Two of Philadelphia’s most acclaimed and popular classical music ensembles have announced 2023-24 “live concert” seasons that include performances in Chestnut Hill.
Two of Philadelphia’s most acclaimed and popular classical music ensembles have announced 2023-24 “live concert” seasons that include performances in Chestnut Hill. Piffaro, the Renaissance Band, and Vox Ama Deus will be delighting local classical lovers with appearances in the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, the Episcopal Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Piffaro’s season of four concert programs features Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Ave. The local performances will be book-ended by Fridays at 7:30 p.m. in the Episcopal Cathedral Church of the Savior, located at 38th and Ludlow Streets in the University City section of Philadelphia. Following Piffaro’s appearances in Chestnut Hill, the ensemble will perform at Immanuel Church, Highlands, Sundays at 3 p.m. in October and May and at Christ Church Christiana Hundred, in December and March. Immanuel and Christ Church are in Wilmington.
Piffaro’s 2023-24 season opens Oct. 13-15 with “The Year the Music Died: England 1623.” That was the year when William Byrd, Thomas Weelkes and Philip Rosseter died. Byrd, in particular, has remained a composer revered throughout the classical music world. He was permitted by England’s Queen Elizabeth I to remain faithful to the Catholic Church while she established the Church of England outside the Catholic fold.
Byrd’s towering talent protected him from the religious turmoil that engulfed England through the 16th and 17th centuries. It wasn’t until the Act of Settlement of 1701, establishing the “Protestant, Reformed Faith of the Church of England,” that peace finally prevailed. The Settlement of 1701 guaranteed the smooth succession of Queen Anne to the throne of the newly denoted United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1702.
Piffaro will perform “Christmas in Southern Germany” Dec. 8-10. Advent music from the German cities of Nuremberg, Augsburg and Heidelberg will be sung and played.
The season continues March 15-17 with “The French (Italian) Connection: Music at the Court of Charles VIII of France.” Charles ruled as King of France from 1883-98. He was also King of Naples and all its territories in southern Italy – hence the title of the program. Popular tenor James Reese will join Piffaro’s band of merry musicians.
The season will come to a resounding finale May 10-12 with “The Glory of the Wind Band: Music from Portugal and Spain.” During the 16th and 17th centuries, Portugal and Spain presided over Europe’s two largest overseas empires. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the British Empire began its long ascent to being the largest overseas empire in the world. Prior to that, both Spain and Portugal inspired unrivaled musical activity, both at home and abroad.
For more information call 215-235-8469 or visit piffaro.org.
Vox Ama Deus
Artistic director Valentin Radu has announced the 2023-24 season of concerts by Vox Ama Deus, now launching its 37th year. This season’s roster boasts a dozen programs to be played in a host of local venues by the various ensembles operating under Vox’s “nameplate.”
Radu will lead Camerata Ama Deus in “Vivaldissimo” Saturday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. in the Episcopal Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Chestnut Hill. The concert will proffer sinfonias and concerti by Antonio Vivaldi, who forms, along with Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel, the “Mighty Trio” of baroque music.
Radu and the Ama Deus Ensemble will return to Chestnut Hill for a rendition of Handel’s immortal oratorio, “Messiah,” Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The Vox Renaissance Consort will present “Renaissance Noel” Saturday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m. in St. Martin’s Church. Rounding out the season of Christmastide, the Consort will proffer “A Renaissance Candlemas” Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at 8 p.m., again in St. Martin’s Church. The ensemble’s final appearance in Chestnut Hill will be “Brilliant Baroque” Saturday, March 2, at 8 p.m. in St. Martin’s Church.
Vox’s season also includes “BachFest” Sept. 10, Brahms’ “A German Requiem” Nov. 17, “Gershwin & More” Jan. 12, “Winter Soiree” Jan. 14, Bach’s “Mass in B minor” March 29, “ABC: Albinoni, Bach & Corelli” April 28, and Mozart’s “Missa Solemnis” June 2.
For more information, visit VoxAmaDeus.org or call 610-688-2800.
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