O Nachbar Roland!

Sep 29, 2015 | blog, Newberry Consort | 0 comments

We have a new “Neighbor Roland”! (Early Music Nerd joke)

We are especially happy to debut a new instrument in our next program, Oct. 9-11. Thanks to the generosity of our donors at last year’s Gala fundraising dinner, the Consort is now the proud owner of a Roland Digital Organ.

Charles Metz, our keyboard player, reports: “I am very excited to be playing this instrument, a digitally sampled organ which produces a sound historically comparable to 17th century positive organs.    The new technology of this instrument, first introduced by Roland in 2008, also has various temperament and pitch capabilities which makes it an ideal instrument for Newberry Consort and in particular this upcoming program of Johann Rosenmüller.” 


Listen to a sample of this continuo combo in a piece you’ll hear on our upcoming concert, from a hmu recording by The King’s Noyse with Ellen Hargis and David Douglass:

Chamber and concerted music in the 17th century was known for its rich and varied basso continuo sound. We often see a veritable “band” of continuo instruments accompanying soloists and small ensembles as well as orchestras and opera pit bands. Combinations of bowed and plucked strings with keyboards could combine or go solo to make the right sound for any section of a composition. As Charlie says, “This organ, as well as a 17th-c. style Italian harpsichord augmented by theorbo, is the ideal continuo group for this concert.  It will add a dimension of different sounds which supports the “affects” of the music and help to create wonderful variety for the listener. The combination of the rich, smooth organ sound with the clear articulation of the theorbo is particularly effective in German music of this period.”

Welcome, O Nachbar Roland!

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