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Oct 3, 2013

A View from the Orchestra – what our musicians are thinking about Baroque Austria: Salzburg and Vienna

Baroque Austria: Salzburg and Vienna is Tafelmusik’s first concert at our newly revitalized home venue, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall. We are looking forward to showing off our new space, but also to introducing you to some rarely-heard, and really quite exciting, music. Guest directed by the German/Argentinian violinist Manfredo Kraemer, this concert includes music by Fux, Biber, Schmelzer, Rittler, and Muffat. 

Here’s what the orchestra thinks:

Cristina Zacharias, violin
I'm very excited to be playing this wonderful Austrian music on the Tafelmusik stage this week.  As the instrumental chamber music co-ordinator at TBSI, I often use pieces such as the Biber, Muffat, and Schmelzer to introduce students to the unusual, gorgeous, and captivating music from this time.  They always react with wonder, excitement and enthusiasm to the incredible part writing, intricate lines, and rhythmic vitality.  One of my favourite TBSI chamber concert moments was the student's rowdy and hilarious performance of the Biber Battalia - I'm looking forward to seeing what Manfredo Kraemer and my incredible colleagues bring to the stage this week!

Julia Wedman, violin
I love Muffat. What's cool about him is that a lot of the Austrian composers were heavily influenced by the Italians, but Muffat spent a lot of time as a kid in France, so his music is a wonderful mix of styles! It's Austrian with a French accent instead of an Italian accent. I have been looking forward to meeting Manfredo Kraemer for so many years! I'm so excited that he is finally coming to play with Tafelmusik!

Manfredo's recordings with Rare Fruits Council, Musica Antiqua Koln, and Jordi Savall have inspired me since I was a student - his playing is spontaneous, creative, free, and beautiful. I don't know if this has anything to do with his Argentinian roots, but he also has great rhythm! I saw him play a fantastic concert in New York a few years ago, and I am thrilled that our audience in Toronto will get to experience his exceptional artistry. 

Manfredo has chosen an absolutely wonderful programme for us to play. The music this week is so interesting, beautiful, funny, dramatic, and full of surprises. I know people will love it - and it will sound especially good in our beautiful new hall!

Charlotte Nediger, harpsichord
I’m very much looking forward to working with Manfredo. As librarian, I’ve been corresponding with him about details of the music (editions of several of the pieces have been newly prepared for these concerts) – and it’s clear that he’s very knowledgeable about this repertoire, and that he really loves it. The concert combines two extended suites for full orchestra – oboes, bassoon and strings – with four pieces for large string ensembles. The Austrians loved the rich sound of string music written in many parts, and it’s fun both to play and to hear. Tafelmusik plays this music only rarely, so this concert is a real treat!

Patrick G. Jordan, viola
I have worked with Manfredo in the past, and very much enjoyed it, so I have been looking forward to another chance at that. I also think it's great that we're bringing this particular repertoire to our audience - I can almost guarantee that anyone who comes to this concert will leave with the reaction "I didn't know baroque music could be that wild!"

Christopher Verrette, violin
Manfredo Kraemer is a guest we have been eagerly waiting to have for years. This is also very special music for me: when I first had the opportunity to play on period instruments, pieces by Biber, Muffat and especially Schmelzer were among the music I fell in love with. On that note, couples are supposed to have their "song": my wife's and mine is by Schmelzer. I think a lot of people try period instruments in the first place because they want to play Bach better; but it is the lesser known composers that one discovers that keeps them doing it, and makes into early music "lifers."

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Tags: 

Baroque Austria
Christopher Verrette
Charlotte Nediger
Julia Wedman
Cristina Zacharias