Early Music Concerts 2011-2012 [1]

Early Music Concerts 2011-2012: (US) SFEMS Presents a Glorious Christmas Feast (16,17,18 Dec 2011)

Contributed by Admin on Nov 30, 2011 - 11:00 PM

Magnificat Baroque Ensemble Sounds the Season
Palo Alto, Berkeley, San Francisco

Magnificat Baroque Ensemble and instrumental guests The Whole Noyse and Sex Chordae Consort of Viols, join forces in splendiferous song, recreating the Christmas Vespers of the Dresden Court Chapel in 1660. "Each of the outstanding singers has a unique and beautiful sound, and the combination of their voices produces an exceptionally felicitous ensemble sound."— [2]

The program centers on the Weihnachtshistorie (Christmas Story) by Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672), a composer praised by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle for his, “distinctive blend of sensuality and sincere religious fervor, unmatched by anyone but Messiaen.” One of Schütz's most beloved compositions, the oratorio’s colorful instrumentation, dramatic characterizations, and above all the brilliant role given to the Evangelist make it the most appealing setting of the Christmas narrative from the century before Bach. It is a reprisal of a program from Magnificat’s inaugural season as an ensemble, 20 years ago under Director Warren Stewart, and also commemorates the 35th anniversary of the San Francisco Early Music Society. Acclaimed German baritone Martin Hummel returns in the Evangelist role, bringing the production full circle.

Also on the program, works by Johann Christoph Demantius, Vincenzo Albrici, Francesco Cavalli and Samuel Scheidt.

Tickets are on sale now at [3], 510-528-1725

About the Artists
Magnificat Baroque Ensemble
Warren Stewart, Artistic Director
Andrew Rader & Dominic Lim, soprano; Clifton Massey & Christopher LeCluyse, alto; Daniel Hutchings, tenor; Martin Hummel, baritone (Evangelist); Hugh Davies & Peter Becker, bass; Carla Moore & Anthony Martin, violin; John Lenti, theorbo; Katherine Heater, organ

The Whole Noyse

Steve Escher & Alexandra Opsahl, cornett and recorder;
Richard Van Hessel & Sandford Stadtfeld, sackbut; Herbert Myers, curtal

The Sex Chordæ Consort of Viols

John Dornenburg & Farley Pearce, viol and violone;
Julie Jeffrey & David Morris, viol

About Magnificat Baroque Ensemble
For twenty years Magnificat has explored the emotionally charged music of the 17th century, each season bringing together an assembly of internationally recognized musicians to present unique and innovative programs that engage the senses and inspire the imagination. Magnificat has offered audiences the chance to hear many significant works by well-known figures of the 17th century while also uncovering forgotten masterpieces, including many modern premieres. With dramatic flair and sensitivity to historical perspective context, Magnificat imbues each concert with an infectious joy and a delight in musical make-believe. Over the past decade Magnificat has taken a special interest in promoting the works of women composers, undertaking a project to record the complete works of Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, devoting entire programs to the music of Barbara Strozzi and Isabella Leonarda and hosting a conference on Women and Music in Seventeenth Century Italy. Magnificat has been presented by The Berkeley Festival & Exhibition, Music Before 1800, The Seattle Early Music Guild, The Tropical Baroque Festival, The Carmel Bach Festival, and The Sonoma County Bach Society and by the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music. Magnificat has recorded for Koch International and Musica Omnia.

About San Francisco Early Music Society
Founded in 1975, SFEMS is the leading early music community-based service and membership organization in the US. Under the direction of Harvey Malloy, it is the focal institution in Northern California for the advancement of historically informed performance of early music. Through its concert series, publications, outreach activities, affiliate support and educational programs, SFEMS encourages the development of amateurs, supports professionals, and increases public involvement and participation in early music. SFEMS is the lead presenter of the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition.


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