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katya-oddio on 09/27/2012 at 12:00AM

Advent Chamber Orchestra

Vienna, painted by Carl Schweninger II (1854-1903)

The Advent Chamber Orchestra is a conductorless orchestra, based in Bolingbrook, Illinois and usually performing in the Chicago metropolitan area. This non-profit orchestra is composed of five violins, two violas, two cellos, a bass, and an harpsichord. The group specializes in Baroque period classical music.

Three collections of their performances are now available on the Free Music Archive.

The Advent Chamber Orchestra began in 2003 when Roxana Pavel Goldstein and Elias Goldstein, who had met studying and performing at DePaul’s School of Music, worked together in chamber music ensembles. The orchestra functioned primarily as a chamber music collaborative until 2005 when they performed their first concert as the Advent Chamber Orchestra. The ensemble is generally led by concertmaster and music director Roxana Pavel Goldstein, but artistic decisions are made democratically by the group.

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eliasb on 01/12/2012 at 03:24PM

Bach's Complete Organ Works

The FMA is proud to present Dr. James Kibbie’s ambitious project, the performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s complete works for organ.

Since Bach needs no introduction, I’ll focus on what else makes this a special treat for the FMA. For one, Dr. Kibbie recorded in Germany on the region’s finest original baroque organs. These instruments, each occupying multiple stories in a church, are to an electric organ as this gong is to a Zildjian cymbal. Dr. Kibbie selected them to meet the stylistic requirements of Bach’s opus, and you can learn more about each organ at the Block M Records website.

The scope of this project is huge. There are 270 separate compositions, some in multiple movements. This amounts to over 16 hours of music. The recordings are organized by style of composition or groups that Bach put them in.

The piece I have attached is the Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, one of Bach’s most famous works. It opens with an ominous bass line, the final note of which comes out as a kind of primordial roar on the 1724-30 Trost organ in Waltershausen, Germany. This line gets repeated throughout the first part of the piece, the Passacaglia, while above it, Dr. Kibbie goes to work on Bach’s variations. The second part, a fugue, is equally impressive. You might recognize this composition from a number of places, including the Godfather baptism sequence (it starts around 1:35). These extraordinary 13 minutes are a great introduction to the rest of this project.

>> James Kibbie - Bach Organ Works on the FMA

>> The project on Block M (University of Michigan's record label)

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bach, classical, organ, baroque
katya-oddio on 11/04/2011 at 10:00AM

The Four Seasons of Vivaldi

Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni) is a set of four violin concerti by Antonio Vivaldi. Some of the most beautiful music ever written, The Four Seasons is Vivaldi's most famous work, and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music. Brilliant violinist John Harrison performs on this gorgeous performance of Vivaldi's classic here at the Free Music Archive.

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