Matinee concert in Langley explores two centuries of music

For the dark time of the year: a concert of music based on the dark time of the day.

The second concert in the Pacific Baroque Orchestra’s 2014/15 season – scheduled for this Sunday afternoon at the Rose Gellert Hall inside the Langley Community Music School – is a journey through two centuries of music.

The concert, which starts at 2:30 p.m., ranges from Boccherini’s Night Music of the Streets of Madrid through Biber’s Night Guard Serenata to Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and his Trio KV 166.

The program is an exploration of the Serenata, or Serenade.

“Sera” in Latin means “late” and in Italian means “evening”.

These concerts feature guest soloist Ed Reifel on various percussion instruments, including Early Music Vancouver’s new set of baroque timpani in Mozart’s Serenata Notturna.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors, and $10 for students (with ID). Youth ages 16 and under are admitted free.

Tickets are available by clicking here and by calling 604-215-0406.

The Rose Gellert Hall is located at 4899 207th St.

Visit the orchestra’s website by clicking here.

About Nachtmusik


In the Italian Baroque the serenata was usually written for some special occasion (the birthday of a royal personage, or some other noteworthy event) and could involve large numbers of instrumentalists and singers. Interestingly, these early compositions were intended to be performed only once, usually out of doors in town piazzas and streets.

By the mid-18th century the serenata had migrated from Italy to Germany, Austria and Bohemia.

It developed into a strictly instrumental multi-movement work, still meant for outdoor performance by a large group of musicians. In contrast, today we tend to think of serenades (like their cousin the divertimento,) as light “background” music: attractive and pretty, but not too demanding for the listener.


Mozart’s serenades can have as few as four or as many as ten movements, usually beginning and ending with a march. The Serenade in G major, “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, was composed in Vienna in 1787 while Mozart was working on “Don Giovanni”. Like the classical aesthetics appreciated in architecture and the other arts, this work achieves a symmetry, order, and grace while employing touches of drama and ornament to heighten its charm.


Over a century earlier, in 1673, Heinrich Ignaz Biber composed the Serenade in C major, the “Nachtwächter Bass” (“Nightwatchman”). Biber gives indications in the score as to how he wants the piece performed. For example, the Ciacona and Gavotte are to be played pizzicato with the instruments held like a lute.

In the Ciacona “Nachtwächter” movement, Biber probably expected one of the bass players to sing their part with the text: “Listen, you people, and let it call to you, the clapper has struck nine (ten).”


The Hofstetter string quartet, like his other five quartets, was until recently misattributed to Haydn. Hofstetter, an obvious admirer and follower of Haydn, was a Benedictine monk who held the diverse posts of choir director and culinary overseer at his monastery.


Mozart’s Serenata Notturna in D major (a favourite key for serenades), was composed in 1776. It likely received its premiere in Salzburg, but for what occasion we have no idea. Scored in three movements for timpani and strings, it is shorter than his other serenades. However, what it lacks in length is made up in charm: the highlight being a solo quartet (two violins, viola and double bass), that occasionally steals the spotlight.


We are thrilled to have join us for this concert the celebrated percussionist Ed Reifel. We are also delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the wonderful new set of timpani generously loaned for this concert by Early Music Vancouver.


About PBO

The Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO) is recognized as one of Canada’s most exciting and innovative ensembles performing “early music for modern ears.” PBO brings the music of the past up to date by performing with cutting edge style and enthusiasm. Formed in 1990, the orchestra quickly established itself as a force in Vancouver’s burgeoning music scene.


In 2009 PBO welcomed Alexander Weimann, one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation, as Artistic Director. Weimann’s imaginative programming and expert leadership have drawn in many new concertgoers, and his creativity and engaging musicianship have carved out a unique and vital place in the cultural landscape of Vancouver.

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