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Chatham Baroque Presents THE ART OF THE TRIO - Holiday Edition

The ensemble will present festive works by Bach, Tartini, Marais and more.

This December, Chatham Baroque will present a special holiday edition of its The Art of the Trio series with artistic directors Andrew Fouts (violin), Patricia Halverson (viola da gamba) and Scott Pauley (theorbo). The three will showcase their collective energy and eloquence with lively works from Baroque Germany, France and Italy.

For the past 31 years, Chatham Baroque has performed on stages around the world, establishing itself as one of the nation's most distinguished period ensembles. In addition to performing their own music, the group also presents a diverse array of visiting artists and ensembles.

For their holiday concert, Fouts, Halverson and Pauley have drawn on their many years of performing together to create a program that mixes rarely-heard gems with familiar favorites inspired by the holiday season. The selections include pieces by Bach, Tartini, Erelbach, Marais and more.

The trio has made its own arrangements of some of J.S. Bach's famous Schübler Chorales, published in 1747 and originally written in three parts for organ. Several of these chorales are themselves arrangements of Bach's church cantatas, composed decades before, and the tunes will be familiar to many listeners.

The ensemble will also give a nod to the Baroque holiday tradition of the "Sonata Pastorale," which evoked the humble setting of the Nativity through the rustic drone of bagpipes - a sound that was instantly recognizable as "Christmas music" to audiences of the time. Chatham Baroque will perform a Sonata Pastorale by Giuseppe Tartini, in which the last movement is one of the most beautiful depictions of this bagpipe sound. This sonata uses a special scordatura tuning for violin, with the open strings of the instrument tuned to the tones of the A Major chord.

The concert will also include another piece making use of this scordatura tuning for the violin, Phillip Heinrich Erlebach's Ciaconne from his Sonata Terza in A Major. A rare gem among Baroque composers, Erlebach wrote music that happens to be ideally suited to the Chatham Baroque trio, with independent melodic parts composed specifically for both the violin and viola da gamba.

Also highlighting the trio's viola de gamba player, Patricia Halverson, will be a selection of dance music by Marin Marais, the foremost composer of the basse de viol (viola da gamba) of the French Baroque. These pieces will be interspersed with French noels by Marais' contemporary Robert de Visée, who composed for the theorbo. Many of these noels are still known today in French culture as music of the holiday season.

The trio will round out its program with delectable sonatas by well-known composers such as George Frideric Handel, Heinrich Biber and Arcangello Corelli, as well as its own arrangements of traditional Christmas carols with roots in the Baroque period.

Chatham Baroque
The Art of the Trio - Holiday Edition
Friday, December 16, 7:30 PM, St. Nicholas Church, Millvale*
Saturday, December 17, 7:30 PM, East Liberty Presbyterian Church Chapel
Sunday, December 18, 2:30 PM, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

*presented in partnership with the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka. A docent-led tour or the murals will be held at 6:30pm and is free to all ticket holders.

Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors (65+), and $20 for students. Subscribers and advance ticket buyers will receive a link to an on-demand video of the program following the live performance. For tickets and info, visit chathambaroque.org.

Ensemble and early music presenter Chatham Baroque has held a concert series in Pittsburgh since 1991. The ensemble frequently collaborates with local opera, theatre, and dance organizations, tours nationally and internationally, and offers early childhood music education programs in the Pittsburgh area. In 2018, Chatham Baroque merged with the early music presenter Renaissance & Baroque (R&B) which was founded in 1969. Since the merger, Chatham Baroque's main concert series has expanded to comprise other distinguished national and international touring acts with music ranging from the Middle Ages to the Classical period in addition to Chatham Baroque's own original programs performed by the ensemble and their guest artists.



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