Coming up in Philly music: Four cheers from Tempesta for the year 1721

2 minute read
Bach's Fourth Brandenburg Concerto is the first in Tempesta's lineup for '1721.' (Image via Wikimedia Commons.)
Bach's Fourth Brandenburg Concerto is the first in Tempesta's lineup for '1721.' (Image via Wikimedia Commons.)

In 2012 the Lyric Fest song series presented a concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of the year 1912 in the same way most music organizations celebrate events like the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. It was a funny idea but it produced a concert crowded with good music and interesting historical references. Tempesta di Mare is carrying the concept a little further. Its next online concert will celebrate the 300th anniversary of the year 1721.

It was a good year

Tempesta is titling the program 1721: A Very Good Year, and 1721 certainly deserves that accolade musically. The first item on the program will be one of the top five entries in the Baroque playlist, Bach’s Fourth Brandenburg Concerto. The other three entries are all worthy companions of Bach’s masterpiece.

The concert will be a major outing for Tempesta’s elegant concertmaster, Emlyn Ngai, and its codirector, Gwyn Roberts. In the Fourth Brandenburg, Bach’s exuberant creativity interweaves an appealing violin part, two recorders, and the orchestra. Ngai will play the violin part and follow that assignment with the equally demanding violin solo in a concerto by the Italian composer Pietro Locatelli. Roberts will take on one of the recorder parts in the Bach and share the flute honors in a concerto for two flutes by another Baroque master, Evanista Dall'abaco. The fourth item on the bill will be a good-humored orchestral suite in which George Phillip Telemann contrasted the styles and characterizations of three nations: Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.

The concert will be a personal 26th anniversary for Emlyn Ngai. He played the Locatelli concerto at his prizewinner’s concert after he won the Locatelli Competition in Italy in 1995.

What, When, Where, and Accessibility:

Tempesta di Mare will present 1721: A Very Good Year online on Saturday, March 13, at 7pm with a livestreamed post-concert talk with the audience. The show will be available on demand through March 21. Tickets are $29.99 or pay-what-you-can for students.

Image Description: An oil painting illustration of Johann Sebastian Bach. He's depicted wearing a buttoned robe or jacket and a colonial wig, with a music sheet in his hand.

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