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ASTON MAGNA AT BARD ANNOUNCES SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Beginning July 5, five Friday concerts will feature works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Monteverdi, Mozart, Rameau, and Vivaldi

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-Aston Magna, whose concert series has been described by the New York Times as "America's preeminent summer early-music event," will present its 2002 concert series at Bard College on Friday evenings from July 5 through August 2, sponsored by The Bard Center. Under the artistic direction of Daniel Stepner, Aston Magna aims to interpret the music of the past as each composer imagined it. For almost three decades, Aston Magna has been internationally recognized for its contributions to the popularization of early music performed using historically accurate instruments and techniques. A preconcert talk begins each evening at 7:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, followed by the performance at 8:00 p.m.

The first concert, "Mozart and Haydn," on Friday, July 5, features a program of canzonets, keyboard fantasies, and concert arias. It will include a performance of Mozart's Bella mia fiamma, K. 528, with performers soprano Nancy Armstrong and fortepianist Peter Sykes.

On Friday, July 12, "Bach and Vivaldi" will include two works by Bach: the solo cantata Mein Herz Schwimmt im Blut (BWV 199), with soprano Sharon Baker, and Concerto for Oboe d'amore in A Major (BWV 1055a), with soloist Stephen Hammmer. The program also includes Vivaldi's Concerto for Strings in E Minor, F. 11, No. 13. An instrumental ensemble led by Daniel Stepner (baroque violin) and including Laura Jeppesen (baroque viola and viola da gamba), Loretta O'Sullivan (baroque cello), and Anne Trout (baroque bass) will accompany the soloists.

Harpsichordist John Gibbons, violinist Stepner, and viola da gambist Jeppesen are the featured performers for "Concerts en Trio" on Friday, July 19. They will perform Jean-Philippe Rameau's five colorful Concerts en Trio.

The main feature of the concert "The Concerted Madrigal" on Friday, July 26, will be the eighth book of Claudio Monteverdi's madrigals on the topic of love and war. Instrumental music of early Baroque composers Salomone Rossi and Biagio Manni will also be performed. Performers include sopranos Roberta Anderson and Laurie Monahan, countertenor Jeffrey Gall, tenor Bruce Fithian, baritone David Ripley, violinists Stepner and Kinloch Earle, lutist Catherine Liddell, and keyboardist Peter Sykes.

The Aston Magna at Bard 2002 series will conclude with "Bach and Handel." This program will feature performances of works by Bach, Handel, and Correlli (among others) on Friday, August 2. An instrumental ensemble, led by Stepner, will be joined by soprano Dominique Labelle, who will perform Bach's cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen (with Baroque trumpeter Josh Cohen) and Handel's recently rediscovered Gloria. Cohen is also featured in the performance of Arcangelo Correlli's sonata for trumpet and strings. The instrumental ensemble includes violinists Stepner and Nancy Wilson, violist David Miller, cellist O'Sullivan, and bassist Trout.

Daniel Stepner, artistic director, is a distinguished violinist of great versatility. He has performed and recorded contemporary music with Boston Musica Viva; the sonatas of Charles Ives with pianist John Kirkpatrick; and solo works, chamber works, and concertos from the Baroque and Classical eras on period instruments. He is first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet and has served as concertmaster of the Handel & Haydn Society, Banchetto Musicale, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, and New Haven Symphony, and as associate concertmaster of Frans Brüggen's Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century. Stepner has taught at the Eastman School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the Longy School of Music.

Aston Magna at Bard is made possible, in part, by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and The Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College. A subscription for the five concerts is $60 and for any three concerts $40; single tickets cost $15. For information on the concert series and to order tickets, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.

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This event was last updated on 06-06-2002