Music from Variant Six, Filament, and a tribute from Dolce Suono

BSR Classical Interludes May 17-June 2, 2024

3 minute read
Close-up of Tom, an elderly white man, with glasses, a tan cap, white goatee, and calm smile.

Is it really spring? Regardless of the inconsistency of the weather, music for the end of May is consistently interesting. There are choral masterworks, a thousand years of a cappella music, sonatas by Buxtehude, and a concert that features the baryton (read on to see what that is!). And it rounds out with a tribute concert dedicated to Tom Purdom, beloved writer and musical man-about-town, who formerly previewed classical music for BSR, among his many other accomplishments. As you prepare for the concert, you can read editor Alaina Johns’ heartfelt remembrance.

Variant Six: Un Bel Sol
Friday, May 17, 7pm
Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting/Skyspace, 20 East Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia

Saturday, May 18, 8pm
University Lutheran Church, 3637 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

This vocal ensemble will present an a cappella concert exploring the natural world and its influence on humanity. Music will span over a thousand years, ranging from medieval and Renaissance composers (Hildegard Von Bingen and Claude Le Jeune) through contemporary composers Edie Hill and Pelle Gudmunsen-Holmgreen. The six singers are sopranos Rebecca Myser and Jessica Beebe, counter-tenor Timothy Parsons, tenor Nick Karageorgiou, baritone Steven Eddy, and bass Daniel Schwartz.

Mastersingers of Wilmington: Timeless Masterpieces
Saturday, May 18, 3pm
First & Central Presbyterian Church, 1101 North Market Street, Wilmington

This 36-voice ensemble, led by conductor/composer David Schelat, will present a concert (with orchestra) of great choral works. On the program are favorites like Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus and Handel’s Zadok the Priest. The concert also features Haydn’s great Missa in Angustiis (Nelson Mass), and the group will also sing two works—Beatus Vir and Haec Dies—by Jan Dismas Zelenka, a not-so-well-known classical Czech composer who was highly regarded by his friend, J.S. Bach.

Filament: Season Finale and Album Release
Friday, May 24, 7:30pm
Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catherine Street, Philadelphia

This early music group will round out their season by celebrating the release of their first album, a recording of Dietrich Buxtehude’s Opus 1 sonatas titled Alchemy of Another. The concert features works from the album, as well as cantatas by Johann Christoph Bach. Joining the Filament trio (Evan Few, Elena Kauffman, and John Walthausen) will be some early music all-stars—vocalists Clara Rottsolk, Meg Bragle, Jacob Perry, and Christopher Talbot, as well as guest gamba players Donna Fournier and Arnie Tanimoto.

Night Music: Haydn’s Princely Music
Thursday, May 30, 7pm
Powel House (Ballroom), 244 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia

While he was in the service of Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, Haydn wrote almost 200 works for his musical patron to play on the baryton. The instrument resembles a viola da gamba, but it includes an extra set of strings that can be plucked by hand. Night Music is putting this instrument at the center of their program that includes works by Haydn, Andreas Lidl, and Joseph Martin Kraus, “the Swedish Mozart.” The ensemble features four first-rate musicians: Karen Dekker (violin and viola), Eve Miller (cello), Heather Miller Lardin (baryton), and Steven Zohn (flute).

Dolce Suono: Songbook / In memory of Tom Purdom
Sunday June 2, 3pm
Trinity at 22nd, 2212 Spruce Street, Philadelphia

Dolce Suono is presenting a season-closer concert that’s dedicated “in loving memory of our dear friend Tom Purdom.” The ensemble—Ashley Marie Robillard (soprano), Mimi Stillman (flute), Katherine Needleman (oboe), and pianist Charles Abramovic—will play music by Handel, Telemann, Mozart, Cole Porter, Astor Piazzolla, Marina Dranishnikova, and Philadelphia composer Benjamin C.S. Boyle. You can attend in person or virtually—the concert will be recorded for video release in mid-June. Note that at the ticket link, this concert is listed, but the title, repertoire, and musicians have changed. They are correct here.

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