Seele Musicale Chamber Ensemble is coming up to its 4th anniversary together on June 1, 2017. We have a flurry of concerts…. April 18, April 23, May 13. A premiere of an unpublished work by Hovhaness, a florid triple concerto by Bach, more music for oboe and the ensemble. We have reorganized and have new personnel in the violin/viola departments. These are small departments – one player each! – and that’s how we like it. Our flautist has come back to the fold, and we have hopes to bring in a bassist to give us a heftier foundation below. Hello, Mendelssohn string symphonies, Mozart Adagio and Fugue. We can dream anything we want. Also, we maintain the ceaseless longing to do more Bach cantatas. Depending who we meet that would have us join forces with their church choirs, chamber ensembles, and stellar other musicians they may know, we may adopt their dreams and make new things happen in ways we cannot predict.
A year ago, we wrote the following old news, which is still new enough to keep. The old news of yesterday, when forgotten, can become the new news of tomorrow, and is still fresh in describing our current enthusiasms. Same joys, different repertoire, leads to more joys and newer repertoire:
Seele Musicale Chamber Ensemble spread its wings in the early months of 2016. We had engagements at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, The Willows, the Beethoven Society of Melrose, Fox Hill Village, Millis Public Library, First Unitarian Church of Worcester. We looked forward to say yes to other opportunities.
In our repertoire then, we had two Brandenburg concerti, wonderful music for oboe and ensemble, another Bach cantata, a Telemann suite for recorder and strings, and budding plans for voice duets from Handel’s operas. We had hardly tapped the potential for more solo keyboard works, and sonatas for individual instruments plus keyboard, and works for solo voice and solo instruments besides keyboard ….. the kinds of material that round out a program that has some large major works. We love to revisit repertoire we’ve performed before, because we find so much more ease and understanding when we return to it, and we have an itch to keep expanding our repertoire to cover the things one of more of us “have always wanted to play” and never were given the chance by someone else. We are masters of our own dreams. When we can convince someone they should dream of having us, then we will be making the world a happier place for everyone.
We found that a concert format of 60 minutes of music material played without intermission is a successful format – not too long, not too short.
We were designated as Artists-in-Residence at First Unitarian Church of Worcester. The whole group and subsets of our group have played at this church for Sunday worship and special music events, and for other area churches as opportunities arise.
We’ve played under the name Seele Musicale since June 1 of 2013 (when we played at a shelter for war vets, Veterans, Inc., in Shrewsbury MA).
We have a composer, Frederic Sharaf, who saw the heart in us, and considered us a fine vehicle for his own works. We did a world premier of his new work, “A Chorale” on November 21, 2015, and “Guernica” in May 2016. We collaborated with composer David Stern to do a benefit concert for Nepal earthquake disaster relief. This concert included David performing some of his own solo piano music and a premier of his sole violin/piano work.
We did a couple of house concerts in Brookline that has got us excited to do more of the same. On this program – A Bach concerto, a Telemann Suite, a Sharaf work, and more Bach.
In the early days of Seele Musicale, Peggy A. of Millis graciously opened her home to us to rehearse there, and it was win-win-win. Priceless exposure to music for her young children. Very impressive to the neighbors. First on her block to broadcast Bach! The comaraderie was the biggest pleasure of it. Peggy’s late mother was a church organist, and Peggy said she spent many hours of her childhood in the church organ loft, bathed in that good old music. Having Seele Musicale working on Stabat Mater and a Bach cantata in her own home brought back those dear memories to her. If you like the idea of this, and would enjoy such a happening, get back to us.
— Jagan Nath