Jeffrey Cohan, Mary Springfels, and David Schrader | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jeffrey Cohan, Mary Springfels, and David Schrader 

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Ever since violist de gamba Mary Springfels formed the Newberry Consort a decade ago, Chicago has been a magnet for practitioners (and fans) of early music. One of the latest recruits is Jeffrey Cohan, an internationally recognized, award-winning flutist. Cohan's virtuosity and versatility will be introduced on this collaborative occasion, titled "Italy and France: Divisions and Sonatas," with Springfels and harpsichord whiz David Schrader. The plump program follows the Newberry Consort's model of first-rate entertainment in a scholarly vein. "Divisions" refers to a technique used by hotshot instrumentalists to embellish familiar melodies; it flourished in Italy at the turn of the 17th century when highly paid players like Girolamo Bassano "jazzed up" (as Cohan puts it) popular French and Flemish art songs. Cohan and Springfels will serve up a sampler of such stunts for flute and viol. In another portion of the program Cohan will demonstrate the differences between the Renaissance flute (a simple cylindrical tube) and its cousin the Baroque flute (a more complicated, three-segment contraption), both in use throughout much of the 1600s. The remainder of the evening will be devoted to the sonata form as it emerged in 17th-century France, particularly to the works of Louis Couperin (uncle of the more famous Francois) and his colleagues. Part of the "Concert Spirituel" series commemorating victims of AIDS. Sunday, 8 PM, Church of the Ascension, 113 3 N. LaSalle; 363-3753.

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