Once again Voices of Music will begin its season, the 2016–2017 concert series, this month with a holiday-themed program. The title will be Virtuoso Concertos; and the composers will be Antonio Vivaldi, Arcangelo Corelli, and Georg Philipp Telemann. Presumably, the Corelli contribution will be the so-called “Christmas” concerto, the eighth (in G minor) in his Opus 8 collection of concerti grossi, with solo parts for two violins. (This concerto was included on Voices of Music’s Concerto Barocco album, which is still available for download from Amazon.com.) Vivaldi will be given the most attention with his RV 531 concerto in G minor for two cellos, the RV 565 concerto in D minor for two violins and cello from his Opus 3 collection L’estro Armonico (harmonic inspiration), and the RV 564 concerto in D major for two violins and two cellos. Telemann will be represented by a recorder concerto in F major. Additional festive music for the season will include selections by Michael Praetorius and Johann Heinrich Schmelzer.
Participating musicians will be Maria Caswell, Lisa Grodin, Carla Moore, Maxine Nemerovski, and Gabrielle Wunsch (violin and/or viola), Elisabeth Reed and Tanya Tomkins (cello), Farley Pearce (violone), David Tayler (archlute), and Hanneke van Proosdij (recorder and keyboards).
The San Francisco performance of this program will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 17. As in past seasons, the venue will be St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, located at 1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street. Single tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors and members of SFEMS, EMA, or ARS, and $5 for students with valid identification. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through an Arts People event page. In addition, because this is the first concert of the season, subscriptions are still on sale for the entire three-concert series. Prices are $100 for adults and $85 for seniors and members of the aforementioned early music organizations. Arts People has also created a shopping cart Web page for subscriptions.
Readers may also recall that this past October Voices of Music inaugurated a new project called The Voice of the Viol, specializing in solo and ensemble music for the viola da gamba. Because Voices of Music has distinguished itself by making performances available through its own YouTube channel, this project is now represented on that channel by a playlist of 41 videos from past performances entitled A celebration of viols. In addition, Adaiha MacAdam-Somer, Director of The Voice of the Viol, has begun to arrange new consort performances; and two new videos have been uploaded, taken from a recent recital at the historic Ansel Adams house here in San Francisco. MacAdam-Somer plays tenor viol on the recordings, joined by Joanna Blendulf on treble, and both Pearce and Reed on bass. Both recordings are of viols playing four-part vocal music, the motet “O magnum mysterium” set by Tomás Luis de Victoria and the hymn “Pange Lingua Gloriosi” set by Juan Bermudo.
Victoria's "O magnum mysterium" (from the Voices of Music YouTube channel)