Penn Live Arts Blog

A feast of digital content from the Dunedin Consort

Posted July 13, 2020

Penn Live Arts Recommends Early Music

Over the past few months, the Dunedin Consort has taken to many formats of the virtual stage. Within the first weeks of quarantine, the Gramophone Award-winning baroque ensemble hosted a lighthearted and casual livestreamed Q&A with its Music Director, John Butt. In April, Dunedin’s musicians honored Good Friday with a socially distanced recording of Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. The video, along with Dunedin’s corresponding podcast episode, took the place of the group’s annual performances of the work that were cancelled. Since then, we’ve enjoyed Dunedin’s educational video series, Making Music with Dunedin Consort, and fun introductions to instruments such as the baroque horn, the oboe and the theorbo.

We were also very excited to see Dunedin release its performance at the Library of Congress (LOC) in Washington, D.C. This video brought us right back to January of this year when we presented Dunedin’s Philadelphia debut just two days before the LOC concert. We enjoyed the same all-Bach program, including mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle’s stunning interpretation of the cantata Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54. Bragle, an accomplished recording artist and soloist, is an artist-in-residence here at Penn as well as director of the early music chamber choir Penn Collegium Musicum (PCM). While Dunedin was in town, John Butt led a captivating masterclass for the students of PCM which culminated in an engaging Q&A session. Butt also presented his fascinating lecture “Bach and the dance of humankind” for invited scholars, Penn faculty, current graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Nothing will ever beat live, in-person events, but we are grateful that so many of our favorite artists are keeping in touch through creative, digital ways. We look forward to more great content from the Dunedin Consort and can’t wait to bring early music to the Annenberg Center stage again in the future.