The next program to be presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS) will feature the return of the early music ensemble Magnificat led by Artistic Director Warren Stewart. As he did last year at this time, Stewart has prepared a program that amounts to a reconstruction of a full religious service. In this case the service will again be the third Mass on Christmas Day that would have been held in seventeenth-century Venice.
The core of the program will be a setting of the Mass text by Francesco Cavalli entitled Missa concertata (“concerted” Mass), which was published in the composer’s 1656 collection Musiche sacre (sacred music). This is an eight-voice setting that combines the contrapuntal style of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina with the polychordal techniques of Giovanni Gabrieli and the prevailing recitative style of operas and continuo madrigals. The vocalists will be sopranos Clara Rottsolk and Jennifer Paulino, altos Andrew Rader (also serving as deacon) and Tim Galloway, tenors Daniel Hutchings and Christopher LeCluyse (also serving as celebrant), and basses Peter Becker and Robert Stafford. Cavalli’s music will be interspersed with plainchant and sacred motets and instrumental works by Claudio Monteverdi, Massimiliano Neri, Biagio Marini, and Gabrieli. The instrumentalists will be Rob Diggins and Jolianne von Einem (violins), Richard Van Hessel, Erik Schmalz and Mack Ramsey (sackbuts), John Dornenburg (violone), and Yuko Tanaka (organ).