Back Before Bach

Bloomfield Hills
Friday, March 16, 8 PM

Ann Arbor
Saturday, March 17, 8 PM

Before March 9 – $30 General / $25 Seniors / $10 Students
After March 9 – $35 General / $30 Seniors / $15 Students


Pre-Concert Lecture starts at 7:15pm

Piffaro: The Renaissance Band returns to southeastern Michigan with their unique mix of double reeds, recorders, brass, harp, and bagpipes to bring a delightful program from Germany and the Low Countries. “Back before Bach” presents two centuries of wind band instruments and music, including chants set to Renaissance polyphony by Heinrich Isaac, Stephan Mahu and Johann Walther, hymns and chorale settings by Martin Luther, Michael Praetorius, and Bach himself, virtuosic instrumental displays on popular tunes by Jakob Obrecht, Antoine Brumel, and Ludwig Senfl, and chromaticism by Orlande de Lassus and Jakob Handl.

“It’s a well-thought program from start to finish, intelligent in selection, and fabulous in performance… scrapes away for audiences a bit of the patina overlaying the old ‘conservative’ J.S. Bach and reveals the remarkable world around him that he worked so hard to synthesize.” (Seattle Star)

Piffaro delights audiences with highly polished recreations of the rustic music of the peasantry and the elegant sounds of the official wind bands of the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. Its ever-expanding instrumentarium includes shawms, dulcians, sackbuts, recorders, krumhorns, bagpipes, lutes, guitars, harps, and a variety of percussion — all careful reconstructions of instruments from the period.

Piffaro has been active in the field of education since its inception in 1980, and has been honored twice for its work by Early Music America, receiving the “Early Music Brings History Alive” award in 2003, and the Laurette Goldberg “Lifetime Achievement Award in Early Music Outreach” in 2011. In June 2015, the American Recorder Society honored Piffaro with its Distinguished Achievement Award.

“Energetic but fastidious performers: the recorder playing has a gorgeous, woody transparency; the reeds and sackbuts are raucous, bright and precisely tuned.” — The New York Times

This presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Crane Group.