The Saint Luke Recorder Series grows out of the church's commitment to enhancing the musical experiences it regularly provides for the Chicagoland public.

The artist for this series is John Langfeld, a Chicago area musician who has specialized in exploring performance practices for Baroque and 20th Century recorder music as well as in performing the many seldom programmed compositions for unaccompanied alto recorder. His interest in performing both traditional and more contemporary styles provides an unusual opportunity to discover the relatively untapped "musical universe" of which recorders are capable.

In this seventh year of the series, Langfeld explores two worlds in the recorder universe, the traditional concert form and the sonata da chiesa.


Divas for Recorders

Operatic Icons of Beauty, Truth & Virtuosity



Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.

Free to the Public

Free Parking - Wheelchair Access


It has always been a tad disappointing that some of the iconic composers in western civilization have written nothing for the recorder family of instruments. In past seasons, we have rectified that oversight (smile) by including music by Brahms, Prokofiev and even Andrew Lloyd Webber!


The November Program of the 2013-14 season will focus on music from iconic operas by iconic composers made famous, in part, by iconic "divas" such as Leontyne Price, Renata Tibaldi, Marilyn Horne, Cecilia Bartoli, Audra McDonald and others. In addition to arias by Purcell, Handel and Vivaldi, the "diva voices" of Mozart, Rossini, Puccini, and Verdi will be "in the house."


At first blush, it may seem a daunting task to find opera arias that can "work" as solos for the recorder, but it is not. You look for three things:


1. Arias too joyful to be ignored. (Beauty)


2. Arias written for singers capable of delivering the profound simplicity of a beautiful melody. (Truth)


3. Arias written for singers capable of fast runs and gymnastic leaps; i.e., arias idiomatically instrumental. (Virtuosity)


A reception follows the concert


Recorder by the Numbers

A "Hello" Symphony



Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

Free to the Public

Free Parking - Wheelchair Access


The April Program of the 2013-14 season will begin with a work for recorder alone (a Baroque Suite) and proceed by adding one instrument with each of the following works. It is rather the opposite of Haydn's Farewell Symphony when one lone player is left on stage at the end.


Our "Hello Symphony" opens like this:


One lone player will perform a Baroque suite for unaccompanied bass recorder.


A second player will join the first and perform a Baroque duet by Telemann for two alto recorders and continuo.


A third player will join the first two and perform a delightful contemporary trio by Alvin Etler for two alto recorders and one tenor recorder.


The process continues with performances by a recorder quartet, a quintet, a sextet, a septet and an octet, with the occasion addition of other "voices" such as string bass, a narrator (for an anti-war piece!) and a keyboard. The septet will be a world premiere performance of a new work by Randall Snyder composed for this concert.


The final work, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, will be for recorder orchestra, string bass and keyboard and will feature as many recorder players as can fit in the space and a note-for-note transcription of that killer guitar solo for a brave soprano recorder player.


A reception follows the concert

Saint Luke Church, 1500 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL 60657, 773-472-3383, an affiliate of Saint Luke Ministries

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