Review: Rebel, Early Music Fest 

click to enlarge Jörg-Michael - Schwarz, Karen Marie Marmet, Matthias Maute, John Moran and Dongsok Shin
  • Jörg-MichaelSchwarz, Karen Marie Marmet, Matthias Maute, John Moran and Dongsok Shin

3.5 stars

Festival Music Society, Indiana History Center; June 24.

It's pronounced reBEL, as in the verb "to rebel." That's the handle of the New York based Baroque quintet which launched the Festival Music Society of Indiana's 45th straight Early Music Festival season last Friday. (The FMS has sponsored the longest uninterrupted run of early music of any city in the U.S.)

Featuring married violinists Jörg-Michael Schwarz and Karen Marie Marmet as group directors, Rebel also employs the services of recorder and traverso player Matthias Maute, cellist John Moran and harpsichordist Dongsok Shin. The group surveyed such name composers as Antonio Vivaldi, Arcangelo Corelli, Jean Marie Leclair, Alessandro Scarlatti and Georg Philipp Telemann - all from the high Baroque. In addition they incorporated a potpourri of lesser names from the earlier Baroque, such as Rossi, Bertali and Mealli (you won't remember their first names). Except for Leclair and Telemann, all composers were Italian.

Maute only used the traverso (i.e., a Baroque transverse flute) for Telemann's Quartet in G, the most then-currently renowned German composer, eclipsing Bach, who more than made up for it in later periods. The program ended with Telemann's Quartet in A Minor, with Maute switching back to the recorder. Throughout the two hours, we heard a wide variety of virtuoso and expressive playing, each quintet member well-honed on his/her instrument and the group's ensemble solidly together. Occasionally Maute played his recorder on the soft side, the other four players covering him.

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