Pop-Up Concert

by wjw on June 8, 2019

Tonight we took a short drive up State Highway 314 to attend a baroque concert.  This was by Antigua y Moderna, a group of professional musicians who do pop-up concerts in people’s homes.  So on a mere 48 hours’ notice we drove to a lovely, large passive solar home, partook of snacks and wine, and then sat down to listen to the music.  As befit the occasion, I was dressed with formal elegance— in a vintage aloha shirt.

Since attending concerts in Europe I’ve always thought chamber music is heard best in  chamber, not a concert hall— though tonight’s concert wasn’t exactly chamber music, as it included no less than three (slightly abbreviated) church cantatas!    Big music for a small venue.

On of these was J.S. Bach’s Cantata 156 which, as musical director Kristin Ditlow pointed out, is popular at weddings, presumably with people who can’t understand the lyrics, which begin “Ich steh mit einen fuss im grabe,” “I stand with one foot in the grave,” and then get more depressing from there.

One of the pieces was in English, “Why Fum’th in Sight,” a 16th century piece by Thomas Tallis.

(And to answer the question “Why Fum’th in Sight,” the answer is that it’s no bloody fun fum’thing in the dark!)

So we were close-up to the action, and had a chance to talk to the musicians before and after, and otherwise had a lovely evening.

But more importantly, it was great not having to spend 90 minutes in a car just to listen to live music.  So I have to totally approve of more concerts popping up in the neighborhood.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Derek June 8, 2019 at 2:04 pm

This:
https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/8800/tallis-the-third-tune-why-fumth-in-sight/p1

makes a good argument that the title of Tallis’ piece is better interpreted as “Why fum’th in fight”, i.e. fumeth or rage. The “sight” interpretation may be due to the use of a
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_s
in the manuscript. No doubt it reads better in the original Khosalikh.

At any rate, sounds like fun…
Here’s a quick hit of Baroque to brighten anyone’s day:
https://youtu.be/xVxwuirUX-M

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