June 5, 2015
Tempesta di Mare
Tempesta di Mare
Andy Kahl

Tempesta di Mare, the Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra, will celebrate its fourteenth season in 2015-16, with five new orchestral and chamber programs that explore the musical heritage of more than a dozen European countries, including the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Christmas-time will bring a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, and Choral Arts Philadelphia. The fourth season of Tempesta’s Artist Recital Series features three programs, each performed by partners in real life. Performances will take place throughout Philadelphia, including a return to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, Tempesta di Mare will release its tenth recording for the Chandos label, Comédie & Tragédie, vol. 2, the second volume devoted to French baroque orchestral music for the theater. Throughout the season, Tempesta di Mare – led by Co-Directors Gwyn Roberts (recorder and flute) and Richard Stone (lute), and concertmaster Emlyn Ngai – will perform numerous signature discoveries and modern premieres, and will welcome outstanding soloists including audience favorite soprano Julianne Baird, and Grammy Award-winning tenor Aaron Sheehan.

Tempesta di Mare’s 2015-2016 orchestra and chamber season begins on October 23 and 24 with Zimmermann’s Coffeehouse, a nod to the famous Leipzig venue that provided the backdrop for first performances of many of J. S. Bach’s cantatas and instrumental works. Soprano Julianne Baird joins the ensemble in the secular cantata Non, sa che sia dolore (He knows not what sorrow is), and highlights from The Coffee Cantata. The program also includes concertos for violin and recorder, including the popular Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041, and a version for recorder of the Organ Sonata in G, BWV 530, which appears “reimagined” on Tempesta di Mare’s recording of Bach Trio Sonatas (Chandos). Presented at the American Philosophical Society in Center City and the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, the program celebrates the life and legacy of Tempesta di Mare’s “own” Mr. Zimmerman. Robert Zimmerman, who passed away in August 2014, was a music lover, visionary and long-time Tempesta di Mare board member whose support and enthusiasm are a continued inspiration to the orchestra.

On December 18, 19 and 20, Philadelphia’s three leading early music ensembles come together for the first time when Tempesta di Mare is joined by Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, and Choral Arts Philadelphia, for Christmas in Germany, a reënactment of the remarkable musical meeting of composers Michael Praetorius, Heinrich Schütz and Samuel Scheidt for a festive Advent Vespers in the Dresden Court of Johann George I in 1619. Tempesta places Praetorius’ Magnificat super Ut re mi fa sol at the center of the recreation, alongside psalm settings by Schütz, and instrumental contributions by Scheidt. Performances take place in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, and, on the 20th, at Trinity Church in Wilmington, Delaware. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from The Presser Foundation and Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia.

On March 5 and 6, the Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra presents The Nations, a palette of off-the-beaten-track national musical colors that are rarely heard in a single evening. Telemann's Folk Suite anchors the program with his orchestral representations of music from Russia, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey. Three discoveries grace the program: a concerto by Italian-born Francesco Barsanti that incorporates Scottish fiddling; an overture by Silesian-born Johann Gottlieb Janitsch who worked in the Prussian court of Frederick the Great; and Drottningholm Music by the “father of Swedish music,” Johan Helmich Roman. Finally, a symphony by Jan Dismas Zelenka draws on that composer's exotic, Eastern European roots. Performances take place at the American Philosophical Society and Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill.

On April 23 and 24, the principal players of Tempesta di Mare – Gwyn Roberts, Emlyn Ngai, violinist Karina Schmitz, cellist Lisa Terry, Richard Stone and harpsichordist Adam Pearl – present A Tale of Two Italian Cities juxtaposing chamber music by Venetian composers Dario Castello, Giovanni Legrenzi and Antonio Vivaldi, with Neapolitans Andrea Falconieri, Alessandro Scarlatti and Francesco Mancini, the latter of whose music is the focus of the recording Solos for a Flute (Chandos), featuring Roberts. Performances take place at Arch Street Meeting House (East Room) and The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill.

