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In performance: Chatham Baroque

Web-only review:

Chatham Baroque gives first of two DC weekend concerts at Georgetown
by Joan Reinthaler


Andrew Fouts, Patricia Halverson and Scott Pauley: Chatham Baroque.

One of the city's better-kept secrets is the Friday Music Concert Series, free, hour-long, early-afternoon concerts that Georgetown University offers in its fine, 150-seat McNeir Hall. Chatham Baroque, a Pittsburgh-based trio of excellent period performers, was there Friday with a program largely of chaconnes, variations over a repeated harmonic pattern, that gave violinist Andrew Fouts a chance for flashy scales and arpeggios and, occasionally, for musical sighs and lamenting.
(read more after the jump)

His partners in this were viola da gambist Patricia Halverson, primarily responsible for the music's harmonic foundations, and Scott Pauley on the theorbo (a big lute with a very long neck and therefore some very low notes), whose role in the ensemble was mostly to fill in the harmonies.

After defining the boundaries of the baroque with a early sonata by Dario Castello and a couple of movements of the Bach Sonata in C for solo violin, played by Fouts with deceptive modesty and simplicity, the trio focused on some of the period's lesser lights, Veracini, Kapsberger, Corelli and Matteis. The three movements of Veracini's Sonata, all based on the same descending chromatic scale, had the violin and viola da gamba engaged in quick repartee that was rhythmically exhilarating but not as well balanced as it might have been had the gamba been able to speak with a little more edge.

Kapsberger's "Arpeggiata" sonata, with its pensive theorbo solo, and his "Colascione" with its open intervals moving in parallel were easily the most intriguing pieces in this well-conceived and elegantly performed program.

-- Joan Reinthaler

By Anne Midgette  |  March 29, 2010; 4:40 AM ET
Categories:  local reviews  
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Next: In performance: The Washington Chorus

Comments

The secret of Georgetown's Friday afternoon recitals is kept from me by the terms of my employment, as I assume is the case for most working adults.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | March 29, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

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