Salish Sea Early Music Festival begins season on Saturday

PORT TOWNSEND — The Salish Sea Early Music Festival will present seven contrasting performances journeying back and forth through the 16th through 19th centuries beginning Saturday.

The season will run through June 25, with the first this Saturday and the rest on Sunday, all at 2 p.m. and all at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1020 Jefferson St. in Port Townsend. Admission is by suggested donation of $20 or $25 as a free will offering. Those 18 and younger are admitted free.

The 12th annual 2023 Salish Sea Early Music Festival will begin with Italian Four-Part Canzonas with Vicki Boeckman (renaissance recorders), Jeffrey Cohan (renaissance transverse flute), Lindsey Strand-Polyak (viola) and Anna Marsh (dulcian, or renaissance bassoon) at
2 p.m. Saturday.

The concert will provide an in-depth exploration of the rarely-heard Italian four-part canzona, which blossomed in print from 1582 through the early decades of the 1600s and was inspired by French and Flemish chansons from the early 1500s, organizers said.

It will include music ranging from 1529, marking the beginning of commercial music printing in Europe, through 1636, at which point more “modern” stylistic forms such as the familiar sonata began to supplant the canzona, which bridged renaissance and baroque musical styles.

Canzonas by Andrea and Giovanni Cima, Biumi, Canale, Buonamente, Maschera, Ardemanio, Frescobaldi and Corradini are to be included in the program alongside examples of the instrumental renditions French and Flemish songs that inspired them, all performed on recorder, transverse flute, viola and renaissance bassoon (dulcian).

These copies of 16th century instruments represent a most unusual blend of instruments that may have been quite commonly heard then, organizers said.

Here is the rest of the schedule:

• Sunday, Feb. 19: The Viennese Biedermeier Serenade (1815-1835) with Oleg Timofeyev (guitar, Iowa City), Lindsey Strand-Polyak (viola) and Jeffrey Cohan (8-keyed flute)

• Sunday, March 12: Musica Alta Ripa (1695-1740) with Bernward Lohr (harpsichord, Hannover, Germany), Anna Röhrig (violin, Hannover, Germany) and Jeffrey Cohan (baroque flute)

• Sunday, March 26: Obbligato Harpsichord and Flute (1720-1760) with David Schrader (harpsichord, Chicago) and Jeffrey Cohan (baroque flute).

• Sunday, May 7: Bach I (Bach Cantata “Ich habe genug” etc.) with Maike Albrecht (soprano, Lübeck, Germany), Hans-Jürgen Schnoor (harpsichord, Lübeck, Germany) and Jeffrey Cohan (baroque flute)

• Sunday, May 21: Bach II (Bach B Minor Suite, Bach Cantata 209 etc.) with Maike Albrecht (soprano), Hans-Jürgen Schnoor (harpsichord), Jeffrey Cohan (baroque flute), Carrie Krause (violin), Elisabeth Phelps (violin), Lindsey Strand-Polyak (viola) and Annabeth Shirley (cello).

• Sunday, June 25: Italian Canzonas (1600-1640) with John Lenti (theorbo) and Anna Marsh (renaissance bassoon) and Jeffrey Cohan (renaissance transverse flute)

For additional information, see www.salishsea

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