Com­ing up in Philly music: Pif­faro does Bur­gundy with trumpets

2 minute read
Piffaro is resurrecting the sounds of the Renaissance. (Photo by PLATE3)
Piffaro is resurrecting the sounds of the Renaissance. (Photo by PLATE3)

Piffaro’s Renaissance instruments resurrect the sounds that rang through the palaces and cathedrals of Europe from 1400 to 1650. For their first concert of the new season, Piffaro’s musical time machine will visit 15th Century Burgundy, a thriving duchy that supported some of the leading composers of the day. The program will cover the whole range of Burgundian music, from the court to the countryside, and it will add two newcomers to a collection that already includes over 50 examples of the historical replicas that give Renaissance music its unique sonic mix.

A contemporary instrument maker, Nathaniel Wood, has produced two replicas of the straight trumpets that played fanfares and transmitted signals.

There are no surviving examples of Renaissance straight trumpets and we have no Renaissance scores composed specifically for trumpets. Wood has based his replicas on Renaissance pictures and the new instruments will play trumpet music composed for other instruments, including a famous “Gloria in the manner of a trumpet” by the Renaissance master, Guillaume Dufay.

Spotlighting the season

Piffaro is a Philadelphia product that has acquired an international reputation over the last 35 years. Its new season will, as usual, bounce across regions and time periods. In December, Piffaro’s annual Christmas concert will spotlight the carols of early England. Its March offering will visit the court of the Italian cultural leader Isabella d’Este. In May, Piffaro will jump all the way to our time, with the premiere of a new piece for Renaissance instruments by BSR contributor Kile Smith, who scored a national hit with the Vespers he composed for Piffaro in 2008.

What, When, Where:

Piffaro, the Renaissance Band will present “Burgundian Beginnings & Beyond: A Franco-Flemish Feast” on October 4 at 7:30pm at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 South 38th Street; October 5 at 7:30pm at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia; and October 6 at 3pm at Immanuel Church, Highlands, 2400 West 17th Street, Wilmington Delaware. Tickets are $29 general, $39 preferred, $49 premium, youth and full-time students are free with ID, and they’re available at 215-235-8469, online, and at the door.

Join the Conversation