Archive | BFX Main-Stage

Ospedale della Pietà

An Historic(al) Collaboration

With a Festival as rich and varied as this one, it’s easy to overlook an unusual or important program. One we want to make sure you don’t miss is the collaboration between Voices of Music and the San Francisco Girls Chorus, in their co-presentation of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. It might not be obvious […]

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Lost Songs

One of the main themes of the upcoming Berkeley Festival is reexamining the nature and meaning of “early music.” Some of the most fascinating happenings the Festival will be presentations of music from the extremes of the historical spectrum. Much attention already has been devoted to the application of historical performance practices to music of […]

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The Indispensable Guide to a Remarkable Week When you arrive at the Festival, one of the first things to do is pick up a copy of the 2018 BERKELEY FESTIVAL & EXHIBITION READER. This beautiful and comprehensive guidebook offers you—all in one place—everything you need to know to get maximum enjoyment from our week-long musical […]

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San Francisco Girls Chorus (Photo: Carlin Ma)

Singing into the Future

Voices of Youth at BFX 2018 My introduction to early music came through singing in a children’s choir. This was in 1960, a time when the voice of classical music — live, broadcast, and recorded — was stronger in our national culture than it is today, but our appreciation of early music was only beginning. […]

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Jacquet de la Guerre

Unsung Voices

In 1991, Concerto Amabile with soprano Nancy Zylstra gave a concert on the SFEMS series titled “Unsung Heroines,” a program of music by women: Barbara Strozzi, Isabella Leonarda, Maddalena Lombardini, Ana Bon, and Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre. At that time, almost 30 years ago, these composers were, if not exactly “unsung,” at least not […]

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Sequentia landscape

Beyond the Baroque

Redefining, Reimagining, Reinventing Early Music Over the last two generations, the historical performance movement has given the world both a vast and growing body of rediscovered masterworks and whole new ways of understanding and hearing the music of past eras. We have reinvented early music in our reconstructions of lost technologies and performance practices. We […]

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Debussy as Early Music: The Piano and the Pianist in the Early Twentieth Century

Berkeley Festival Event, Sponsored by the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies by Nicholas Mathew There was a time, not so long ago, when “early music” meant sackbuts and shawms: the lusty hey-nonny-nonnying of Alfred Deller, the austere anti-romantic stylings of Paul Hindemith and his followers, the twang of Wanda Landowska’s massive Pleyel harpsichords, and […]

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