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by Nicholas Jones

Les-Delices2As I write this, Ohio seems to be stuck in an endless winter of discontent. But the ungiving weather was more than a little mollified by the warm elegance and sprightly eccentricity of this weekend’s seasonal program by Les Délices. The group, founded and directed by baroque oboist Debra Nagy, is now completing its fourth season, and specializes in the music of the French Baroque.

The centerpiece of the program was a substantial cantata titled L’Hyver (Winter), one of a cycle of four cantatas on the seasons by the early-18th-century composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. With appropriate Baroque word-painting, Boismortier depicts winter’s horrors—bare trees, mountain storms, and frost-stricken buds—then shifts to winter’s pleasures—dances, feasts, and plays. Winter’s destructive fury turns out to be a foil to the delights of a Parisian salon, well heated and well stocked with wine and music.

The presiding muse of those delights was the masterful soprano Clara Rottsolk, who was featured on Les Délices’ recent CD, Myths and Allegories. Read the rest of this entry »


by Mike Telin

Miller-TobieIf you have been thinking that you wish you could find a concert featuring the hurdy-gurdy, this is your lucky weekend. And leave it to the always creative Les Délices to provide you with that weekend. On Saturday, April 20, beginning at 8 pm in William Busta Gallery and Sunday, April 21, beginning at 4 pm in Herr Chapel at Plymouth Church, Les Délices presents Four Seasons. The concerts feature master hurdy-gurdy player Tobie Miller in performances of Vivaldi’s famous violin concertos Printemps/Spring and l’Automne/Fall in eighteenth century arrangements for hurdy-gurdy and chamber ensemble by Nicholas Chedeville. The concerts also include music of Charles Buterne and Joseph Bodin de Boismortier.

Tobie Miller grew up in a family of classical musicians. After studies in Early Music Performance at McGill University, she moved to Basel to pursue postgraduate studies at the prestigious Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Miller was the recipient of a further grant from the Canada Council in 2011-2012 for her work on the baroque hurdy-gurdy and transcriptions of J.S. Bach’s solo cello and violin repertoire for that instrument. Currently dividing her time between Basel and Montreal, Miller continues to perform and record with many ensembles on both continents. We reached Tobie Miller by telephone and began by asking her how she first came to the hurdy-gurdy. Read the rest of this entry »

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