Arts & Events

‘Wind and Waves’ by Philharmonia Baroque

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday March 18, 2009 - 06:12:00 PM

The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, led by violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock, will present Winds and Waves, featuring the “lavish wind scorings of Baroque masters” (including Bach, Telemann, Vivaldi and Rameau) that “evoke the complexities and contradictions of the natural world,” this weekend at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley. 

Eight composers are featured, from Veracini’s “Overture No. 6 in G minor,” Dall’Abaco’s “Concerto a piu instrumenti” and Vivaldi’s Concerto in D major, through “A Suite for Zephyr, Greek God of the East Wind” (Marais’ “Tempete,” from Alcione), Rameau’s “Deux Airs pour Zephire,” from Les Indes Galantes), Rebel’s “Ramage ‘L’Air’,” from Les Elemens—and four others by Rameau: “Air Gracieusex pour Zephire et les Graces,” from Les Fetes; “Deux Passepieds pour en Troupe de Zephyrs;” “Gavotte par les Zephirs et les Nymphes,” from Nais; and “Orage,” from Platee)—plus J. S. Bach’s “Brandenberg Concerto No. 2 in F Major” and Telemann’s “Overture in C major ‘Hamburger Ebb und Fluth.’” 

Philharmonia is featuring its woodwinds in the concert, inspired by Telemann’s scoring of the “Hamburger Ebb und Fluth,” also known as his “Water Music,” composed for the centenary of the Hamburg Admiralty in 1723. Elizabeth Blumenstock describes the piece as “wonderfully grand and impishly imaginative.” The wind instruments favored in the High Baroque—recorder, flute, oboe, bassoon and trumpet—also come to the fore in the concertos and dances by Vivaldi, Rameau and Dall’Abaco. 

Bach’s “Second Brandenburg Concerto” follows Philharmonia’s playing of his “First Brandenburg” here last October. 

The program will be repeated the following weekend at concerts in San Francisco and Lafayette. 



8 p.m. Saturday, March 21 and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 22 (time has been changed from originally published schedule). First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way. $30-75 (student and rush tickets, $10). (415) 392-4400.