Lenape Chamber Ensemble’s annual Baroque fest brings top musicians

This event is set for Nov. 15 and 17

Those who flock to Bucks County for the Lenape Chamber Ensemble’s annual Baroque concert can expect a musical treat on Nov. 15 and 17. They will enjoy early music performed by some of the nation’s most distinguished players. The Friday evening concert at 8:15 p.m. is held at the historic Upper Tinicum Lutheran Church in Upper Black Eddy, with the program repeated Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., at Delaware Valley University’s Life Sciences Building in Doylestown.

The program contains works by six Baroque-era composers. Hear the Hortus Musicus Sonata No. 6 by Johann Adam Reincken, a German organist and composer. He was one of the most important musical figures of the 17th century, yet very few of his works have survived over time. He was greatly admired by Bach, who traveled long distances to hear him play the organ, and was influenced by his use of counterpoint and fugue. Lenape favorites Cyrus Beroukhim, Emily Daggett-Smith, Alberto Parrini and Lionel Party are joined by William Hakim, principal violist of the New York Symphonic Ensemble.

Antonio Lotti, born in Venice, performed as a singer and later organist, choirmaster and composer of sacred music at St. Mark’s Basilica. Lotti’s Echo Quartetto in F Major, which contains many charming echo effects, will be produced by guest oboists Kathy Halvorson and Alexandra Knoll, both members of the American Symphony. They’ll be joined by cellist Parrini, principal of Northeastern Philharmonic, and harpsichordist Party.

The Trio Sonata in C Major, filled with intricate counterpoint melodies, contains a musical mystery. It was attributed to Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, but no one knows for certain whether he wrote it, or if it was actually written by Bach, who was his mentor. This so-called “Trio” consists of four players – two violins for the high-pitched instruments, and the bass, consisting of cello reinforced by the harpsichord.

Following intermission, Party solos in Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Pieces de Clavecin in E Minor, Book Two, which became one of the top hits of the Baroque era. Rameau has been called one of the most gifted French Baroque composers, and was among the greatest harpsichordists in France. Featured here is the dramatic “Tambourin,” which combines repeated hammered chords with trilling right-hand melodies.

Giorgio Muffat was a German composer who managed to bring French and Italian musical styles to German-speaking countries, paving the way for later music by Bach and Telemann. The Sonata Da Camera No. 5 is part of his first published work, the Armonico Tributo. Performers include two violists, Beroukhim and Daggett-Smith; violist Hakim; cellist Parrini; Motomi Igarishi on violone (a large bass viol); and harpsichordist Party.

The concert ends on a triumphant note, as the entire company takes the stage for Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in D minor for two oboes and strings, a work alternating largo sections with lively, joyful musical conversations among the instruments.

A reception follows the Friday concert, where the audience meets to chat with the performers. The Sunday concert reception at the intermission is sponsored by the Delaware Valley Music Club to benefit the Marie Paxson fund that offers classical concerts for local elementary school children.

Tickets at $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $5 for children will be available at the door, online at lenapechamberensemble.org or by calling 610-294-9361. The Friday evening series is held at Upper Tinicum Church, 188 Upper Tinicum Church Road, Upper Black Eddy. The Sunday afternoon concerts are at Delaware Valley University’s Life Sciences Building, 700 E. Butler Ave., Doylestown.