During his long and successful career in London, George Frideric Handel had many friendly rivalries with fellow-composers. On May 21, Tempesta di Mare concludes its 2015-16 season at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with Handel & His Frenemies. Alongside the German-born composer’s Water Music are works by popular contemporary English composers William Boyce and Maurice Greene, and German-born Johann Christoph Pepusch who settled in England and is most famous for his score to John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera. Also German-born but largely forgotten today is Reinhard Keiser, represented by another Tempesta discovery, his Concerto in D. This concert is presented as part of the Nancy and Dick Eales series at the Kimmel Center.

2015-2016 marks the fourth season of Tempesta di Mare's celebrated Artist Recital Series. Curated by Tempesta's musicians, this season's three programs feature couples who perform within or as guests of the orchestra. The presentations maintain an informal atmosphere in inspiring surroundings, including an ongoing collaboration with the Woodmere Art Museum.

On November 7 and 8, Tempesta di Mare co-founders Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone will present works by Bach and François Couperin for flute and recorder, lute and theorbo. On January 16 and 17, harpsichordist Adam Pearl and his partner tenor Aaron Sheehan, who won a 2015 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, juxtapose English songs by Benjamin Britten and his muse, Henry Purcell. On the final Artist Recital, on April 2 and 3, violinists Daniela Pierson and Christof Richter play duets by Telemann, Leclair and Bartók.

Tempesta di Mare’s programs are supported in part by The William Penn Foundation, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, The Presser Foundation, The Samuel S. Fels Fund, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Chestnut Hill Community Foundation, among others. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is Tempesta di Mare’s media sponsor.

Over the past two seasons Tempesta di Mare has embarked on their most ambitious project to date, Comédie & Tragédie: French baroque orchestral music for the theater, a two-season curatorial focus on French baroque music comprising concerts, recordings, workshops and broadcasts. The first of two project-related recordings, Comédie & Tragédie, vol. 1, was released on Chandos Records in March 2015 and is by turns “dignified … lilting and swaggering,” according to Gramophone magazine. It was selected by WGBH (Boston) and WCLV (Cleveland) as CD of the Week. Following the conclusion of its 2014-15 season, Tempesta di Mare recorded extended suites from Leclair’s only opera, Scylla et Glaucus, and Rameau’s ballet Les Fêtes de Polymnie, together with incidental music from Charpentier’s comédie-ballet Le Malade imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid, or The Hypochondriac), for Comédie & Tragédie, vol. 2 which is scheduled for release in 2016.

Major support for this project is provided by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, with additional support from The Presser Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts and The William Penn Foundation.

Fanfare magazine has hailed Tempesta di Mare for its "abundant energy, immaculate ensemble, impeccable intonation, and an undeniable sense of purpose." Led by directors Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone with concertmaster Emlyn Ngai, Tempesta performs baroque music on baroque instruments with a repertoire that ranges from staged opera to chamber music. The group performs all orchestral repertoire without a conductor, as was the practice when this music was new. Tempesta's Philadelphia Concert Series, noted by the Philadelphia Inquirer for its "off-the-grid chic factor," emphasizes creating a sense of discovery for artists and audiences alike. Launched in 2002, the series has included 31 modern world premieres of lost or forgotten baroque masterpieces, leading the Inquirer to describe Tempesta as "an old-music group that acts like a new-music group, by pushing the cutting edge back rather than forward." Its supporters include the Pew Charitable Trusts, the William Penn Foundation, the Presser Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In a marketplace dominated by European ensembles, Tempesta is the only American baroque music group to record for the prestigious British-based Chandos label. Releases include Weiss: Lute Concerti (2004), Handel: Flaming Rose (2007), Scarlatti: Cantatas and Chamber Music (2010), Fasch: Orchestral Music, vol.1 (2008), vol.2 (2011) and vol.3 (2012), Mancini: Solos for a Flute (2014), Bach Trio Sonatas (2014), and Comédie & Tragédie, vol. 1 (2015). Comédie & Tragédie, vol. 2 will be released in 2016. Live performances have been broadcast nationally on SymphonyCast, Performance Today, Sunday Baroque and Harmonia. Tempesta di Mare's concert recordings are distributed worldwide via the European Broadcasting Union, the world's foremost alliance of public service media organizations, with members in 56 countries in Europe and beyond.

