the majority of the structures in Chestnut Hill were built during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Philadelphia’s “village on the hill” has become one of the venues-of-choice for many of the region’s period instruments ensembles that specialize in the pre-1800 century repertoire. Tempesta di Mare Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra, Piffaro: the Renaissance Band and the various ensembles working under the heading of Vox Ama Deus all offer concerts in Chestnut Hill that will be performed on the older instruments.
Piffaro’s musicians reach all the way back to the Renaissance and early Baroque epochs – the 16th and 17th centuries – for their programs. Tempesta’s repertoire is drawn mostly from the late 17th and 18th centuries. Although Vox Ama Deus focuses mostly on the Baroque and early Classical styles of the 18th century, it occasionally reaches into the 19th and 20th centuries for some of its programs.
Founder and artistic director Valentin Radu will conduct the Camerata Ama Deus in “Vivaldissimo,” a celebration of the music of Antonio Vivaldi, Friday, Oct. 11, at 8 p.m. in the Episcopal Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Chestnut Hill. Along with the German-born Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel, the Venetian Maestro Vivaldi helped establish the musical style known as “Baroque.” Whereas Bach’s music sings spiritually in peerless counterpoint and Handel’s soars in operatic lyricism, Vivaldi’s output is mostly instrumental. He set a dazzling standard of orchestral brilliance unmatched until more than a century-and-a-half later in the scores of Hector Berlioz.
Radu’s program includes the Sinfonia No. 3 in G major plus various concerti for violin, viola d’amore, two violins, trumpet, oboe and four violins. For ticket information, visit VoxAmaDeus.org or call 610-688-2800.
Tempesta di Mare, led by co-directors Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone, will present “Concerti and Suites by Handel and Telemann” Friday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. in the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. Although both Handel and Georg Philipp Telemann were both born in late 17th century Germany, Handel departed his homeland while still a young man. He studied in Italy and then moved to England when the Prince Elector of Hanover became King George I of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Telemann remained in Germany and was, during his lifetime, a far more famous and acclaimed composer that was J.S. Bach.
Tempesta’s concert will feature Handel’s Concerto in G minor, HWW 287, and Concerto grosso, Opus 3, no. 1, HWW 312, plus Telemann’s Concerto for Multiple Instruments, TWW 54:F1, and various “Entr’actes,” TWW deest. For ticket information, visit TempestadiMare.org or call 215-755-8776.
Piffaro will perform a program entitled “Burgundian Beginnings and Beyond: A Franco-Flemish Feast” in Chestnut Hill Saturday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. The ensemble will return to Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. for a holiday delight entitled “Tydings Trew: Caroling in Early England.” The concert will feature soprano Nell Sneidas, Grammy Award-winning tenor Karim Sulayman, and Mark Rimple on plucked strings. For ticket information, visit Piffaro.org or call 215-235-8469.