ACRONYM with Jesse Blumberg
Sunday, January 15, 2017, 4 p.m.
Corpus Christi Church
Jesse Blumberg, Baritone
Valley of Tears: Bass Cantatas and Instrumental Sonatas by Johann Rosenmüller
There will be a post-concert wine and cheese reception in the church auditorium for the musicians and members of the audience.
Singer Jesse Blumberg and ACRONYM’s twelve instrumental soloists intersperse Johann Rosenmüller’s chamber sonatas, published in Venice in 1670, with unpublished bass cantatas. The cantata, Salve mi Jesu, Pater misericordiae, contains the words lachrimarum valle, or “valley of tears.” Mid-career, Rosenmüller was forced to flee from Leipzig to Venice where he lived for many years, lavishing his musical gifts upon that city.
“To see these musicians play (and play with such passion) is to confirm the strong and powerful connectedness of eyes, body movements, and auditory cues that make the performances … so vital and vibrant.” —Classics Today
Artist bios and program
The Baroque string ensemble ACRONYM is dedicated to giving modern premieres of the wild instrumental music of the 17th century. The twelve-member group was formed in 2012 to create the first recording of the Alphabet Sonatas of Johann Pezel. ACRONYM’s following disc, sonatas by Antonio Bertali, was released in 2014 to critical acclaim; Alex Ross selected this disc as a CD Pick, and Early Music America Magazine wrote, “the idiomatic performances and spacious recording by these young musicians are absolutely first rate. This is a disc … belonging in everyone’s collection.”
Recent and upcoming engagements for ACRONYM include three in New York City: Music Before 1800, Five Boroughs Music Festival, and Midtown Concerts. Other concerts include Holy Trinity Lutheran Academy of Early Music (Ann Arbor), Miami Bach Society’s Tropical Baroque Festival, Mawahie Performing Arts Center’s Close Encounters (Great Barrington, MA), Electric Earth Concerts (Peterborough, NH), and the Glencairn Museum (Bryn Athyn, PA).
In 2015 ACRONYM released a third album, the first recordings of Giovanni Valentini’s instrumental works, which was praised in Gramophone as “played with expertise, enthusiasm, and an almost tactile sense of timbre.” In 2016 ACRONYM released its fourth album, Wunderkammer. Forthcoming projects include the first recording of Valentini’s 1616 book of madrigals with the vocal ensemble, Les Canards Chantants, and a disc of the music of Rosenmüller with baritone, Jesse Blumberg. ACRONYM’s musicians can be heard in Apollo’s Fire, Tafelmusik, Handel and Haydn Society, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Chicago Lyric Opera. www.acronymensemble.com
Baritone Jesse Blumberg is equally at home on opera, concert, and recital stages, performing repertory from the Renaissance and Baroque to the 20th and 21st centuries. His performances have included the world premiere of The Grapes of Wrath at Minnesota Opera, Niobe, Regina di Tebe with Boston Early Music Festival, Bernstein’s MASS at London’s Royal Festival Hall, and appearances with Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Utah Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera. Recital highlights include appearances with the Marilyn Horne Foundation and New York Festival of Song, and performances of Die schöne Mullerin and Winterreise with pianist Martin Katz. He has performed major works with American Bach Soloists, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Boston Baroque, Oratorio Society of New York, Apollo’s Fire, Charlotte Symphony, TENET/Green Mountain Project, and on Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series.
His 2014-2015 season included a European concert tour with Boston Early Music Festival, a U.S. concert tour with Apollo’s Fire, and debuts with Atlanta Opera and Hawaii Opera Theatre. In 2013-2014 he debuted with Kentucky Opera and Opera Omnia, and returned to Minnesota Opera as Papageno in The Magic Flute. Jesse has given the world premieres of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Green Sneakers, Lisa Bielawa’s The Lay of the Love and Death, Conrad Cummings’s Positions 1956, and Tom Cipullo’s Excelsior. He also works closely with several other renowned composers as a member of the Mirror Visions Ensemble.www.summerellarts.com
Jesse has been featured on a dozen commercial recordings, including the 2014 Grammy-winning Charpentier Chamber Operas with Boston Early Music Festival. He has been recognized in several competitions, and was awarded Third Prize at the 2008 International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau, becoming its first American prizewinner in over thirty years. Jesse received a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and received undergraduate degrees in History and Music from the University of Michigan. Jesse is also the founder and artistic director of Five Boroughs Music Festival, which brings chamber music of many genres to every corner of New York City. www.jesseblumberg.com