Aston Magna Festival Presents “Love and Lamentation” Early Music Concerts at Bard College on Fridays, June 17 through July 8
Annandale-on-Hudson – Early music instrumentalists are tuning up for the Aston Magna Music Festival’s 44th season, “Love and Lamentation,” featuring four Friday evening concerts at Bard College, June 16 through July 8 at 8 p.m. in the László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Hall. A pre-concert talk takes place before each concert at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door, with subscriptions and discounts found online, at astonmagna.org. To purchase tickets by phone please call 888-492-1283.
On June 17, Aston Magna presents “Love and Lamentation: 17th Century Italian Monody,” with a first-time Aston Magna appearance by Erin Headley, internationally renowned lirone musician and scholar. As guest conductor, Headley leads the Aston Magna ensemble and vocalists Kristen Watson and Nell Snaidas, sopranos, in the music of Monteverdi, Marazzoli, Rossi, and Marini. Performing in the Baroque ensemble are Catherine Liddell, theorbo; Laura Jeppesen, violin/viola da gamba; Daniel Stepner, Baroque violin; Michael Sponseller, harpsichord; and Headley on lirone and viola da gamba.
The program includes the prologue from L’Orfeo and Lament of Arianna by Claudio Monteverdi; Elena Invecchiata vanitas’ cantata on the aging Helen of Troy by Marco Marazzoli; Lament of Zaida; and Scenes from Orfeo by Luigi Rossi.
On June 24, Aston Magna artistic director Daniel Stepner, baroque violin, leads “The Trio Sonata,” a collection of violin works by Handel, Corelli, Purcell, and Leclair, and a newly commissioned work for period instruments by Alex Burtzos. Stepner is joined by Brazilian violinist Edson Scheid, with Aston Magna ensemble members Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba, and Michael Sponseller, harpsichord.
“Mozart’s Diversions” talks place June 30, with A Musical Joke, The Horn Quintet, and Divertimento, K. 287, performed by natural hornists Todd Williams and Linda Dempf, and the Aston Magna string ensemble.
Aston Magna’s season finale, on July 9, brings a revelry of vocal talent to the “J.S. Bach: Sacred and Secular” featuring Dominique Labelle, soprano; Deborah Rentz-Moore, alto; William Hite and Frank Kelley, tenors; and Ulysses Thomas and Jesse Blumberg, baritones. The singers will be accompanied by theAston Magna baroque ensemble. The program features Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, BWV 1068; Cantata No 12: Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen; and Cantata No. 201: The Contest of Phoebus and Pan.
Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door, with subscriptions and discounts found online, at http://astonmagna.org. To purchase tickets by phone call 888-492-1283.
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About Aston Magna
Since 1972, Aston Magna has forged an important and unique place in American cultural life. Founded by Lee Elman and the late Albert Fuller, the Aston Magna Music Festival, now under the musical direction of Daniel Stepner, is America’s oldest annual summer festival devoted to music performed on period instruments. Aston Magna’s pioneering history includes the first American performances of the complete Bach Brandenburg Concertos and the first Mozart symphonies on original instruments. Aston Magna’s international concert performances have included appearances at the Valtice Festival in the Czech Republic and a European tour of Handel’s oratorio, The Triumph of Time and Truth, at venues in Europe such as the Pamphilj Palace in Rome, where the work was first heard under Handel’s direction in 1707.
Aston Magna seeks to interpret the music of the past as the composer imagined it. Original period instruments — or historically accurate reproductions – are essential performance elements. Performance techniques are appropriate to the period, national styles, culture and aesthetics of the time.
Aston Magna pursues these goals in its educational and public programs, recordings and books. For two decades, the Aston Magna Academies brought together artists and scholars in all disciplines of the humanities for three weeks of intensive interdisciplinary exploration. A series of books based on the themes of the Academies is being published. Schubert’s Vienna, is available through Yale University Press, and The Worlds of Johann Sebastian Bach is available through Amadeus Press.
Aston Magna’s growing discography includes performances of the Schubert Octet and Mozart Quintets on the Harmonia Mundi label; The Musical Offering and other works by J.S. Bach, Bach cantatas as well as Handel’s Triumph of Time and Truth, Mozart quintets and Monteverdi’s landmark opera, L’Orfeo, on the Centaur label.
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