Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Mélomanie Welcomes the Holiday Season with Music

By Christine Facciolo
Mélomanie welcomed winter with a program of some very tuneful music on Sunday, December 3, at The Delaware Historical Society in downtown Wilmington.

Sonatas, a traditional air, Christmas music, and of course, contemporary offerings were exquisitely performed by flutist Kimberly Reighley, gambist Donna Fournier and harpsichordist Tracy Richardson.

Reighley and Richardson opened the program with a performance of the Sonata 4 in A major from Il Pasto Fido by Nicolais Chedeville, a Vivaldi contemporary who published the work under the more famous composer’s name. Reighley brought plenty of pastoral charm to the music with clearly shaped and articulated phrases and effective embellishments. Richardson offered strong support.

The Sonata in D major by Boismortier found all three musicians playing sensitively. The phrasing was attractive with long, arching lines contrasted with taut, short ones.

The harpsichord emerged from its role as “utility” instrument with Richardson giving energetic readings of Dupuis’ Rondo and Courante.

Fournier offered a gentle and sensitive interpretation of the typically melancholy Greensleeves.

Mélomanie’s contemporary side was represented by works of David Schelat and Mark Hagerty. Reighley and Richardson reprised Schelat’s Just a Regular Child, which was written for the ensemble in 2016. Schelat captured the whimsy of his childhood in Ohio in three movements: Rough and Tumble, Dreaming and Full of the Old Nick. Jangling harmonies of the third movement conveyed the mischievous nature of a young boy, while the soaring melody of the middle movement recalled endless days of daydreaming. Perhaps Schelat was looking to the day when he would become the virtuoso organist and composer that he is.

Fournier’s gamba and Richardson’s harpsichord contrasted nicely in Arias, a movement from Hagerty’s Civilisation. That work was a recasting of the composer’s Clavier Book I, a work for harpsichord which explored what might have been had the music of the late Renaissance and Baroque not given way to what he terms the “less ambitious” Rococo and early classical styles.

The three musicians concluded the concert with a performance of LaLande’s Noels en Trio, celebrating the Nativity and the upcoming holiday season.

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