Calendar: April 30–May 6, 2018

Tuesday, May 1

Sacramento Recorder Society
Regular meeting for recorder players, with guest conductor Frances Feldon. Newcomers welcome. Bring recorders, stand, and other early instruments. Music provided. Refreshments.

6:45–9:30 PM
Friends Meeting House
890 57th St., between H and J, Sacramento.
sacrecorders.wordpress.com

 


Thursday, May 3

San Francisco Performances
Jordi Savall, viola da gamba with Hespèrion XXI and Carlos Núñez, Galacian bagpipes present “Celtic Universe.” Early music titan and visionary performer Jordi Savall makes his San Francisco Performances debut with his Celtic Universe program, collaborating with Carlos Núñez and an ensemble of wind players, harp and bodhran. Together they trace the route of Celtic migration, from Ireland to Iberia, through music.

7:30 PM
Herbst Theatre
401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
$65/$55/$40
Tickets online, 415-392-2545


Friday, May 4

American Bach Soloists
“William Sharp sings Bach in the Chapel of Grace” Baritone William Sharp is a consummate artist possessing the rare combination of vocal beauty, sensitivity, and charisma. A treasured favorite of ABS’s audiences, his performances of Bach’s music are legendary. In this one-of-a-kind program, William Sharp will present Bach arias that he loves, accompanied by ABS instrumentalists, and including his own personal comments about the music, the texts, and their combined meanings. The evening begins with a guided tour of the beautiful art, sculptures, frescoes, and architecture that make Grace Cathedral the place of peace and serenity that it is. The tour will feature all of the works that are featured in ABS’s beautiful film, “Handel’s Messiah in Grace Cathedral.” Following the concert in the Chapel of Grace—one of the most magnificent yet intimate spaces in the Cathedral—those in attendance will enjoy a special reception to meet and greet our incomparable musical artist for the evening, William Sharp.

7 PM
Grace Cathedral
1100 California St., San Francisco
Tickets $200 Proceeds from this benefit event support the ABS Academy.
Tickets online, 415-621-7900

East Bay Chapter, ARS
Monthly playing session with guest conductor Judith Linsenberg. New members and guests welcome.

7:30–10 PM
Zion Lutheran Church
5201 Park Blvd., Oakland
http://www.symbolicsolutions.com/ebrs-web2015/index.html

 

MusicSources presents Jean Rondeau, harpsichord
“Le Vertigo” MusicSources is pleased to announce the Bay Area debut of Europe’s rising superstar of the harpsichord. Having taken many top prizes in competitions and performing in nearly every prestigious concert venue, Jean Rondeau has taken the classical music scene by storm. A major artist featured on Warner Classics, his recordings have been best sellers. We are eager to showcase this sensational young musician performing music of French baroque composers.

8 PM
Saint Mary Magdalen Church
2005 Berryman St., Berkeley
$25 (seniors, MusicSources members) $30 general
510-528-1685

San Francisco Early Music Society presents Bruce Dickey and Hana Blažíková
“Breathtaking—A Cornetto and a Voice Entwined” During the 16th and 17th centuries, the cornetto was praised as the instrument closest to the human voice. In his famous memorandum to the Seville cathedral, Francisco Guerrero states that a cornetto might be substituted for an absent soprano singer, and undoubtedly ensembles of the late Renaissance and early baroque often did mix cornetti with voices. This stunning concert, spotlighting Hana Blažíková’s angelic soprano entwined with the supernaturally beautiful sound of Bruce Dickey’s cornetto, explores the unique possibilities of this combination. Other members of this all-star ensemble are Ingrid Matthews and Tekla Cunningham, violins; Joanna Blendulf, viol; Stephen Stubbs, lute and guitar; and Michael Sponseller, harpsichord and organ. The repertory includes early 17th-century motets and madrigals for voice and cornetto, as well as some rare, late 17th-century arias from operas and oratorios with obbligato parts written explicitly for the cornetto. Composers include Biagio Marini, Nicolò Corradini, Giovanni Battista Bassani, Giacomo Carissimi, Tarquinio Merula, Alessandro Scarlatti, and Maurizio Cazzati. Read more . . .

8 PM
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell, San Francisco
$15 to $50
Tickets online, 510-528-1725


Saturday, May 5

Marin Baroque presents MUSA, Derek Tam, Director
“The Birth of the [String] Symphony” The second half of the 18th century was an exciting, revolutionary time period in music. Changes in style and the instruments themselves corresponded with a new type of ensemble and compositional form. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach rejected the conservatism of his father’s music and helped to pioneer a new form, the string symphony. Several generations later, a young Felix Mendelssohn looked back to J.S. Bach and synthesized this inspiration into creating his own neo-baroque string symphonies. With one foot in the baroque, and one looking forward to the 19th century, this was an exciting time in music! Join Derek Tam, leading SF’s MUSA, for an exciting program of string symphonies by C.P.E. Bach, Mendelssohn, and Johann Stamitz.

