Upcoming concerts feature Tempesta, and a choral evensong

by Michael Caruso
Posted 11/16/23

Tempesta di Mare, Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra, will return to Chestnut Hill on Dec. 1 to perform “Unmatched.”

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Upcoming concerts feature Tempesta, and a choral evensong


Tempesta di Mare, Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra, will return to Chestnut Hill on Friday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. to perform “Unmatched.” The concert will take place in the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. It will feature “multi-colored chamber music for mixed instruments.”

Scores composed by three of the most popular of all baroque composers will occupy the program’s first half. The concert will open with Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in G minor for Recorder, Oboe, Violin, Bassoon and Continuo. Hot on its heels will be Georg Philipp Telemann’s Quartor in G major for Flute, Oboe, Violin and Continuo. Rounding out the roster before the interval will be Johann Friedrich Fasch’s Sonata in D major for Flute, Violin, Bassoon and Continuo.

After intermission, Tempesta’s musicians will play Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Sonata No. 3 in B-flat for Oboe, Violin and Continuo, followed by Johann Gottlieb Janitsch’s Quadro in G major for Recorder, Oboe, Violin and Continuo. The concert will be brought to its conclusion by Joseph Bodin de Poismortier’s Concerto a Cinq Parties in E minor for Recorder, Oboe, Violin, Bassoon and Continuo.

Then, on Sunday, Nov. 26, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill will mark the Feast of St. Cecilia with a Choral Evensong at 5 p.m. It will host its annual Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 5 p.m.

For ticket information call 215-755-8776 or visit

Concert Wrap-Up

The Episcopal Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Chestnut Hill, hosted a performance by the Fairmount String Quartet of a program entitled “Sounds of Eastern Europe” on Saturday, Nov. 4. The ensemble, comprised of violinists Rachel Segal and Leah Kyoungwoon Kim-Tomlinson, violist Beth Dzwil and cellist Mimi Morris-Kim, played Grazyna Bacewiicz’s String Quartet No. 4, Four Bagatelles by Alan Hovhaness and Antoni Dvorak’s String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat, Opus 51.

Of the three works, it was the first that most caught my attention. The composer, a 20th-century female Polish musician, constructed a score of surpassing individuality and challenging beauty. The Fairmount players projected its appealing ingenuity.

They delineated the tart tonality of Hovhaness’ Bagatelles and the throbbing romanticism of the Dvorak.

Mozart and Saint-Georges

Concertmaster Min-Young Kim conducted and was the soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 5, in the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater. She led the ensemble in Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A major, K. 201, and Symphony No. 2 in D major, Opus 111, of Joseph Bologne (Chevalier de Saint-Georges). In between the two symphonies, she was the sterling soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-flat major, K. 207.

Bologne (1745-99) was the first bi-racial classical composer to establish himself in the European musical community. Born in the French colony of Guadeloupe, his father was a wealthy, white plantation owner and his mother was one of the Creole people his father employed. After studying in Europe, he became a considerably successful composer.

His Second Symphony is a tightly constructed score of lyrical themes and compelling development. Kim led the Chamber Orchestra in a sizzling rendition.

She combined the dual roles of conductor and soloist in Mozart’s First Violin with aplomb and brought the concert to a close with an exemplary interpretation of Symphony No. 29. The concert was heard by a large and enthusiastic audience.

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia will celebrate the Christmas season with a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and more on Friday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2:30 p.m., in the Perelman Theater. Call 215-656-1739 or visit

Maurice Durufle’s Requiem Mass

St. Paul’s Church marked the “Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed” on Nov. 5, the Sunday after All Souls Day (Nov. 2), with a complete performance of Maurice Durufle’s setting of the Latin liturgy of the Requiem Mass. Placed securely within the context of the Rite I of Solemn Eucharist in the Book of Common Prayer, the parish’s acclaimed music director Andrew Kotylo and its magisterial Adult Choir proffered an interpretation worthy of any cathedral choir in the world.

Durufle’s Requiem Mass is notable for its uncanny combination of medieval plainsong and early 20th-century chromatic tonality. By surrounding the serpentine melodies of Gregorian chant with modal harmonies – never compromising the integrity of either – Durufle produced a singular addition to the repertoire of sacred choral music.

Kotylo and his choristers, with organ scholar Andy Brown accompanying at St. Paul’s nighty Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, gave the score a reading that pulsed with power, whispered with hushed intensity, throbbed with heartfelt emotion and soared with unfettered spirituality. The rendition immeasurably enhanced the liturgy, which was celebrated by the parish’s rector, the Rev. Eric Hungerford.

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