The Society of Friends of Early Music Studio presents
Mozart and Friends
in the Afternoon
with coffee and pastry!
Susan Adams, Viennese piano
Clive Titmuss, early guitar
April 14, 2:00 pm
Bottega 4485 Sallows Road, in South-East Kelowna
Tickets at Mosaic Books and online at
Adults $25, Students and Seniors $22
Tickets at the door;
Reservations by phone at 250 769 2884
In Mozart’s 18th Century Vienna there were plenty of clocks, but few watches. Our perception of time’s passage has changed radically in two hundred years, but the Early Music Studio has the antidote to all that haste—it is music played as it was intended on instruments made like those of the era. Early piano player Susan Adams and guitarist Clive Titmuss have planned a performance at Bottega, which echoes intimate performances of the period, including a break to enjoy some coffee and pastry.
The use of early instruments, which are much lighter and more responsive than their modern counterparts, restores the balances within the music, but there is much more to the story than just the hardware. Before the modern emphasis on the machine, composers were expected to write music that explored the joyous, the philosophical and the reflective side of life. Mozart, in particular, tried for a sunny blend of melody, harmony and tempo that is still an ideal.
Our fast way of life has affected the way we hear and play, not just our choice of food. Recent research into old music has shown that music has been speeded up over the centuries, as our lives have had to adjust to the priorities of the corporate world. During the Industrial Revolution of the 1800’s, music got a lot louder and faster. The music of the well-known classical composers was subjected to a change of performing style, which they would not have recognized.
“Early instruments have a way of shaping the way you play them,” says Adams, a keyboard specialist. “They are so different from modern equivalents. The action is so light. You really have fun playing them. The Viennese piano allows for the kind of nuance that Mozart loved and mentioned in his letters.”
Mozart was a relatively successful composer, but he never actually owned the piano that he wanted. Adams’ piano is a copy of a piano made in the 1780’s by Johann Stein, who was famous for the tone and quality of his instruments. “My copy is a superb instrument, made just like the originals. It’s astonishing that he never actually had one, but could only write to his father about how much he wanted it.” Adams’ copy has many features of the model, such as tiny, leather-covered hammers, an action made from pear wood, carved mahogany legs and handmade brass hardware, just like the Stein.
Titmuss, an early guitar player and luthier, will perform music by Spanish-born composer Fernando Sor, who was influenced by the music of Mozart. He took arias from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute and made versions of them that convey the charm and melodic genius of the originals. “I do the music of Sor on a guitar, which is the kind of instrument played all over Europe at the time. I took a couple of different guitars that I liked, worked with the design and made something which combines several of the details, to create an instrument which I feel does justice to the music,” he said.
The musicians will also play music for guitar and piano by Viennese composer Ferdinand Carulli. “It’s just about impossible to reveal the subtle interplay on modern instruments,” says Titmuss, “because the piano is so much more imposing than the guitar.” But since the earlier instruments are closer together in volume, they solve this problem and restore the music to its natural balance. We can now hear a world of alluring melodies and clever effects.
Included in the afternoon is an exhibit display of early guitars from different periods, made by Titmuss, and a display of landscape photography by Laurie Carter and Bruce Kemp of Okanagan Life magazine--something to look at while munching on goodies and sipping coffee.
So slow down and take in a breath of spring with the music of Mozart and his Friends at Bottega.
About the artists: Susan Adams and Clive Titmuss are Kelowna residents who are executives and directors of the Society of Friends of Early Music Studio, a non-profit group which backs the concerts. Active for more than a decade in Kelowna, the two specialists have presented performances of music from the 16th to 19th Centuries on the instruments of the period throughout B.C. As a luthier and scholar, Titmuss has been busy restoring and making period lutes and guitars since 1980, and has placed his work internationally. The studio maintains a collection of original and replica instruments: harpsichords and early pianos, lutes and guitars. Their performances aim to introduce audiences to the rich literature of the past, with interesting commentary and sparkling renditions of historically important compositions.
For more information, go to our website, earlymusicstudio.com, or call 250-769-2884.
Tickets are available at Mosaic Books on Bernard Avenue, and online at brownpapertickets.com. Early Music Studio acknowledges the support of the Central Okanagan Foundation and private donors.
Mozart and Friends programme
Ferdinando Carulli: Duo in G, Op. 152
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sonata in C, K. 330
Fernando Sor: Six Airs from Mozart's "The Magic Flute"
Fernando Sor: Lessons in E minor, A major
Ferdinando Carulli: Romanza in G
Pause: Coffee, Pastry, Wine, Silent Auction, Exhibit of Guitars and Photography
Mozart: Sonata in B flat, K. 570
Sor: Fantasie in C
Gustave Carulli: Duo in D, Op. 134
Exhibit of Guitars by Clive Titmuss: after an Anonymous Spanish guitar, c. 1700, after Voboam 1686, after Pages 1780's, after Panormo 1810
Exhibit of Okanagan Landscape Photographs by Laurie Carter and Bruce Kemp