8 PM
First Presbyterian Church
72 Kensington Rd., San Anselmo
$10–$30
Tickets online or 415-497-6634

San Francisco Bach Choir, Magen Solomon, Director
J.S. Bach: St. John Passion One of J.S. Bach’s most powerful and dramatic works, the St. John Passion illuminates our rich human story through its vivid music and emotional text. Join us for an epic journey that travels from turmoil and tragedy, to ultimate consolation, reconciliation, and a vision of our shared humanity. With soloists Kyle Stegall, Evangelist; Christòpheren Nomura, Jesus; Rita Lilly, soprano; Heidi Waterman, mezzo-soprano; John St. Marie, tenor; Nikolas Nackley, baritone; with the Jubilate Orchestra

7 PM
Calvary Presbyterian Church
2515 Fillmore St., San Francisco
$10 to $35 (youth under 19 always free)
Tickets online, 855-473-2224

San Francisco Early Music Society presents Bruce Dickey and Hana Blažíková
“Breathtaking—A Cornetto and a Voice Entwined” During the 16th and 17th centuries, the cornetto was praised as the instrument closest to the human voice. In his famous memorandum to the Seville cathedral, Francisco Guerrero states that a cornetto might be substituted for an absent soprano singer, and undoubtedly ensembles of the late Renaissance and early baroque often did mix cornetti with voices. This stunning concert, spotlighting Hana Blažíková’s angelic soprano entwined with the supernaturally beautiful sound of Bruce Dickey’s cornetto, explores the unique possibilities of this combination. Other members of this all-star ensemble are Ingrid Matthews and Tekla Cunningham, violins; Joanna Blendulf, viol; Stephen Stubbs, lute and guitar; and Michael Sponseller, harpsichord and organ. The repertory includes early 17th-century motets and madrigals for voice and cornetto, as well as some rare, late 17th-century arias from operas and oratorios with obbligato parts written explicitly for the cornetto. Composers include Biagio Marini, Nicolò Corradini, Giovanni Battista Bassani, Giacomo Carissimi, Tarquinio Merula, Alessandro Scarlatti, and Maurizio Cazzati. Read more . . .

7:30 PM
St. Mary Magdalen Church
2005 Berryman
$15 to $50
Tickets online, 510-528-1725

Vajra Voices, Karen R. Clark, Director
One-day vocal workshop on Le Lai de la Fonteinne by Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300–1377). This landmark work by one of the titans of medieval culture is both a tribute to the Virgin Mary and an extended reflection on the Holy Trinity, presented in twelve movements, alternating solos and three-part polyphony. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to work on selected portions of the Lai, exploring issues of vocal technique, poetic interpretation, medieval French pronunciation, and rehearsal process with Vajra Voices director, Karen R. Clark, and ensemble members Allison Zelles Lloyd and Amy Stuart Hunn. The workshop will close with an informal performance for family and friends. This workshop is geared toward both the vocal performer and the conductor interested in teaching and performing Medieval music with a chorus. Participation is open to musicians high school age and above; participants will need to be able to read music with some fluency and independence. Familiarity with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is also beneficial but not required.

10 AM–4 PM
Arlington Community Church
52 Arlington Avenue, Kensington
$85 general ($75 for high school and university students) includes all workshop materials and a delicious catered lunch, as well as snacks and beverages.
Limited space available. Phone Karen R. Clark at 510-812-4518, email vajravoices@gmail.com, or visit www.vajravoices.com. Please resister by May 3.


Sunday, May 6

Coro Ciconia, Asher Davison, Director
“Praise Band” Musical paeans rarely damn with faint praise. Our spring program is organized around Du Fay’s joyous late Ave Regina cælorum Mass setting, a self-parody which takes his immodest motet even a step further in mingling abject piety with a plea for his own immortal soul. Along the way, Ockeghem’s rondeau D’un autre amer insists that self-subjugation to courtly love protects one’s honor; Josquin writs this stance large by quoting the chanson while extolling the divine in his Tu solus qui facis mirabilia. We next pair Machaut’s rarely sung, nearly textless Hoquetus (to King David) with his effusive Biauté parée de valour, an ode to the patroness the mere thought of whom sustains him. Obrecht’s flamboyant setting of the Magnificat aptly renders unto all the Marian trust in the divine; Landini’s isorhythmic motet, the homage-piece Sì dolce non sonò, honors the great composer de Vitry as seemingly mythological in stature. Finally, Ciconia’s O felix templum conjures a stuffy fanfare to a bishop into a playful romp, while his Una Panthera shamelessly flatters a visiting noble from Lucca by depicting him as the armored leopard who cofounded that city along with, obviously, Mars. Singers are Cheryl Koehler, Dorothy Manly, Jean McAneny, Ralph Prince, Scott Robinson, and Helen Wolfe-Visnick. [Program to be repeated as part of the BFX Fringe at 2 PM, Tuesday, June 5, at the Berkeley City Club.]