Tempesta di Mare has toured from Oregon to Prague. Notable recent appearances have included the International Handel Festival in Göttingen, Germany; the group's New York debut at the Frick Collection; the orchestra's first European tour to the International Fasch Festival in Zerbst and a sold-out appearance on the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series in Hartford, Connecticut.

* * * * *

For further information, image or interview requests please contact Melanne Mueller, MusicCo International, 917 907 2785, melanne@musiccointernational.com

For further details about Tempesta di Mare, please visit http://tempestadimare.org

Full season, 5- and 3-concert Season Passes are on sale now. Single tickets ($49-$20; free for students and youth) will go on sale after Labor Day.


Orchestra and Chamber Music Programs
Zimmermann’s Coffehouse: a tribute to Bach, coffee and Tempesta’s own Mr. Zimmerman
Friday, October 23, 2015 – 8:00 pm
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue
Saturday, October 24, 2015 – 8:00 pm
American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street
J. S. Bach
Cantata No. 209, “Non sa che sia dolore” *
Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041
Highlights from The Coffee Cantata *
Recorder Concerto in G, after BWV 530
* Julianne Baird soprano

Christmas in Germany: baroque Advent music for the court chapel of Dresden
Friday, December 18, 2015 – 8:00 pm
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, 1723 Race Street
Saturday, December 19, 2015 – 8:00 pm
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue
Sunday, December 20, 2015 – 3:30 pm
Trinity Church, 1108 North Adams Street, Wilmington, Delaware
Heinrich Schütz Vocal concertos from Psalmen Davids
Michael Praetorius Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
Samuel Scheidt Veni, redemptor gentium
with Piffaro and Choral Arts Philadelphia

The Nations: orchestral portraits of the peoples of Europe, featuring Telemann’s Folk Suite
Saturday, March 5, 2016 – 8:00 pm
American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street
Sunday, March 6, 2016 – 4:00 pm
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue
Georg Philipp Telemann Folk Suite in B-flat
Francesco Barsanti Concerto for Strings
Johann Gottlieb Janitsch Ouverture Grosso in G
Johan Helmich Roman Drottningholm Music
Jan Dismas Zelenka Symphony in A minor

A Tale of Two Italian Cities: chamber music from Venice and Naples
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – 8:00 pm
Arch Street Meeting House, 320 Arch Street
Sunday, April 24, 2016 – 4:00 pm
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue
Alessandro Scarlatti Concerto in A minor
Andrea Falconieri Folia echa para mi Señora Doña Tarolilla de Carallenos
Francesco Mancini Sonata No. 5 in D major
Antonio Vivaldi Lute Concerto and Concerto “La Pastorella” Dario Castello Sonata 15 a 4
Giovanni Legrenzi Sonata a 4

Handel & His Frenemies: concertos, overtures and symphonies by Handel and his London friends and rivals
Saturday, May 21, 2016 – 8:00 pm
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Perelman Theater, 300 South Broad Street
George Frideric Handel Sonata a 5 in B-flat (Violin Concerto) and Water Music in G
Reinhard Keiser Concerto in D
Johann Christoph Pepusch Ouverture to Beggar’s Opera Maurice Greene Ouverture No. 2 in G
William Boyce Birthday Symphony

Artist Recital Series
Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone: Bach, Couperin and more on flute, recorder, lute and theorbo
Saturday, November 7, 2015 – 5:00 pm
St. Paul’s Church, Chestnut Hill, 22 East Chestnut Hill Avenue
Sunday, November 8, 2015 – 3:00 pm
Physick House, 321 South 4th Street

Aaron Sheehan and Adam Pearl: songs by Purcell, Britten and more for tenor and harpsichord
Saturday, January 16, 2016 – 5:00 pm
Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue
Sunday, January 17, 2016 – 3:00 pm
Physick House, 321 South 4th Street

Daniela Pierson and Christof Richter: violin duets by Telemann, Leclair and Bartók
Saturday, April 2, 2016 – 5:00 pm
Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue
Sunday, April 3, 2016 – 3:00 pm
Powel House, 244 South 3rd Street

Related Link
Back to List
Back to Top