Ciaramella return visit


Two people playing shawms.

After all the hoopla of the past weekend, it was back to laying out programs, and I just finished the one for Ciaramella, the early music group which is coming to Hawaii with a boatload of interesting and unusual instruments. Just look at this list: shawm, recorder, bagpipe, dulcian, viol, hurdy-gurdy, cornamuse, vihuela, guitar and percussion. The concert will be this Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 pm at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu and repeated on the Big Island in Kona on Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 pm.

Members of the group include: Adam Gilbert (shawm, recorder, bagpipe, dulcian), Rotem Gilbert (shawm, recorder, bagpipe), Malachai Komanoff Bandy (shawm, viol, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipe), Aki Nishiguchi (shawm, recorder, cornamuse) and Jason Yoshida (vihuela, guitar, percussion).

This group was here six years ago and back then I wrote: 

LCH will be host to Ciaramella, one of America’s leading early music ensembles, sponsored by Early Music Hawaii…  Ciaramella has been “praised for performing intricate fifteenth-century counterpoint ‘with the ease of jazz musicians improvising on a theme,’ its members are united by the conviction that every composition conceals a rich story waiting to be unlocked through historical research and speculative performance.”

Ciaramella takes its name from the Italian shawm and from a fifteenth-century song about a beautiful girl whose clothes are full of holes. When she opens her mouth, she knocks men flat.

On this visit, the group will be presenting “Liederbuch: Dancing through the Songbooks of Renaissance Germany.” Directed by Adam and Rotem Gilbert, from the Early Music School at USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, the ensemble performs at major festivals throughout the United States, Italy and Germany. Performances have included the Cleveland Museum of Art, Bloomington Early Music Festival, Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, the Lute Society of America, the American Musicological Society in Seattle, and on early music series in Cleveland, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Arizona, Early Music in Columbus, Salt Lake City, Seattle’s Early Music Guild, the Connecticut Early Music Festival, Renaissance and Baroque of Pittsburgh and the Early Music Society of the Islands in Victoria, BC. In 2007, they gave their New York debut at Music Before 1800 and performed at the Tage Alter Musik Festival in Regensburg. Recently the group has performed for Early Music Hawaii, and has created a program for Mission San Antonio and Mission Santa Barbara, CA. Ciaramella has designed programs for the Da Camera Society music series “Chamber Music in Historic Sites” in Los Angeles, and for the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in coordination with specific exhibits.

Their recent CD Dances on a Movable Ground earned five stars in 2014 on the British magazine Early Music Today, and was picked as Editor’s Choice. In the review, British early music performer and scholar Jeremy Barlow lauded its “expressive fluidity and rhythmic vitality.” Toccata listed Ciaramella’s recent CD Album of the Month “…when these extremely talented musicians begin to play, their liveliness and freshness is almost palpable. This is not just dance music; at its best, this is living music, current, non-academic, and certainly not old. Dance music was there from the beginning. And when it is played like this, the sounds of 300 years ago sound as if they were made only yesterday.” -Robert Strobl, Toccata-Alte Musik.aktuel.

(So very sorry that I will be missing this concert! I’ll be traveling to Seattle this weekend for a special reception and Compline service to honor donors and dedicate the Compline Window given to the Glory of God in memory of Dr. Peter R. Hallock.)

A full house for “Voices of the Baroque”

By the way, last weekend’s “Voices of the Baroque” concert was a smashing success! I had spent the entire day studying my scores and listening to the recordings since I had nothing but figured bass to read from, and yet, when the concert began, I got worried! Have I ever seen this music before? What chord do I play here?” Miraculously, when the music started, I got into “the Zone” and it all came together.

Jeremy Wong posted on Facebook: Grateful. Fulfilled. Happy. Thankful for a full house and leaving with a full heart. Mahalo nui loa to the Chamber Singers, UH Faculty Quartet, Honolulu Brass Quintet, Chamber Music Hawaii, the DePaul Vocal Quartet, Katherine Crosier and Eric Peché Esparza! Everyone brought their A game and sounded absolutely fabulous.

Guest conductor Eric Esparza wrote: Back from a WONDERFUL trip to Hawaii where I gave a concert of Baroque music in collaboration with the amazing musicians from Chamber Music Hawaii (Rachel Saul SchifinoJoe StepecAnna Womack, & I-Bei Lin are a beautiful string quartet, and Ken Hafner, JoAnn Lamolino, Jason Byerlotzer, Rudi Hoehn, & Julia Filson of the Honolulu Brass are fantastic, as was organist Katherine Crosier), the AWESOME students of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Chamber Singers, a quartet of DePaul all-star alumni including Mary ArendtMegan MagsariliTomás Dominguez, and Connor Zuber, and my co-conductor/singer Jeremy Wong who truly made it all possible and is a great singer, conductor, tour guide, and colleague! Thanks to friend and colleague Miguel Felipe for the invitation! UH Chamber Singers is filled with beautiful musicians who welcomed us, made us laugh, opened their homes, and gave us an amazing experience. Mahalo and lots of love!

Hans-Ulrich Erbsloeh, the German organbuilder who is here in Hawaii for a few weeks to install the pipe organ for my student and to service organs, told me several times how much he enjoyed the concert. “I was not expecting such high quality music here!” I called him at the last moment, to come and fix a bad note on the continuo organ —we are SO VERY FORTUNATE that he was here in Hawaii to be able to do it!

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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