Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

Calefax Reed Quintet at Market Square Concerts

Written by Cary Burkett, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Jan 16, 2014 9:06 AM



The award-winning Calefax Reed Quintet has been performing for 25 years, bringing their versions of familiar classical pieces to audiences around the globe. When they perform in a Market Square Concert on January 23, they will be playing one of their most acclaimed arrangements: the Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Published in 1741, the work was written originally for harpsichord. In 1955 Canadian pianist Glenn Gould made a celebrated recording of the work for piano which stunned the classical world and brought a great deal of attention to the music. Since then it’s been recorded by many different pianists. Simone Dinnerstein’s 2007 recording became a bestseller and gained the number one spot for all recordings on Amazon, something unheard of for classical albums.

There have been versions of the work for other instruments, including string orchestra, guitar quartet and organ. Calefax released a recording of their version for wind quintet in 2012 to much acclaim. Saxophonist Raaf Hekkema created the arrangement. Different members of the quintet play a variety of wind instruments throughout, and a total of ten different instruments are used in the performance.

They’ll perform the work in a Market Square Concert January 23 at 8 p.m. at the Temple Ohev Sholom in Harrisburg. The program will also include their arrangements of Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin and the Zdenka Variations of Leos Janáček.

Below you can hear our interviews with Market Square Artistic Director Peter Sirotin and Calefax member Raaf Hekkema, including some samples from the wind version of the Goldberg Variations.

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