Organ enthusiasts, rejoice!

BSR Classical Music Interludes, October 2023, part 2

5 minute read
A closeup shot of the keys on an organ
Catch 'Nosferatu' this month at Verizon Hall, especially if you're a fan of the organ. (Photo courtesy of Kimmel Cultural Campus.)

The second half of this month is even busier than the first! Music on offer around the region ranges from the 17th century all the way to the 20th, with offerings that include Handel and Vivaldi, Strauss, Schubert, Korngold, and so much more—including a classical/pops crossover and some unusual programs dedicated to the organ. Read on!

Tempesta di Mare: Handel & Vivaldi
Saturday, October 21, 7:30pm
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia

Sunday, October 22, 4pm
Trinity Center for Urban Life, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

This notable baroque ensemble presents an exuberant program with some well-known works interpreted as only they can: Handel’s iconic Water Music compositions (in both F and G), a Vivaldi concerto for orchestra featuring natural horns, and a rediscovered flute concerto by Johann Friedrich Fasch. Over the past few years, Tempesta has been resurrecting Fasch’s music and winning accolades here and abroad.

Longwood Gardens: Open Organ Console Day
Saturday, October 21, 10:30am-1:30pm
Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square

The Longwood organ is the largest residential Aeolian instrument ever constructed (10,000+ pipes), a stunning specimen of American Art Deco organ design. Visitors can book five-minute slots to sit at the organ console—and play! It’s free with ticketed garden admission, but you must register for your moment of musical glory. Visitors can also walk behind the instrument to see its fabulous engineering and construction.

Brett Miller: Nosferatu
Sunday, October 29, 5pm
Verizon Hall at Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia

To get you into a spooky holiday spirit, organist Brett Miller has reconstructed and adapted Hans Erdmann’s lost score for F.W. Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu. For the past decade, Miller has been specializing in the art of silent film accompaniment, and he’ll accompany this classic thriller on the Kimmel’s 7,000-pipe Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ. You can reserve tickets for the free concert, but seating is first-come, first-served general admission.

Filament: Never Odd or Even
Saturday, October 21, 7pm
Immanuel Episcopal Church, The Strand and Harmony Streets, Old New Castle

Sunday, October 22, 3pm
Church of the Good Shepherd Rosemont, 1116 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr

Founded in 2019, this early music trio (Evan Few, Elena Smith, and John Walthausen) was named by the journal Early Music America as a 2021 Emerging Artist and will soon release their debut album of Dietrich Buxtehude’s Opus 1. For this season’s opener, the ensemble plays sonatas from that composer’s Opus 2, along with works by Samuel Scheidt and Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. In Old New Castle, the concert is presented free of charge; the Bryn Mawr concert (part of the Main Line Early Music series) is ticketed.

Curtis Symphony and Opera: Spectacular Strauss
Sunday, October 22, 7pm
Verizon Hall at Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s podium star Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts these fine Curtis student ensembles, opening their 2023-24 season with a tribute to Richard Strauss. The program begins with “Dance of the Seven Veils” from Salome, under the baton of conducting student Micah Gleason. Then, Maestro Nézet-Séguin takes the podium for vocal highlights from Strauss’s 1912 opera Ariadne auf Naxos, followed by vocal and orchestral selections from Der Rosenkavalier.

Variant Six: Stabat Mater
Friday, October 27, 7pm
First Presbyterian Church of Germantown, 35 West Chelten Avenue, Philadelphia

This virtuosic Philadelphia ensemble presents two mystical, seldom-heard vocal masterworks. Rebecca Myers, Aryssa Burrs, Daniel Taylor, Steven Eddy, and Daniel Schwartz will sing Francis Poulenc’s harmonically dense Stabat Mater and the introspective Via Crucis by Franz Liszt. This group usually sings a cappella, and this is their first collaboration with a pianist (Ting Ting Wong), which is especially apt for Liszt. Tickets are free with registration and a suggested donation at the door.

Calidore String Quartet: Three String Quartets
Friday, October 27, 8pm
Gore Recital Hall at the University of Delaware School of Music, 110 Orchard Road, Newark

This New York ensemble is in residency at the University of Delaware School of Music, where they serve on the string faculty and direct the graduate String Quartet Fellowship program. In November, the busy group goes overseas with concerts in the UK, Germany, and Estonia. But you can catch them in Newark playing the works they’re taking on tour: Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 4 in E minor; Korngold’s String Quartet in D Major; and the String Quartet No. 15 in G Major of Franz Schubert. Gore Recital Hall is a very intimate venue, so get tickets soon.

The No Name Pops: Let’s Groove Tonight: Motown and the Philly Sound
Saturday, October 28, 3 and 8pm
Verizon Hall at Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia

This column is dedicated to previews of the area’s classical music scene, but there are countless crossovers among the region’s professional musicians, and the newly formed No Name Pops orchestra is a perfect example. The ensemble, formed in May 2023, is making their Kimmel debut, and they’ll also perform nine December holiday shows there in collaboration with the venue and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Here, trumpeter Herb Smith makes his Philadelphia conducting debut in this Motown concert that also features Broadway singer/actor Chester Gregory.

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