December 2, 2012: A Renaissance Christmas: music for choir and brass
The Calgary Renaissance Singers and Players and the Foothills Brass join musical forces for a festive celebration of the season, with works by Gabrieli, Praetorius, Victoria, Laurisden, and others.
Sunday, December 2, 3PM
St. Stephen’s Anglican Church
(1121 – 14th Avenue SW) – map
2:30pm pre-concert talk
$20 Regular, $15 Senior / Student
Free admission for under-18
Advance tickets at Classics Plus
The program will open and close with works for choir and brass, including Gabrieli’s triumphant Hodie Christus Natus Est. As one of its choral selections, the CRSP will perform a radiant gem of the Renaissance repertoire: Victoria’s O magnum mysterium. We are pairing this work with a more modern interpretation by the American composer Morten Lauridsen; this gorgeous O magnum mysterium is one of the top-ten repertoire favourites of every choral conductor I know. We will also regale you with Renaissance carols in German, French, and English.
For its part, the Foothills Brass will bring its much-loved mix of excellent musicianship and good clean fun. The quintet will perform everything from rafter-raising Christmas fanfares to (with the help of CRSP) some slightly silly takes on well-known carols. As a special treat, trumpeter Chris Morrison will give a short lecture-demonstration of Renaissance-era brass instruments. He will be aided in this effort by the Calgary Crumhorn Band (formed especially for this concert!)
Add to this some audience singalong carols accompanied by brass, and you have a very fine afternoon of musical offerings.
Pre-Concert Talk 2:30PM
As a new feature this season, the CRSP is offering pre-concert talks at each of its three series concerts. We invite you to come and enjoy a 15-minute discussion of the works that will be performed. On December 2nd at 2:30pm, CRSP bass Nick Žekulin will offer historical context to the Christmas repertoire we have chosen to perform that day.
March 10, 2013: Jewish Music of the Renaissance
Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 7:30pm
- Temple B’nai Tikvah (900 47thAvenue SW) Map
CRSP presents some of the music of Salomone Rossi (c. 1570 – 1630), an Italian Jewish composer and violinist who played in Claudio Monteverdi’s orchestra in Mantua. Special musical guests: cantor Rebecca Levant and cellist Tom Mirhady.
The inspiration for this concert came when Jane Perry, Artistic Director, was introduced to the music of Salamone Rossi (1570-1630) by one of the choristers. Rossi was a Jewish violinist and composer who played in Monteverdi’s orchestra at the court of the Duke of Mantua. He wrote several liturgical songs in Hebrew, under the title Songs of Solomon. It is thought that, since the text he used is not actually from that Biblical book, the reference to Solomon was in fact to himself! The choir will sing three pieces by Rossi: Adon Olam, Elohim Hashivenu, and Kaddish. While the liturgical texts may well be familiar, the settings are likely to be less so. Speaking of this new repertoire, Jane Perry exclaims, “I can’t help but wonder why we’ve never done it before because it is so beautiful!”
In addition to the selections by Rossi, the choir will perform other music from the period by Palestrina (a setting of a text from the biblical Song of Solomon or Song of Songs). Modern works include a setting of another text from the Song of Solomon by Ola Gjeilo, and Psalm 150 by chorister Marcia Epstein. The program also features Rebecca Levant, cantor, and Tom Mirhadi, cellist, who will perform with the choir and as soloists. In particular, Tom will play the Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch, and Rebecca will offer sacred and secular cantorial pieces, including both modern melodies and those from the Italian Renaissance.
This will be the first time in its history that the Renaissance Singers have presented Jewish music of this period. Says Lorna Rowsell, one of the founding members of the choir, “This concert is an example of true ‘Renaissance’, that is, bringing to birth again the beautiful music and arts of the past which may have been forgotten.”
This season, the CRSP is offering pre-concert talks at its concerts. We invite you to come and enjoy a 15-minute discussion of the works that will be performed. The talk will start at 7 pm.
May 5, 2013: Music of Three Faiths
- Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 7:30pm
- Scarboro United Church (134 Scarboro Ave SW) Map
The concept of religious pluralism is as relevant today as it was on the Iberian peninsula in 15th-century Spain, when communities of Christians, Jews and Muslims co-existed relatively peacefully with an attitude of “live and let live.”
Taking this as its starting point, CRSP will present a program that includes little-known Spanish Medieval and Renaissance music from the Christian tradition, along with some recent works. Guest dancers and instrumentalists, including oud player Mehdi Pouragha, will offer creative expressions representing more modern Jewish and Muslim traditions.
As well, three invited guest speakers, each representing one of these three faiths, will share their respective thoughts on religious pluralism in Calgary today. We are delighted to announce that Mayor Naheed Nenshi has accepted our invitation to be our honoured guest at this concert.
It is a happy coincidence that on May 5, 2013, many Canadian Christian communities will be marking Pluralism Sunday. This is just one example of many in which members of one faith reach out to meet and learn about their brothers and sisters in other faith communities. CRSP is proud to be contributing to this worthwhile discussion.
We invite you to arrive in time for the 7pm pre-concert talk, in which chorister Marcia Epstein will talk about the religious communities of 15th-century Spain and about the one thing they all had in common: hand-drawn miniatures of architecture, musical instruments and daily life.
Following the concert, we invite you to join us for refreshments and conversation. After a concert like this one, there will be a lot to talk about!
Artistic Director, Calgary Renaissance Singers and Players