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Topic Summary
Posted by: Charles Q. Sullivan Posted on: Apr 8th, 2010, 4:40am
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 17 – Red Priest
Contact: Charles Q. Sullivan (414.225.3113 or info@earlymusicnow.org)
Across Borders – Across Time
Before there were borders, there was music.
Even before Time, there was music.
Musical Pirates Invade Milwaukee
The popular Hollywood image of pirates as likeable, swashbuckling rogues is certainly at odds with the gory reality of their trade, and to equate such scoundrels with our most learned Baroque composers may seem fanciful in the extreme. But on closer inspection, there are parallels which ignite the imagination and provide a an provide an alternative look at one of the most colorful periods in musical history.
Milwaukee’s Early Music Now will provide that opportunity at Wisconsin Lutheran College’s Schwan Hall, 8815 West Wisconsin Avenue, on Saturday, April 17th at 7:30, when the ensemble known as Red Priest(www.piersadams.com/RedPriest) offers their imaginative take on “Pirates of the Baroque,” exposing stolen masterworks and long-lost jewels of the Baroque era. Named after the flame-haired priest, Antonio Vivaldi, Red Priest is the only early music group in the world to have been compared to the rolling Stones, Jackson Pollock, the Marx Brothers, Spike Jones, and Cirque du Soleil. This extraordinary acoustic foursome is known for their “break-all-rules, rock-chamber concert approach to early music; while at the same time delivering note-perfect, energetic, and historically informed performances.
Founded in 1997 and based in London, England, the quartet is led by recorder virtuoso Piers Adams, with equally high-powered performers as cellist (Angela East) and harpsichordist (Howard Beach). For most recent North American tours, the group collaborates with Canadian Baroque/Cape-Breton violinist David Greenberg, in place of their London violinist, Julia Bishop.
With performances of works by Albinoni (Giazzoto), Bach, Corelli, LeClair, Tartini, Telemann, and Vivaldi, the program includes not only straight-forward presentations of these composers’ compositions – often on “stolen themes,” but Red Priest’s own reworkings of some of these jewels, as well – all revealing new insights into the creative musical spirit of the Baroque.
The leading musicians from this time were pioneers and adventurers, riding the seas of change with wild abandon, ever searching for new musical treasures to titillate the ears and move the souls of the public. Only in retrospect has the mythology of highbrow, rule-bound men of quill and parchment been created. The reality was much more down to earth, the majority of composers living boozy, philandering, extravagantly bohemian lives, intent on maximizing their profits through, if necessary, dubious means. Yet ironically, it is from this very atmosphere of skullduggery that some of the greatest works of art were produced.
Tickets for this April 17, 7:30 concert at Wisconsin Lutheran College may be purchased online at www.earlymusicnow.org, or by phone at 414.225.3113. Tickets are priced at $25-$40 for adults and seniors, and $10-$20 for students (6 and older).

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