ARTEK performed Monteverdi at the Middlebury College Second Annual Bachfest. Yes, that's right - Monteverdi and Bach.
A bit of a strange pairing, you say? Well, not so strange actually. Both composers really had a way with setting texts.
But logistically a challenge. Dan Swenberg brought two instruments; I brought two harpsichords, my lovely new folding harpsichord and the ever-practical small "Mersenne" harpsichord that I own - so we could have the appropriate temperament for each repertoire. The singers, some of them, brought two voices...Sarah Chalfy, a soprano, stepped in for mezzo-soprano Barbara Hollinshead, who was unable to participate because of a serious family illness. New-to-ARTEK tenor Owen McIntosh brought his ever-so-high Bach tenor (at 440 no less!) and his Monteverdi sometimes-quite-low voice. Peter Becker brought his Bach baritone and his Monteverdi bass voice. So goes it...
The first half of the concert was an ARTEK performance of Monteverdi madrigals; the second half, a collaboration with students and local community members in Bach's Easter Oratorio. I had visited Middlebury earlier in the winter to do some pre-coaching of the students, who were remarkably talented and adept at their instruments.
The best part playing side-by-side with my college organ professor (now retired), Emory Fanning, who played chamber organ with us for the Bach. Still a great player!
The Bach Festival in Mead Chapel at Middlebury College.
Emory Fanning, organist par excellence!