The Woods so Wild: Voices of Nature from 17th-Century Europe
This concert by Annette Richards is part of the Great Organ Music at Yale (GOMY) series.
How can the organ, that wondrous mechanical marvel, envoice nature? In this program we hear how the instrument’s music reanimates the sounds of the natural world — the rumble of thunder and the crack of lightning, the lilting hum of the forest, and the whisper of falling leaves, the trills of the nightingale, and the persistent call of the cuckoo — in works by William Byrd, Dieterich Buxtehude, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Alessandro Poglietti and others. These sounds echo down to us across the centuries, all the more powerful and urgent today as the beauty and balance of the natural world come increasingly under threat.
Annette Richards is Professor of Music and University Organist at Cornell, and the Executive Director of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies.
Annette Richards is an organist, writer, and teacher who specializes in historical keyboard instruments and music of the 17th-19th centuries, but ranges far beyond in her research and playing. Recent performances include explorations of Neapolitan music around 1600 and American organ culture c. 1940; her main writing project at the moment is a book on music and the history of touch, but she is also working on an essay on the Hammond organ, Bach, and the mid-20th-century American family.
Annette’s recordings include the complete works of Melchior Schildt (on the Loft label) played on the historic organ at Roskilde Cathedral, Denmark, and a recording of music from the library of Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia, recorded on the new German baroque organ at Cornell. Her new book The Temple of Fame and Friendship: Portraits, Music and History in the C. P. E. Bach Circle, which grew out of her work reconstructing the extraordinary portrait collection of C. P. E. Bach, is due out this summer from University of Chicago Press. She has long collaborated with David Yearsley, with whom she won first prize at the Bruges Early Music Festival in the competition for organ duo, and with whom she has edited the complete organ works of C. P. E. Bach for the C. P. E. Bach: Complete Works edition.
Annette is the founding director of the Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards, and directed the Westfield Center from 2009-2019. She is the Given Foundation Professor in the Humanities and University Organist at Cornell University. Read more about Annette.