Tafelmusik Chamber Choir. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
By Larry Beckwith
As the remarkable Tafelmusik Chamber Choir approaches celebrations of its fortieth anniversary, a visceral scene comes to mind:
This season we have been exploring the theme of music as resistance and the ways in which music has given voice to those who have been chronically underrepresented. In 17th-century Europe —and still to this day— that group of people includes female composers.
Here at Tafelmusik, performances of Handel Messiah are an annual tradition. Also a favourite of ours, Bach Christmas Oratorio was last performed by the orchestra in December 2015, and was scheduled to be performed this season—until the pandemic affected our ability to gather for live performances.
Violinist Geneviève Gilardeau
Tafelmusik violinist Geneviève Gilardeau talks alternate tunings and shares insight as the program curator ahead of our upcoming chamber concert, Close Encounters: Re-Tuned.
Cellist Keiran Campbell with Tafelmusik Chamber Choir. Photo by Dahlia Katz.
The bow is an essential piece of “equipment” for every string player, and for period players it means having a range of bows from different eras and of different styles.
By Charlotte Nediger
Portrait of Steffani by Gerhard Kappers, c.1714
By Julia Seager-Scott, harp
Julia Seager-Scott, harp
The baroque triple harp was one answer to accommodate the expanding musical language that was emerging at the turn of the seventeenth century. Finding a way to make the harp a continuo instrument, capable of playing a figured bass line with accompanying chords in any key, was the main driver behind the drastic changes seen in the harps of this time.
“‘Oh the recorders, let me see one.” Hamlet, Act 3 sc. 2
A member of the flute family with relatives in other cultures around the world, the recorder is known to have been in use in Italy by the fourteenth century. The earliest recorders were made from a single piece of wood and came in two sizes. By 1619, the composer and music theorist Michael Praetorius listed eight different sizes, from a small sopranino to a great bass.