Early Music at Saint James, a part of the diverse musical offerings of Saint James Episcopal Church, Lancaster, PA, is a self-sustaining concert series that presents three to four professional performances each year of music composed before 1800 in our beautiful and acoustically rich sanctuary. The concerts of primarily Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music are informed by historical performance practice and played on faithful reproductions of historic instruments. The series offers a venue for small and/or emerging ensembles, and presents a rich repertory of music composed before 1800 that is not otherwise available to the Lancaster community. Ticket revenues, tax-exempt gifts, grants, and sponsorships support the concerts. Early Music at Saint James also strives to enhance the worship experience in full cooperation with our Minister of Music by contributing to the performance of early music at the 10:15 a.m. Sunday Mass and the monthly Choral Evensong service.

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La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble & Friends


Chamber Music for Winds and Strings by G. Ph.Telemann and A. Vivaldi

In “Imagined Rivalries,” La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble explores virtuosic, intimate, and less-known works by two of the most prolific and celebrated composers of the first half of the 18th century: Georg Philipp Telemann and Antonio Vivaldi.

La Bernardinia sets the stage for a program featuring some of the most engaging chamber music for the recorder by conjuring up rivalries between Telemann and Vivaldi. The program is an imagined contest between the composers and also among the performers as they vie for the attention and favor of the audience.

To enhance the drama, La Bernardinia has added several wind instruments (baroque oboe, baroque bassoon) and bowed string instruments (baroque violin, viola d’amore) to its regular lineup of recorder, viola da gamba, and harpsichord.

The program simultaneously highlights the music with its layers of complexity, ever-more effective forms, daring harmonies, infectious rhythms and mesmerizing melodies, and the performers as they strive to dazzle the audience. This music, first heard almost 300 years ago, remains alive, fresh, and inspiring.

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2015-16 Early Music Brochure