A musical celebration of the quests of benevolent monarchs and gentle knights, featuring readings from Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote
We spend our days looking for stories. Whether choosing a vivid beach read, gathering around the campfire, looking for symbiosis around the water cooler, or queuing up the next Netflix series we are going to binge-watch, humans have an insatiable and evolutionary appetite for the magic of wondrous stories. The best of these stories don’t even always have the flashiest titles or plotlines; they linger masterfully, and they astonish us by deepening our humanity. Heartland Baroque is thrilled to present Wild Giants, a program honoring the story of a hero’s journey through music and text. Miquel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, one of the great novels in This fable is curiously modern, giving voice to an array of brilliant characters and their divergent experiences with dignity and compassion, and offering a nuanced critique of the realities of 17th-Century Spain and Imperialism. Many composers throughout history have been inspired to tell the story of this literary masterpiece through music, and this concert features Georg Phillip Telemann’s sonic tribute, ‘Burlesque de Quixotte.’ The other composers in this concert represent the lexicon of the strongest artists under Austrian Habsburg rule in the early Baroque period. Heartland Baroque is thrilled to commemorate this dynasty of musicians with works that enhance the depiction of those who take up the sword to defend the helpless. Musicians such as Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Antonio Bertali, Giovanni Valentini, and their contemporaries will be featured.
The Winged Lion and The Unremembered Sea
A walking tour of Venice through the music of its 17th-Century masters, and in the words of Mark Twain
Heartland Baroque presents The Winged Lion and the Unremembered Sea, a program telling the story of Venice with the sounds of its most renowned 17th-Century musical masters, and in the words of famed humorist Mark Twain. Selections from The Innocents Abroad, published in 1869, chronicle Twain’s time in Venice as he journeyed through Europe with a group of Americans. Juxtaposed against this is the baroque period, when Venice is the veritable musical capital of Italy and is often considered one of the most alive and artistically innovative cities in the entirety of Europe. Venice’s baroque musicians paint the landscape of the city with vivid and sacred colors. Twain’s inventive (and often wry) descriptions of her gondoliers, churches, ancient bridges, art and piazzas give tender testimony to Venice’s cultural significance. Take an imaginative and compelling walking tour of Venice with Mark Twain as our 19th-Century guide, hand-in-hand with the most-revered Venetian composers of the 17th-Century: Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni Battista Fontana, Alessandro Grandi, Dario Castello, and Biagio Marini. Texts of Mark Twain and works honoring Venice and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Venice’s “protector of the waters,” will be featured.
My Daughter the Singer
The Music and Life of Venetian-born Composer, Antonia Bembo
Heartland Baroque blends music and narrative in a concert celebrating Venetian-born composer Antonia Bembo (c. 1640-c. 1720), My Daughter the Singer. Giving insight into the lives of women composers of the Baroque, as they often overcame excruciating circumstances, Heartland Baroque is eager to tell Bembo’s inspiring story through her music and readings of documents from her life. Bembo survived personal tragedy and creatively reinvented herself. A student of Cavalli, admired for her singing, Bembo had a tumultuous family life. She suffered abandonment and abuse from her unfaithful husband, and though she brought him to trial for his crimes, he was found not guilty. With the help of guitarist Francesco Corbetta, Bembo fled Venice for France. Once established in Paris, Bembo became revered by King Louis XIV for her exquisite compositions, and he later granted her a pension. Bembo’s ability to continue her career in spite of adversity shows her profound versatility. Music of Francesco Cavalli, Giovanni Legrenzi, Antonia Bembo, Francesco Corbetta, François Couperin and others will be featured.
The Benevolent Monarch
Music and musicians of the 17th-Century House of Habsburg
Heartland Baroque is excited to present The Benevolent Monarch, a program honoring the music and musicians from the House of Habsburg in the 17th-Century. As Holy Roman Emperor from 1637 until his death, Ferdinand III was an outstanding patron of music, and was himself a composer. In this concert, Heartland Baroque celebrates not only the imperial throne, but commemorates the dynasty of musicians for whom Ferdinand himself also had much respect. Works of Venetian composers at the Hapsburg court by Antonio Bertali, Giovanni Battista Buonamente, Massimiliano Neri, and Giovanni Valenti will be featured, as well as works from their colleagues Johann Joseph Fux and Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, including Schmelzer’s stunning Lamento sopra la morte di Ferdinando III. This program includes music from Heartland's debut recording of the same title, and explores the lives of these exquisite court artists.
A Love Letter to 17th-Century Italy
Heartland Baroque is thrilled to perform Baroquen-Hearted, a program which celebrates the passion and allure of Italy in the middle of the 17-Century with poetry and music. While some folks may associate love affairs with hearts, flowers, candy, and champagne, Heartland Baroque is excited to enchant you with a rich and varied musical “box of chocolates!” Heartland Baroque members Martie Perry and David Wilson, baroque violins, Keith Collins, dulcian, Barbara Krumdieck, baroque cello, and William Simms, theorbo, pay tribute to this forward-thinking musical world of 17th-Century Italy in a program of instrumental music full of deep delights from composers that include Marco Uccellini, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Isabella Leonarda, Dario Castello, Biagio Marini, and their contemporaries, with readings from poetry of the 17th-Century about love and romance. This would be the perfect program to consider as a Valentine's Day concert presentation!