November 14, 2009 – Program

November 14, 2009 Claudia Cassidy Theater Chicago Cultural Center – Chicago Humanities Festival


Serenade “The Nightwatch”
H.I.F. von Biber, 1644 – 1704

Serenada/ Allamanda / Aria / Ciaconna* / Gavotte
La Poule (The Chicken)
J. P. Rameau, 1683 – 1764

The Author’s Mistree /The Off-Spring / I like my Humor well / Hab-Nab
The Marriage of the Hen and The Cuckoo
Marco Uccellini, 1610 – 1680

The Frog Party
Leopold Mozart, 1719 – 1787

Menuetto from the Toy Symphony*
Leopold Mozart

G. P. Telemann, 1681 – 1767

Die Schnekenpost (Snail Mail) / The Gossip Aria from Pimpinone* / Menuets I et II / Bouree

*with Peter Van De Graaff, basso buffo


Peter Van De Graaff – basso buffo; Charles Metz – harpsichord;

William Bauer, Daniel Golleher – violins; Susan Rozendaal – viola;

Pablo Mahave-Veglia – cello Jerry Fuller – violone;

Jeff Noonan – lute and theorbo

Review by John von Rhein, Classial Music Critic of the Chicago Tribune

Looking to a much earlier era of music, the Chicago early music ensemble Ars Antigua on Saturday afternoon gave its audience at the Chicago Cultural Center a taste of what European audiences of the 17th century found funny in music.The program, given as part of this year’s Chicago Humanities Festival (the theme was “Laughter”), confined itself to brief pieces of program music that come off to today’s listeners as droll in a quaint sort of way, with their naive imitations of barnyard animals, drunken nightwatchmen and gossipy women.As always with this stylish group, the effect of music played at lowered pitch on period instruments (or modern reconstructions thereof) with minimal vibrato and maximal commitment, was bracing.The humor ranged across the funny spectrum from the chirping of bird-whistles and noodlings of toy trumpet in Leopold Mozart’s musical novelty “The Toy Symphony” (PDQ Bach a couple of centuries before the fact) to bass Peter Van De Graaff’s over-the-top impersonations of female and male characters in an aria from Telemann’s opera buffa “Pimpinone.”The unpretentious charm of suites by Biber and Telemann (the latter depicting events at a fancy-dress ball), along with amusing sketches of birds and frogs by Rameau, Uccellini and Leopold Mozart also made the time pass very pleasantly indeed.