Saturday May 13 2023, 11:00 AM
Multiple Voices for One
Baroque and Octave Violins
Musique Royale welcomes back a Musique Royale favourite, violinist David Greenburg, who will perform a solo violin concert at Cecilia’s Retreat in Mahone Bay. For more than three decades, David has enjoyed a double career as a Baroque violinist and Cape Breton fiddler. His fluency and experience in these two genres makes him uniquely qualified to interpret the wild music of 18th-century Scotland. He has performed, taught, and recorded all over the world, including over 80 CDs. David will perform music from his new album “Multiple Voices for One”, (the title references playing more than one musical line at a time, and also to the intermingling of different musical aesthetics (Baroque, Cape Breton, and David’s own music).
David’s note on the program
Multiple Voices for One was born during a winter forest walk just before the pandemic. It came from a conversation about the many layers that are built into Bach’s music and which are also present in folk music. ‘Multiple Voices’ refers not only to playing more than one musical line at a time (melody, harmony, or bassline), but also to the intermingling of different musical aesthetics—Baroque, Cape Breton, and my own tunes. The transitions help tie together these different voices, including preludes I created to introduce several of the sets. My musical intuition adds its own voice, inspired by feelings arising in each moment.
What I especially love about these baroque-folk pairings are the surprising things that one genre learns from the other—the music’s emotional range increases dramatically. Their combined story feels spontaneous and capable of expressing both profound melancholy and wild joy. Unconventional musical techniques and expressive vocabulary become newly available as one world meets another. They inhabit very different places on the rhythmic spectrum: where Baroque rhythmic impulse is more refined and initiated by a larger body motion, the Cape Breton ictus tends more toward a hot-edged dance groove and syncopation. The joyful and elemental rhythmic drive of Cape Breton music meets the wondrous fantasy of Bach’s musical tapestry. They meet in living moments that are imagined spontaneously into existence through experimentation, often trying something out that the composer didn’t have in mind, unleashing out-of-the-box creativity and a sense of fun and wonder.
These pieces are stories about vulnerability, longing, and joy. They touch a soft, sacred place inside where we heal and connect. I hope you enjoy these living moments of music.
About David Greenberg
For over three decades, David Greenberg has enjoyed a double career as a Baroque violinist and Cape Breton fiddler. His fluency and experience in these two genres make him uniquely qualified to interpret the wild music of 18th-century Scotland. David is a graduate of Indiana University’s Early Music Institute (now called Historical Performance Institute), where he studied with Stanley Ritchie.
He has performed, taught, and recorded in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Far East. David has performed with Tafelmusik, Red Priest, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien, Concerto Caledonia, Apollo’s Fire, Ensemble Caprice, La Nef, Toronto Consort, Seattle Baroque, Les Voix Humaines, Musica Pacifica, Ferintosh, Chris Norman, Suzie LeBlanc, and Doug MacPhee. He has recorded over 80 CDs, including with most of these ensembles and collaborators, as well as three groundbreaking Scottish-Cape Breton-Baroque recordings with his own ensemble Puirt A Baroque in the 1990s.
David co-authored The DunGreen Collection (1996), an influential treatise on Cape Breton fiddling. He is also a composer and arranger. Many of his tunes have been recorded by Cape Breton musicians such as Buddy MacMaster, Carl MacKenzie, Jerry Holland, and The Rankins.
He enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge about Baroque and Cape Breton music in workshop settings, including his intensive online courses Cape Breton Deep-Dive, Making Tunes with Intention, and Cape Breton–Baroque Integration