Monday, December 12, 2016

Camerata Capistrano

Camerata Capistrano, led by Dr. Lorna Peters, is a Baroque ensemble from California State University Sacramento.  They were joined in this concert by the Davis Senior High School Baroque Orchestra led by Angelo Moreno.  A Baroque orchestra in a high school is a surprise.

The violins, violas and high winds performed standing.  Dr. Peters seemed unclear that the purpose of this fad was to offer the players the opportunity to sway around while playing.  In Apollo's Fire the conductor also stands at the harpsichord and sways around.  Angelo Moreno, who performed with his ensemble rather than standing in front of it, seemed clearer on the idea.  His group swayed quite a lot.

The first 3 pieces were Camerata Capistrano alone.

Suite No.4 in D Major (5 movements) by Johann Bernhard Bach, JSB's second cousin.

"Wohl mir, dass ich Jesum habe" from Cantata "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" by Johann Sebastian Bach with small chorus and trumpet soloist.  This piece is popularly known as "Jesu joy of man's desiring" and is always pleasant to hear again.

Opening aria from cantata "Vergnügte Ruh" by JS Bach with countertenor Dan Cromeenes.  Dr Peters accompanied all three pieces on a small electronic organ keyboard.  The countertenor is excellent.

There was a lot of moving of furniture throughout the concert.

"Sinfonia spirituosa" in D major (3 movements) by George Philipp Telemann was performed by the Davis HS Baroque Orchestra with Moreno standing as concert master.  I guessed this.  He looked to be in charge.  A full sized harpsichord was rolled out for this and most of the rest of the pieces.

Is it too soon to complain?  Both keyboards did not balance well with their string players and could barely be heard.  The electric keyboard could surely be turned up a bit.


Brandenburg Concerto No 3 in G Major by JS Bach used the combined forces of all string players and was led by Moreno.  This "concerto" is an oddity because there are no soloists, only a string ensemble.  Perhaps Bach intended that they all play as soloists.  The other oddity is the absence of a middle movement clearly identified as Adagio in the notes.  They played 2 chords and went on to the finale.  This was all as it should be,

The opening allegro from "Violin Concerto in D Major by Antonio Vivaldi led by Moreno, with solo violinist Caleb Young.  He did an excellent job.

Trio Sonota in D Minor by Jean-Baptiste Barrière in 4 movements.  A trio sonata always has four players because the keyboard and bass parts form a single part called the continuo.  Our four players were Timothy Stanley, cello; Cathie Apple, traverso (Baroque flute);  David A Wells, Baroque bassoon; Faythe Volirath, harpsichord.  The cello and traverso were the solo instruments with the bassoon as the continuo instrument.  This combination worked very well.  We were told they were showing off their new instruments.

"Eternal source of Light Devine" by George Frideric Handel, a single movement from a birthday ode for the queen for solo countertenor Dan Cromeenes and trumpet Richard Gonzalez.

And finally:

Ouverture from Dardanus by Jean-Philippe Rameau played by both ensembles.  Dr Peters returned at her electronic keyboard.

All of this Baroque music was from the high Baroque.  I do love my middle Baroque and hope they are not entirely neglecting it.

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