Claudio Monteverdi lived in a time of great change, as the vocal polyphony of the Renaissance gave way to the textures of the early Baroque. He harnessed both styles with great skill, sometimes contrasting them in the same work, and wrote successfully in every vocal genre.
His contemporary Carlo Gesualdo‘s vocal music is among the most experimental and expressive of the late Renaissance. One of the most obvious characteristics of his music is the extravagant text setting of words representing extremes of emotion. This program features sacred and secular motets and madrigals by the two composers.
Crescendo Vocal Ensemble is directed by Christine Gevert from the organ.
May 17 at 6 pm – Saint James Place, Great Barrington, MA
May 18 at 6 pm – Trinity Church, Lakeville, CT
“The Mystical 16: The 1616 Settings of Psalm 116, and Contemporary Versions”
In the year 1616 Burckhard Grossmann, a merchant from Jena, Germany, after surviving a near death experience, in gratitude commissioned 16 composers from central Germany to write settings of Psalm 116. Among them were master composers of church music such as Heinrich Schütz, Christoph Demantius andJohann H. Schein. Our program will feature motets from this collection by these three composers, as well as works from the early Renaissance to the Baroque times by Adrian Willaert, Orlando di Lasso, Johann Bach and Johann Sebastian Bach. Text and music for contemporary settings of the psalm 116 have been commissioned for Crescendo. The works of composers Jonny Priano, Cheng-Chia Wu and Juan Mesa with poems by Bruce McEver, Frances Roth and Juliet Mattila will be premiered.
Performers are Crescendo Chorus, Vocal Ensemble and Soloists, with Period Instruments, directed by Christine Gevert.