May 24, 2016 |
George Frideric Handel made a cameo appearance in the 1994 film Farinelli, and was about the only presence that wasn't ridiculously romanticized. He swept in and out - irate, impatient, imposing, and fully aware of his superiority to his peers. That image came to mind Saturday during Tempesta di Mare's Saturday concert Handel & His Frenemies at the Kimmel Center: Smart, period-instrument performances put his music next to often-referenced but rarely heard composers such as Thomas Arne, Maurice Greene, and John Pepusch with unexpected benefits.
May 15, 2016
It was war and it was ruthless. . . . Handel and his Frenemies is Tempesta di Mare's closing concert of the season at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. It features Handel's own Il Pastor Fido suite and Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 3, but also works by lesser-known names such as Arne, Bononcini, and Keiser. The surprise is often how good these other composers were - but also how Handel bested them. Information: 215-755-8776 or www.tempestadimare.org
March 8, 2016 |
Well, it's a good thing the Social Justice Warrior brigade didn't find out about Tempesta di Mare's concerts last weekend. The program, titled "The Nations" and heard Saturday evening at the American Philosophical Society, dealt in some dastardly ethnic stereotypes. Well, so the SJWs might say. In fact, it was easy to shake off any moral concerns because those caricatures are now 300 years old and hardly recognizable to us in 2016, so the excellent program notes and witty spoken introduction by Tempesta directors Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone were key to letting us in on the jokes.
December 23, 2015 |
Did a tour bus suddenly let out in front of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul around the same time as its Friday Christmas concert? No, the line stretching down the windswept block was leading to the first joint concert by Tempesta di Mare, Piffaro, and Choral Arts Philadelphia. No doubt their combined mailing lists helped bring together a large crowd for three weekend concerts, plus an ambitious program titled "Advent Vespers, Dresden 1619. " Because Vespers services tend to be assembled rather than composed from whole cloth, much leeway is possible, allowing the three collaborating ensembles to come up with a varied but stylistically coherent cross-section of music heard at that time and place, mainly Heinrich Schutz, Michael Praetorius, and Samuel Scheidt.
October 27, 2015 |
Is it possible to create a "tempesta" in the spartan acoustical environs of the American Philosophical Society on Saturday? Usually, one hears the baroque orchestra Tempesta di Mare in churchier acoustics suitable to the smaller sounds made by their historically responsible performances. And those smaller sounds seemed all the more slender in the "Zimmermann's Coffeehouse" program of popular Bach pieces that are generally heard in more mainstream orchestral performances. Still, most often at Tempesta concerts one's ears adjust quickly and happily, especially when featured soloists deliver the kind of vocal alchemy of soprano Julianne Baird.
June 9, 2015 |
If Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Liszt had only listened to Rameau, their after-the-battle music might have achieved a better reputation. The baroque orchestra Tempesta di Mare, playing parts of Rameau's Les Fetes de Polyhymne , made that point in weekend concerts at Curtis Institute. The instrumental sections of this 1745 music, celebrating a French victory in the War of the Austrian Succession, proclaim pride, equate formality and achievement, and find grace in a musical narrative built on metrical and harmonic wit. Tempesta di Mare deployed its full complement for this season finale.
April 28, 2015 |
When Tempesta di Mare explores music's past, it reminds listeners that the future has a lot to learn from it. This time, the baroque music ensemble uncovered Parisian favorites Saturday at Friends Meeting in Old City. In that unadorned setting, the five instrumentalists and soprano Rosa Lamoreaux offered elegantly ornamented singing and dances and a glimpse into the serious musical bases for aristocratic entertainment. Is it art or is it entertainment? Paris had no problem with that question.
April 27, 2015
Sunday Sound and vision Composer and pianist Leonardo Le San and the dance troupe Ballet 180 teamed up to create Hybrid , a meditation on technological production and the body. The program goes on at the Painted Bride Art Center , 230 Vine St., at 3 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $30; $15 students. Call 215-925-9914. Go for baroque The baroque orchestra Tempesta di Mare , with soprano Rosa Lamoreaux as guest, plays works by Nicolas Bernier, François Couperin, Jacques Morel, Jean-Féry Rebel, and Thomas-Louis Bourgeois at 4 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill , 8855 Germantown Ave. Tickets are $24 and $34. Call 215-755-8776.
March 11, 2015 |
Performing incidental music from a movie or play in concert can be a gamble: Will a score never meant to engage the audience on its own hold the stage by itself? Tempesta di Mare played its hand deftly on Saturday night at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, bringing verve, grace, and spark to music that wasn't always worthy of such treatment but did always benefit from it. The first half of the program was music heard in London theaters in the decades on each side of 1700.
March 6, 2015 |
Maybe the French were too busy being charming, refined and picturesque to write down their music with great specificity during the glory years of the 18th century. Yet Tempesta di Mare, a baroque orchestra used to making educated musical guesses, is putting that music at the center of a multi-year, multi-disc project titled Comedie et Tragedie . It fills a void where many hesitate to tread. "If you look at the programming around the country, you see German and Italian, and no French," said Gwyn Roberts, Tempesta co-founder.