Masterful Madames

October 29 (Sudbury) and October 30 (Boston)

MasterfulMadamesThe program celebrates three fabulous forgotten female composers: Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia, Wilhelmine of Prussia, and Anna Bon. Featured works include the expressive Flute Sonata in F Major by Anna Amalia, the only surviving multi-movement work by this gifted little-known composer. A sister of Frederick the Great and a patron of the arts, she devoted herself to music and amassed an important music library. 

The concert also includes the brilliant Harpsichord Concerto in G Minor by Wilhelmine of Prussia, one of the earliest surviving works in this genre. Another sister of Frederick the Great, she was the Margravine of Bayreuth and an accomplished lutinist. The ensemble will also perform an evocative trio sonata by Anna Bon. Bon was in the service of Wilhelmine and her family at the court in Bayreuth. She was a talented singer and composer who received her early training at the orphanage for girls in Venice where Vivaldi taught.

Rounding out the program are trio sonatas by Frederick the Great’s court composers Franz Benda, J.J. Quantz, and Christoph Schaffrath.

Suzanne Stumpf, traverso
Sarah Darling and Jesse Irons, violins
Marcia Cassidy, viola
Daniel Ryan, cello
Michael Sponseller, harpsichord

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American Originals

December 10 (Boston) and December 11 (Worcester)

MoravianFor Moravian immigrants to the American colonies in the mid-1700s, music was an essential part of everyday life. In their tight-knit communities in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, opportunities were given to all to learn music and contribute to the music of religious services, resulting in a nearly universal level of musical literacy of its members, an extraordinary aspect of this society. Their passion for music-making and dedication to composing resulted in a rich archive from which the ensemble constructed the program to celebrate the holiday season. 

In addition to vocal solos, duets, and instrumental works penned by the Moravians themselves, the ensemble will include lively and sublime instrumental selections by J.C.F. Bach, Graun, and Quantz that were meticulously preserved in their collections. Many of the program selections will receive their modern-day premieres for these concerts!

Jessica Petrus, soprano
Hilary Anne Walker, mezzo-soprano 
Suzanne Stumpf and Wendy Rolfe, traversi
Sarah Darling and Jesse Irons, violins
Marcia Cassidy, viola
Sarah Freiburg, cello
Michael Beattie, organ

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Baroque Diva 

March 11 (Wayland) and March 12 (Boston)

BordoniThe singer Faustina Bordoni was one of Europe's first superstar performers. She starred in operatic roles in Italy, Germany, and most especially in London, where Handel wrote some of his greatest operas with her unique singing and acting ability in mind. 

Grammy-nominated soprano Teresa Wakim is featured in arias written for Faustina by Handel, her husband J.A. Hasse, and Leonardo Vinci, among others. The program includes sparking instrumental works of other composers she was known to have inspired, including Gasparini and other composers from the Dresden court. 

Teresa Wakim, soprano
Suzanne Stumpf, traverso
Sarah Darling and Jesse Irons, violins
Marcia Cassidy, viola
Daniel Ryan, cello
Sylvia Berry, harpsichord

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Into the Light

April 29 (Worcester) and April 30 (Boston)

GraupnerThrill to the unveiling of lost works by Christoph Graupner, an unsung German composer who was as legendary in his day as his contemporaries Bach and Telemann. He turned down the appointment in Leipzig for which he was chosen over J.S. Bach in order to continue his work leading a creative coteries of musicians at the Darmstadt court.

Unseen for centuries, his compositions are gradually coming to light. We introduce you one of his many inventive flute concertos, his Trio Sonata in B Minor for flute, violin, and continuo, and his Sonata in G major for flute and obbligato harpsichord. The program also includes a suite for strings and continuo by his Darmstadt patron Count Ernst-Louis, a quartet for flute, two violas, and continuo by his talented student Johann Fasch, and a suite for strings and continuo by his good friend Telemann. 

Suzanne Stumpf, traverso
Sarah Darling and Jesse Irons, violins
Marcia Cassidy, viola
Daniel Ryan, cello
Michael Sponseller, harpsichord

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