Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Kleine Kammermusik Joins Piffaro For Digital Season Finale

Kleine Kammermusik's debut recording, Fanfare and Filigree: Chamber Music from Paris and Dresden, was recently released.

Kleine Kammermusik Joins Piffaro For Digital Season Finale

Piffaro's final digital concert of the season delves into the roots of fugue, the musical form whose intricacies have obsessed generations of composers and music lovers.

Philadelphia baroque ensemble Kleine Kammermusik augments Piffaro's renaissance shawms, dulcians, and lute with their oboes, bassoons, and harpsichord, tracing the development of the fugue from the 15th century to J.S. Bach.

The concert video, filmed at the historic Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Wilmington, DE, premieres at 7:30PM EST on May 28 and remains available on demand until June 3. Tickets are $15 and available for purchase at

"Call it what you will - polyphonic, contrapuntal, fugal, imitative - this music was the highest achievement of composers from Jakob Obrecht (1457/8-1505) through Johann Sebastian Bach in the 18th c.," according to Bob Wiemken, artistic co-director of Piffaro. "The juxtapositions of early to late are striking, seeming worlds apart from one another. Who could have predicted in Obrecht's day the eventual offspring of his Fuga in Bach's great and justly famous Fugue in Gm?"

A growing number of early musicians are choosing to call Philadelphia home, including a majority of those in the chamber ensemble Kleine Kammermusik, which is dedicated to reviving music for baroque winds and continuo. Geoffrey Burgess teaches baroque oboe at the Eastman School of Music but chooses to live in Philadelphia with his husband Leon Schelhase, the ensemble's harpsichordist, who teaches historic keyboards at Curtis. Gambist Rebecca Humphrey helped found several local period music ensembles, including KKM, Night Music, and the Franklin Quartet. This geographic proximity of talent allows for a collaboration that traces the development of musical instruments through the centuries: the shawm evolves into the oboe, the dulcian into the bassoon, and the viola da gamba into the cello. And since the form of fugue gives equal weight and melody to each voice, we hear all these instruments as "soloists" within the intricate framework that fugue provides.

Kleine Kammermusik is dedicated to reviving the wealth of Baroque chamber music for winds and continuo. With paired oboes and recorders, and a supportive continuo group of bassoon, cello, viola da gamba, and keyboard, the group comprises a versatile blend of instruments suited to music from a wide range of contexts, from vivid outdoor celebrations and military fanfares to intimate chamber gatherings. Through innovative programming and imaginative use of space they create fresh and entertaining events with a distinctively historic flavor.

Kleine Kammermusik's debut recording, Fanfare and Filigree: Chamber Music from Paris and Dresden, was recently released on the Acis label and has received praise from Early Music America Magazine, Colorado Public Radio, and BBC Radio.

For more information, visit

Related Articles View More Delaware Stories

NOS Dance

More Hot Stories For You