Magnificat Baroque Ensemble
Warren Stewart, artistic director
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 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. For their 20th Anniversary Season (2011-2012,) Magnificat performed Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux enfers, oratorios by Carissimi including Jephte, a reconstruction of Christmas Vespers from the Electoral Chapel of Saxony in 1664 featuring Schütz’ Weihnachtshistorie, and a selection from Monteverdi’s Madrigals of War & Love. In December 2012, Magnificat revived one of their most beloved programs, Chapentier’s Nativity Pastorale.
In addition to their annual series, Magnificat has appeared five times on the Berkeley Early Music Festival and has been presented numerous times on the San Francisco Early Music Society concert series. In September 2011 they were presented at the Bloomington Early Music Festival in a program of selections from Monteverdi’s Madrigals of War & Love. Magnificat has also been presented by 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.