Venetian Vespers with Exultemus and Newton Baroque

CharlesBlandy

3:00 pm • Sunday, February 14th 2016
Kiggins Hall, Emma Willard School • Troy, NY

Thinking you might have a bit of déjà vu? Well … you’re not imagining things. You may have seen this post last year, a week earlier. But it wasn’t a little thing called love that cancelled the Friends of Chamber Music concert that forced Exsultemus and Newton Baroque to delay their trip to Troy from Boston. It was a BIG thing called  a major northeastern snowstorm. While Sunday is supposed to be frigid cold, snow … I don’t believe … is in the forecast. Be prepared to allow time to warm up your car and go enjoy this wonderful concert!

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Charles Blandy grew up in Troy. He’s a 1990 graduate of the Troy High School. He sang in chorus, played in the high school band, performed in some drama club shows. He also made some good friends who were very musical. When Charles … or Charley to his friends and family…was in ninth or tenth grade, his mother, Susan, became the board president of Friends of Chamber Music. As it is an all volunteer-run organization, Charley was recruited to help out with the concerts by way of setting up chairs, ushering, helping with parking, etc. While some teenagers may have considered it a bit tedious, it was a doorway into the world of chamber music with an exposure to music that he might  never have heard otherwise. As Charley describes it, “from Haydn to Ravel to Elliott Carter to avant-garde guitar trio music.”

Charley, again as a teenager, was also introduced to “early music”—that of the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque—by some friends with the music of John Dowland and Josquin des Prez. Additionally, as his father, Tom, had very diverse musical tastes; he was exposed to Emma Kirkby’s singing. Charley remembers his father brining home her Hildegard von Bingen CD, A feather on the breath of God, and being enthralled. But not to think that all the influences are from the home, Charley also makes reference to the Troy High School Choir Director, Kathleen Slezak. She included a few of her students in the choir she directed at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Schenectady and Charley was one of them.

Certainly, Charley was fortunate to have, what he calls “a great musical education and one that gave me an appreciation of the dynamic of small-ensemble performance and the intimacy of the ‘conversation between friends.’ ”

OK … all of this to celebrate that after furthering his studies at Indiana University and Oberlin and spending some time as a Tanglewood Fellow, Charles Blandy has grown up and performing with ensembles such as the Portland Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists in San Francisco, National Chorale at Lincoln Center, Bethlehem Bach Choir, Charlotte Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera Boston, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, and Cantata Singers.

basil_Venetia

And to our delight, Charles returns to the Capital Region as a member of the early vocal ensemble, Exsultemus in a collaborative program with another Boston-based group, Newton Baroque, to perform a concert on Sunday afternoon for Friends of Chamber Music.

Sunday’s program came about after a series of concerts highlighting the complete cantata cycle of Georg Philipp Telemann that Exsultemus did with Newton Baroque several years ago. Continuing their collaboration, the Friends of Chamber Music program combines an imagined re-creation of a Vespers service at St. Mark’s Basiclica in Venice in the 1630s and includes instrumental and vocal music of Giovanni Antonio Rigatti, Giovanni Battista Fontana, Claudio Monteverdi, Biagio Marini, Allesandro Grandi, Dario Castello, Giovanni Rovetta and others.

We hope you’ll be able to join Charley as he comes “home” to perform and enjoy the rich sounds of Venetian Vespers!

Upcoming Events

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