7 PM
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
1823 9th Street, Berkeley
Suggested donations at the door: $20 general, $15 senior, $10 student
For information: 818-331-7504

Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra, Frederic Palmer, Director
Spring concert, featuring a sonatina by J.H. Schmelzer; Thomas Crequillon, Vidit Jacob scalam; Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby; Juan del Encina, Fata la parte and Si habrá en este baldrés; and G.F. Handel, Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 1.

2 PM
Trinity Presbyterian Church
1106 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Carlos
Free
http://mpro-online.org/ or 650-591-3648

Pocket Opera
George Friederic Handel, Semele (concert version) San Francisco’s venerable Pocket Opera brings to life Handel’s dramatic story of the young woman Semele who is the object of affection of the god Jupiter. Jupiter hides Semele from his jealous wife, Juno, and it’s only a matter of time before Juno extracts her revenge. Is there an upside? Why yes; endless pleasure, endless love, and even though Semele has an unhappy ending she gives to us mere mortals Bacchus … god of wine and ecstasy. Semele is a ‘musical drama,’ originally presented “after the manner of an oratorio.” It was premiered on February 10, 1744, at the Covent Garden Theatre, London, as part of a concert series held yearly during Lent. The audience naturally expected Bible-based subject matter. But the amorous topic of Semele, which is a creation of the late Restoration Period, transparently drew on Greek myths, and so it displeased those attending for a different kind of uplift. Being in English, Semele likewise irritated the supporters of true Italian opera, particularly as Handel would also not write for the rival Middlesex Opera Company. As a result, Semele fell into prolonged neglect until its first stage performances, in Cambridge, England, in 1925 and in London in 1954. These fueled an enthusiasm for the work that has not since lapsed. The cast includes Maya Kherani as Semele, David Gustafson as Jupiter, Sonia Gariaeff as Juno Ben Brady as Somnus, Tania Mandzy as Ino, Ellen Leslie as Iris, Sam Faustine as Apollo, and Gene Wright as the Priest.

2 PM
Gunn Theater, Legion of Honor
100 34th Ave., San Francisco
$44 to $50
Tickets online, 415-972-8934, info@pocketopera.org

Resonance @ First Church Berkeley presents MUSA, Derek Tam, Director
“Birth of the (String) Symphony” Resonance favorite MUSA showcases the birth of the symphony with works for strings by C.P.E. Bach, Johann Stamitz and the young Felix Mendelssohn!

7 PM
First Congregational Church – Berkeley
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
$15 to $25
Tickets online or 510-848-3696
http://www.musasfbaroque.com

San Francisco Bach Choir, Magen Solomon, Director
J.S. Bach: St. John Passion One of J.S. Bach’s most powerful and dramatic works, the St. John Passion illuminates our rich human story through its vivid music and emotional text. Join us for an epic journey that travels from turmoil and tragedy, to ultimate consolation, reconciliation, and a vision of our shared humanity. With soloists Kyle Stegall, Evangelist; Christòpheren Nomura, Jesus; Rita Lilly, soprano; Heidi Waterman, mezzo-soprano; John St. Marie, tenor; Nikolas Nackley, baritone; with the Jubilate Orchestra

3 PM
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
$10 to $35 (youth under 19 always free)
Tickets online 855-473-2224

SFEMS and Stanford Live present Bruce Dickey and Hana Blažíková
“Breathtaking—A Cornetto and a Voice Entwined” During the 16th and 17th centuries, the cornetto was praised as the instrument closest to the human voice. In his famous memorandum to the Seville cathedral, Francisco Guerrero states that a cornetto might be substituted for an absent soprano singer, and undoubtedly ensembles of the late Renaissance and early baroque often did mix cornetti with voices. This stunning concert, spotlighting Hana Blažíková’s angelic soprano entwined with the supernaturally beautiful sound of Bruce Dickey’s cornetto, explores the unique possibilities of this combination. Other members of this all-star ensemble are Ingrid Matthews and Tekla Cunningham, violins; Joanna Blendulf, viol; Stephen Stubbs, lute and guitar; and Michael Sponseller, harpsichord and organ. The repertory includes early 17th-century motets and madrigals for voice and cornetto, as well as some rare, late 17th-century arias from operas and oratorios with obbligato parts written explicitly for the cornetto. Composers include Biagio Marini, Nicolò Corradini, Giovanni Battista Bassani, Giacomo Carissimi, Tarquinio Merula, Alessandro Scarlatti, and Maurizio Cazzati. Read more . . .

4 PM
Bing Concert Hall
327 Lasuen Street, Stanford
$15 to $50
Tickets online, 510-528-1725

Continue reading next week’s calendar . . .