FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2017
Choral Arts Philadelphia Celebrates Third Annual Classical New Year's Eve
With Claudio Monteverdi's Masterwork -- 'Vespers Of 1610'
PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER 31, 2017/ NEW YEAR’S EVE: Back by popular demand, Choral Arts Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Bach Collegium, in collaboration with Dark Horse Consort, all led by Artistic Director Matthew Glandorf, invite listeners to the third annual New Year’s Eve celebratory performance. The artists will bid farewell to 2017 with the performance of Claudio Monteverdi’s revolutionary masterpiece, Vespers of 1610, marking the composer’s 450th birthday.
WHO Choral Arts Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Bach Collegium
Dark Horse Consort
Matthew Glandorf, Artistic Director and Conductor
WHAT Claudio Monteverdi, Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610)
WHEN Sunday, December 31, 4-6 PM, with 15 min intermission
WHERE S. Clement’s Church, 2013 Appletree Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
TICKETS Early Bird: $10-30. As of December 1, 2017: $15-45
Buy online at www.choralarts.com or at the door.
INFO www.choralarts.com| email@example.com | 267-240-2586
In early 2017, while fulfilling a lifelong dream of visiting Venice, artistic director Matthew Glandorf paid respects at Monteverdi’s grave in the “I Frari" Church. Realizing that the composer’s 450th anniversary was coming up this year, Glandorf saw it as a perfect opportunity to feature his Vespers, during the liturgical Christmas season of 2017-2018.
Considered by many the father of the Baroque movement, Monteverdi (1567-1643) published the lavishly ground breaking Vespers in Venice in 1610. The sister work to Vespers was his first opera, L'Orfeo. This publication, along with a much more conservative Mass for Six Voices, clearly served as a work portfolio, displaying his wide ranging gifts as a composer. Three years later, Monteverdi was offered the post of Maestro di Capella of San Marco Cathedral in Venice, the most prestigious musical job in Italy at that time.
As Glandorf points out, “Monteverdi created a perfectly symmetrical work in which the brilliant contrasts of mood, style and key structure work together to create a truly unique musical and emotional splendor, one that has inspired composers, performers and listeners for over four centuries. It is both grand public music and intimate personal statements juxtaposed side by side. To my mind, it is the first real large scale masterpiece.”
The New Year’s Eve performance will be Choral Arts’ third take on the piece and will draw the vocal soloists from its own core of professional singers. The 2017 rendition will be presented in collaboration with Dark Horse Consort, the early music brass ensemble based in San Francisco.
Most recently, Choral Arts presented Vespers in December 2010, in collaboration with Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, in a concert dedicated to the 400th anniversary of its publication.
It is most interesting to note that the Vespers music score has survived to this day as a mere set of part books which tell us little about the story of the performance of the work. While the part books do identify the principle instruments (cornetto, sackbut, violin, and continuo instruments of the time), “they don’t tell how, when or in what way they realized the notes on the page,” commented Bob Wiemken, founding artistic director of Piffaro. “Early 17th century notation left many decisions up to the performer, including even what notes to play at times. Thus, the task of bringing this magnificent work to performance requires considerable research, informed decision making and no small amount of imagination.”
Although this is not specifically a "Christmas" piece, Glandorf is convinced that a large scale performance of Vespers, a work dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, would be highly appropriate for a big solemn Feast. He added: “For most of us, there is a bit of a silent pause in our lives as we mark the turning over to a new year. Coming to a New Year’s Eve concert can be a wonderful refreshment to take stock of the old year and look with hope to the year that lies ahead.”
This project is supported by a matching grant from an anonymous donor.
Choral Arts Philadelphia is a premier chamber ensemble of professional and avocational musicians. Inspired by the works of J.S. Bach, Choral Arts presents historically informed performances, explores new music, and engages the community in innovative ways. Led by artistic director Matthew Glandorf, Choral Arts, along with its project, the Bach Festival of Philadelphia, and its professional resident instrumental ensemble of period instruments, Philadelphia Bach Collegium, celebrates the life and music of J.S. Bach with programs focused on his works and related repertoire by other composers of all periods. The programs are presented in the traditions of well-researched, historically informed performance practice. For more information, visit choralarts.com.
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Graphic design above: GDLOFT