Wednesday, July 26, 2017

An Ode for Viva! Viva la Musica! by Duncan Nelson

This is the moment when Duncan Nelson
Is supposed to show up with his cap and bells on,
But your bard, for the nonce called to western Mass,
Must "malheursement" take a pass
On providing lyrical "program note" filler
On Frances Fitch and Jonathan Miller.
None with an ear wearies
Of seriatim attending this series
Of concerts conjured up by Kathleen
To bring drama to our Annisquam scene.

Yet fear not, you won't be left in the lurch
By your laureate at the Village Church,
For not a single beat shall be lost
In the baton being tossed
To Benjamin Franklin John Steel,
Who saying "C'est Moi" will now reveal
A joie de vivre, and elan and eclat
That will put your erstwhile worry at
Not only to shame for have stood
You up but by being at least as good,
If not more so, than your erstwhile bard.

But enough of "preludio," time to regard
With thanksgiving this baroque dance card
We have been treated to today,
As, though pressed into pews, we sashay
To allegro and then to cantabile
As these masters, in their respective fashions,
First arouse and then still our passions,
As an ex-Paganini and ex-Piatti
Cello treats us to lots of Scarlatti,
Vivaldi, and concludes with Bach
Underscored by harpischord leaves us in shock
And awe of a blessedly different sort
Than in time of war. For these two have held court
In the 18th century High Baroque
In such a way as to soak
Us, on this Sunday night occasion,
In a fine art focused on persuasion,
These composers able to disarm
And discompose us with wit and charm
So great that even as the floor
Drops beneath us we cry out "j'adore!"
To Francie and Jonathan, begging for more
Returns to this church on Cape Ann's shore
For encore after encore after encore!

And happily soon "Wood and Wire and Wind" will organically conspire,
At the hands of Andrew and Beverly Soll
Six musical centuries to unroll.

So here at the end let's all raise
A glass to give Jon and Francie high praise.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Viva! Viva la Musica! a Great Night of Music

VIVA!  What a great night of music we had!  There was everything to love: the musicians and the music, the instruments, the flowers, the punch, the verse, the cool air in the church, and a deeply appreciateive audience. One parishoner wrote:
"It was a spectacular concert last night. I have NEVER heard a cello played so magnificently. Thank you a thousand times. Everything about your organization and presentation, and Jeremy's workmanship, was divine.
With heartfelt gratitude,  C."

THANKS to all the good AVC people who made it happen:  our concert committee....Suzanne Brown, Dick Luecke, Martha Hooper, and Evelyn Stewart; the ever-gracious hospitality of Kathy Johnson, with her petite aide (and chimer) Zoe Moriarty;  Ben Steel, our Sexton and brave declaimer of Duncan Nelson's witty Ode. Huzzahs! to all.

Jonathan's season with the Boston Artists Ensemble begins September 22 at beautiful Hamilton Hall in Salem. Check them out at  I will also let you know of Francie's performances in the greater Boston area.

Once again, everybody, thank you...thank you.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Now Hear This !

Out of the museum, into the world! This harpsichord was the centerpiece for Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker at the Cape Ann Museum this winter. Heard only in brief demonstrations during the winter exhibition, this 2016 instrument will sound out in full glory under the hands of renowned harpsichordist Frances Conover Fitch.

Fitch solos and accompanies BSO cellist Jonathan Miller playing an 18th century (Venetian) Gofriller cello, once owned by Niccolo Paganini.
All this and more (a reception and a Duncan Nelson "Ode") at the Annisquam Village Church, Sunday, July 23, 8 PM. 
Admission at the door $20. Students and Seniors $15.
The historic Annisquam Village Church is at 820 Washington Street in Gloucester (01930) and is handicap accessible.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Two extraordinary chamber music concerts are scheduled at the historic Annisquam Village Church this summer.  Audiences will hear exceptional instruments in the hands of world class musicians: four of the Jeremy Adams keyboards featured in the recent “Voicing the Woods” exhibit at the Cape Ann Museum and a baroque Venetian cello that once belonged to Paganini. 

Music of Vivaldi, Bach, and Scarlatti opens this double-header Sunday, July 23 at 8 p.m.  Viva! Viva la Musica!  features cellist Jonathan Miller and renowned harpsichordist Frances Conover Fitch.

Mr. Miller, a 43-year veteran of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is Artistic Director of the Boston Artists Ensemble and a favorite with area concert-goers. His cello was made in Venice by Mattheus Gofriller, ca.1700 and Miller is eager to bring it to the Village Church's intimate, resonant space.

Ms. Conover Fitch will play the French double-manual harpsichord made by Jeremy Adams in 2016.  Her concerts and demonstrations on Adams's harpsichords during the Cape Ann Museum’s exhibit were over-subscribed.

“This is another chance to hear instruments of master craftsmen played by master performers,” says AVC Music Director, Kathleen Adams.

The summer series continues Sunday, August 20 at 8 p.m. when the Wood, Wire, and Wind of the harpsichord and organs strike new balances between the instruments. Andrew and Beverly Soll will perform duos and solo works on each, stretching the repertoire to celebrate the remarkable flexibility of these instruments in the ideal acoustics of the historic 1820’s building. Violin and viola will join them on one of the pieces, extending the range of sounds for an unusual ensemble offering.

A reception follows each concert, providing the occasion for declamation o
f an “Ode” from Annisquam’s beloved bard, Duncan Nelson.

Tickets:   $20 per event  (Students and seniors, $15.)  are available at the door or in advance at The Bookstore or Diamond Cove Music in Gloucester and at Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport.  The Annisquam Village Church is located at 820 Washington Street in Gloucester (01930) and is handicap accessible.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

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VIVA! VIVA la Musica! Sunday, July 23, 8pm

Cellist Jonathan Miller, a 43-year veteran of the BSO, plays a concert of Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Geminiani and Bach with renowned harpsichordist, Frances Conover Fitch on July 23 at 8 PM. Miller, Artistic Director of the Boston Artists Ensemble, pairs his Venetian ex Paganini-Piatti Gofriller cello made in 1700 with Fitch playing the 1975 Adams harpsichord (now home from the “Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker” exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum). A reception follows.

The Annisquam Village Church is located at 820 Washington Street (corner of Washington and Leonard Streets) in Gloucester, 01930.

Admission $20; Students and 65+ $15. The Annisquam Village Church is handicap accessible.

Advance Tickets: The Bookstore or Diamond Cove Music in Gloucester.
Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport.