Calendar: May 14–20, 2018

Monday, May 14

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, Conductor
J.S. Bach, Orchestral Suites 1–4. Historians have noted that Bach’s music is intensely infused with the spirit of dance, whether expressing joy, felicity, sorrow, or devotion. The musical forms of dance were some of the most essential and permeating components of music from the Baroque era. Those clearly defined elements determined tempos, moods or affects, and the structural architectures of the vast majority of Baroque musical works, both with texts and purely instrumental. Bach’s suites not only celebrate the dance, but also the phenomenal technical abilities of his musicians. Bach titled them “Ouvertures” referring to the grand movement that opens the work, followed by a suite of dances, all requiring the most virtuoso instrumentalists. All four Orchestral Suites will be presented in these concerts, full of exuberant sonority, captivating melody, and displays of virtuosity from ABS’s famous roster of “the best American specialists in early music” (The Washington Post).

7 PM
Davis Community Church
412 C Street at Fourth
Tickets online $35 to $89

Wednesday, May 16

San Francisco Recorder Society
Monthly playing session with conductor Fred Palmer. New members and guests welcome.

7:30–9:30 PM
Christ Church Lutheran
1090 Quintara St. (at 20th Ave.), San Francisco.
Non-members $10 fee applied to membership.
For more information contact Florence Kress: 415-731-9709,

Saturday, May 19

East Bay Recorder Society
“Headlands in Berkeley” The world-famous Headlands Workshop sponsored by the East Bay Recorder Society has moved to an every-other-year schedule, with the next full weekend event happening in May, 2019. But we couldn’t go a whole year without some multi-faculty fun, so for 2018 we are doing “Headlands in Berkeley.” This workshop follows the usual Saturday Headlands schedule of 2 class sessions before lunch and 2 class sessions after. The faculty this year are Frances Blaker, Tish Berlin, Frances Feldon, and Judith Linsenberg.

9 AM–4:30 PM
St. Mary Magdalen
2005 Berryman St., Berkeley
$60 full day, $30 half day Lunch is provided as part of your participation fee.
Resistration and complete information:
Email Merlyn Katechis or phone 510-593-4679

Sunday, May 20

Gallimaufry, Shira Kammen, Artistic Director
Gian Carlo Menotti, The Unicorn, The Gorgon, & The Manticore A madrigal fable with early music by Gibbons, Byrd, and more. Menotti’s madrigals recount the story of an eccentric fellow living alone in a castle who acquires a succession of mythical beasts as pets (the unicorn, the gorgon, and the manticore). Each time he appears with a new pet, his fellow citizens are outraged that he has abandoned (killed?) the old one, but rush to acquire one for themselves. The composition showcases human frailty—our tendency to jump to conclusions, to assume the worst about others, and to succumb to the allure of fashion—in wonderful music. Guest instrumentalists David Morris, Letitia Berlin, Roy Whelden, Peter Maund, and Asher Davison

4 PM
Arlington Community Church
52 Arlington Avenue, Kensington
Tickets only at the door: General $20, Seniors $15 Students $10

San Francisco Renaissance Voices, Katherine McKee, Music Director
“To Henry from Florence with Love: Renaissance Madrigals and Motets” The King has moved his court to Hunsdon for fear of catching the “sweating sickness” and only a few servants and members of the household remain behind. Two young Wards stumble upon a mysterious basket that holds music books that in all likelihood were a gift to Henry from the republic of Florence by ambassador Francesco Portinari as they play in the library. They summon the Keeper of the King’s Library who knows exactly what to do – gather the household and sing from them! San Francisco Renaissance Voices (Katherine McKee, Music Director) is delighted to present a rare performance of madrigals from this collection of Italian masterpieces, sent as a gift to Henry VIII from Florence, Italy, a five-volume set of madrigal and motet partbooks that were assembled in Florence and sent as a gift or “musical embassy”to the English court in the late 1520’s. Our singers for this production are Daniel Harper as The Chief Baker, Katherine McKee as Keeper of the King’s Library, Naomi Braun as The Nurse, Colby Roberts as Friar Dionysius Memmo, Dan Stanley as The Steward of the Silver and Venetian Glass, and Nick Volkert as The Master of the Horse. They will be joined by actors Twila Ehmcke, Allison Newman, and Ryan Newman, dancer Irenie Melin-Gompper, and Matthew Xie, plucked instruments, for this very special costumed production, which will also include English and Spanish pieces from the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The performance of these rarely heard works of the pieces from the Florentine part books is made possible through the kind permission of The University of Chicago Press.

4 PM
St. Clement’s Episcopal Church
2837 Claremont Avenue, Berkeley
$30 general $25 student/senior, $20 12 or younger
Tickets at or at the door 1/2 hour before concert.

Continue reading next week’s calendar . . .