Schmelzer and Goldberg

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These are program notes from our May 28, 2017 concert.

Schmelzer’s Sonata a sette flauti, and brief introduction of the Goldberg Variations

The music we chose for our May 28, 2017 concert would have been played at court, in private homes, in church, in 17th and 18th century Europe. Johann Heinrich Schmelzer’s joyful Sonata a sette flauti was composed in 1669, during the time that he was composer and violinist at the Hapsburg court of Emperor Leopold 1 in Vienna. Just picture yourself standing in a reception hall in the palace as the emperor arrives. We don’t in fact know if this music was written for such an occasion, but I like to imagine it this way.

When Stephane Potvin first broached the idea of playing the Goldberg variations on recorders, we weren’t at all sure we were up to the task. But thanks to his excellent arrangements, and hard work of the whole consort, we have grown to love these magnificent pieces, and especially to appreciate the genius who created them.

Written by Nan Coolsma

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