Francesco Cavalli: Christmas Mass

St. Mark's Episcopal, Palo Alto 19.12.14 8:00 PM
First Congregational, Berkeley 20.12.14 7:30PM
St. Mark's Lutheran, San Francisco 21.12.14 4:00PM

Clara Rottsolk, soprano Jennifer Paulino, soprano Andrew Rader, countertenor Tim Galloway, countertenor Christopher LeCluyse, tenor Daniel Hutchings, tenor Peter Becker, bass Robert Stafford, bass Rob Diggins, violin Jolianne von Einem, violin Richard Van Hessel, sackbut Erik Schmalz, sackbut Mack Ramsey, sackbut John Dornenburg, violone Yuko Tanaka, organ

"Francesco Cavalli truly has no peers in Italy, in the perfection of his singing, in the worth of his organ playing, and in his exceptional musical compositions, of which those in print bear witness to his merit."

Thus was Cavalli described in a commentary written in 1655. Best known then and now as the most acclaimed Venetian opera composer of the seventeenth century, Cavalli wrote no fewer than 32 works for the stage during the period between 1639 and 1669. In addition to his work in the theater, Cavalli served in the Capella Marciana, the renowned musical ensemble of the ducal basilica of San Marco, an institution with which he was associated for sixty years first as a singer, then as organist, and finally as maestro di capella. In this capacity, and for the position he held at the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, Cavalli wrote a significant body of sacred music, mostly settings of texts for the mass and vespers liturgies.

In a coproduction with the San Francisco Early Music Society, Magnificat joins with members of The Whole Noyse to present Cavalli's Missa Concertata in the context of a Mass for Christmas Day. Drawn from his monumental 1656 collection Musiche sacre, Cavalli's mass is in a mixed style that combines older Palestrinian counterpoint with Gabrielian polychoral techniques and the expressive recitative style used in operas and continuo madrigals.

Note that tickets for Magnificat's concerts in December are available exclusively through the San Francisco Early Music Society. Visit their website or call (510) 528-1725 to order tickets.

Program: Francesco Cavalli: Missa Concertata from Musiche sacre (1656)