All venues are handicap accessible. Please call 215-235-8469 to request seating accommodations.Concert Program Program Notes
“Piffaro artistic directors Joan Kimball and Bob Wiemken assembled a marvelously informative yet flexible program of music divided into seven narrative segments: Supplication and Proclamation; Mystery, Manger & Meditation; Praise & Rejoicing; the Christmas Story; an Instrumental Interlude; Declamation; and a Final Celebration. With a single intermission between the fourth and fifth sections, the concert moved smoothly from start to finish. And it delivered not merely a sonic retrospective of the music of Christmases past, but a priceless peek into the state of musical instruments at any given time…
Saturday’s concert was heard by an audience that packed every pew in Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church and that was treated to splendid performances by the Piffaro musicians plus the added attraction of the singing of soprano Jessica Beebe. Her voice is a marvel of expressive clarity and tonal warmth committed to the service of intense yet eloquent lyricism. Plus she displayed an uncanny ability to place her voice securely within the context of the instrumental complement accompanying her singing, thereby proffering a seamless texture of voice and woodwind instruments.” – Read more in the Chestnut Hill Local
“The hand-hewn stone and intricate timber framing of Wilmington, Delaware’s Immanuel Church Highlands takes any audience back in time, so it was the perfect, intimate setting for Piffaro’s Christmas offering. The well-known, much-lauded Renaissance band (which had already performed the concert twice in Philadelphia) was in splendid form…
Together, the musicians played more than 40 Renaissance instruments, recorders, shawms, lute, theorbo, percussion, and bagpipes among them. So you might expect the music to be esoteric and challenging. But Piffaro has the gift of translating their formidable musicology and scholarship into performances that are the exact opposite. The concert was (as usual) engaging, accessible, and uplifting. Suddenly, amid holiday crowds and hurly-burly, here was an oasis of joyous calm.” – Read more in Broad Street Review
Synopsis: The traditional German Christmas emphasizes the pleasures of community and family. They know that one of the sweetest ways to come together is through song. Piffaro’s holiday program will include beloved German chorales like Von Himmel Hoch, In dulci jubilo, and Es ist ein Ros entsprungen in a variety of settings for instruments and voice as well as instrumental renditions of motets, dances and fantasias. Soprano Jessica Beebe returns, fresh from her triumph in Opera Philadelphia’s Wake World, to help lead a celebration of life & light in darkest winter.
Playlist: Michael Praetorius, Jacob Handl, Christoph Bernhard, Johann Herman Schein, Hans Leo Hassler, and more
Soprano Jessica Beebe, an “expressive, rich soprano who performs with heart-rending passion” (Opera News), is steadily gaining international attention as an affecting interpreter of repertoire spanning over four centuries, ranging from Renaissance music to contemporary American opera. In recent seasons, she has appeared in concert with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra; the New York City Chamber Orchestra (at Carnegie Hall); Trio Eos and the Folger Consort; the Philadelphia Orchestra (under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin), and several other ensembles.
A native of Philadelphia, Jessica Beebe earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Delaware, her Master of Music from Indiana University, and a Performance Certificate from London’s Royal College of Music.
General Admission: $29
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Youth & Full-time Students: Free