Exploring the Cornetto and Breathtaking Composers — Part One

Bruce DickeyBy the middle of the 17th century, the standard instrumentation of small-scale concerted music with a solo voice was two violins and basso continuo, with or without an obbligato bass instrument. This reflected the growing popularity of string instruments and the parallel and related decline of the cornetto. In the first couple of decades of the century, however, it is fairly common to find works calling for a single obbligato soprano… Read More » »

Breathtaking: A Voice and a Cornetto Entwined

Bruce Dickey

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the cornetto was fabled for its remarkable ability to imitate the human voice. This concert is a celebration of the affinity of the cornetto and the human voice – an exploration of how they combine, converse and complement each other, whether responding in the manner of a dialogue or entwining as two equal partners in a musical texture. This perceived similary of the voice and the cornetto… Read More » »

A Portland Baroque Reading List

PBO Board Chairman and historian, William Willingham, offers a stellar reading list for anyone interested in Baroque music, performance practice, or Mozart:

  • Schulenberg, David.  Music of the Baroque (New York, Oxford U. Press, 2001)
    • A good introduction to Baroque Music if a bit on the text book side in approach.
  • Kenyon, Nicholas, ed. Authenticity and Early Music (New York, Oxford, U. Press, 1988)
    • A good guide to period performance practice
    Read More » »

    Meet Guest Soloist Josh Cohen

    Vivaldi’s Spell will feature guest-soloist and baroque trumpeter Josh Cohen!

    Josh Cohen - Baroque Trumpet

    Josh Cohen

    A native of the Washington, D.C. area, baroque trumpeter Josh Cohen is greatly sought after by many leading early music ensembles throughout North America. For the past nine seasons, Mr. Cohen has been principal baroque trumpet with the Washington Bach Consort. He has also performed as principal and solo baroque trumpet for ensembles such as Studio de… Read More » »

    If Bach is the Air We Breathe, Vivaldi is the Oxygen

    Antonio VivaldiVivaldi’s 1711 Opus 3, L’estro Armonico, was a shot across the bow of Baroque music. The juggernaut of Arcangelo Corelli had steamed over every composer in Europe, and the concerto (soloist/s accompanied by orchestra) had been perfected in Corelli’s twelve crystalline yet genial concertos for two violins and one cello (and orchestra). No such constraint bound Father Antonio however, so he issued his first publication of concertos… Read More » »

    Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 2 & 4

    Our Vivaldi’s Spell series features J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos No. 2, BWV 1047 and No. 4, BWV 1049!

    J.S. BachBach’s Brandenburg concertos were submitted as a job application in 1721. Comprising six concertos of entirely different instrumentation, they didn’t impress the Margrave of Brandenburg, whose orchestra didn’t have enough members to play them anyway, and these glorious pieces languished in his archives until 1849. Since their… Read More » »

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