Our WCRB Podcast

On Sunday, 12/13 at 7 PM, A Far Cry's performance of "A Tale Of Two Sixes" (our Corelli/Handel op. 6 love-fest) will be playing on WCRB 99.5 as part of a new podcast, The Answered Question. Alan McClellan interviews Jae and Michael as part of the fun. There's a nice write-up of the show excerpted below - and if you're not able to tune in in person, you can stream it here after the fact! Enjoy! 

A Far Cry - the name of this orchestra brings to mind something out of the ordinary, off the beaten track, something special. And that's just what A Far Cry delivers. 

Formed in 2007 in Jamaica Plain, A Far Cry is the Chamber Orchestra in Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The group still rehearses in Jamaica Plain, at a storefront they share with a couple of small theater groups.

It's an unassuming place, with a little shingle out front - and inside, some of the best music-making in town. Last week the Criers were rehearsing "A Tale of Two Sixes" - a concert of 6 Concerti grossi by Arcangelo Corelli and George Frideric Handel. The concerti come from each of the composers' Opus 6 collections - those are the two sixes in the title.

On most of its programs, A Far Cry creates "outside the box" combinations - a program might include a Handel Concerto Grosso, but it might be combined with something by Stravinsky, or even a newly-commissioned piece.

But for this concert, the Criers are focusing in on string music from early 18th century Europe - concertos by Corelli, the great violinist of Rome, who invented the Concerto Grosso, and Handel, the brilliant young opera composer, the toast of London, who took the Concerto Grosso to new heights of inventiveness.

They met in 1707 or 1708, on Handel¹s tour of Italy.  Handel studied with Corelli while he was visiting Rome. Handel was an up-and-coming young composer, and Corelli was ready for retirement. But the younger composer must have been dazzled, in the presence of the great violin virtuoso of his generation. 

Handel couldn¹t help but be influenced by Corelli¹s style, and he even arranged his opus numbers so that his collection of concerti grossi would come out as Op. 6, just like those of his famous teacher.