Sterne and Hakel-Garcia Play 17th-c. Monody
Oberlin junior, Collin Sterne, presented the product of a special winter-break project this week: a duo concert with singer Abigail Hakel-Garcia dedicated to the monody of Caccini and others. In accompanying her, he used the theorbo he's been playing this year in the Baroque Orchestra and other groups.
This music is seldom played. I discovered it when I was a student and found it stunningly beautiful and expressive. It requires a style of singing few voice students study, let alone master. The ornaments are idiosyncratic; they are not used in other styles much and so tend to be ignored. But Abigail has been working at this for a little while, and is obviously comfortable in the style. Her handling of the material was impressive, and her delivery was exquisitely expressive and stylistically dead-center. Collin created the appropriate cushion for this material with his deftly placed chordal rendering of the figured bass. The low notes of the theorbo rang out beautifully in the space--the acoustically and aesthetically ideal Fairchild Chapel.
And for their program, they found music by two female composers (see below). Pretty cool.
My hat's off to these two for their ambitious and unusual project. Wow!!