Sémplice (pronounced SEM-plee-chay) is a Denver-based quartet specializing in the music of the baroque period, from 1600 to the mid-18th century. The quartet, comprised of Miriam Rosenblum on recorder, Carla Sciaky on baroque violin, Elinor Saragoussi on viola da gamba, and Ben Cohen on lutes and harpsichord, got their start playing house concerts. That informal atmosphere is perfect for this style of chamber music, so Sémplice carries that relaxed performance presentation wherever they go. Instead of concert black, printed program notes, and austere silence between tunes, Sémplice’s audiences enjoy stories about the composers, the instruments, and the cultural context from which the music was born, including the occasional tasty tidbits that depict the baroque characters as the actual human beings that they were.
Sémplice’s concert at Helikon Gallery on Saturday, June 17, will feature guest soprano Amanda Balestrieri, “revered for her baroque repertoire” (Washington Post). The Baltimore Sun praised her “silvery soprano”, and the Boulder Camera her “beautiful, tender tone.”
The ensemble will present instrumental and vocal pieces by Handel, Pepusch, Barsanti, Rameau, J. S. Bach, and Boismortier.