Newtonville, MA 7 May 2010. Cappella Clausura explores two important Baroque composers in Strozzi and Leonarda on Saturday, May 22, 2010, 8:00pm Parish of the Messiah,1900 Commonwealth Ave. Newton, and Sunday, May 23, 2010, 4:00pm, First Lutheran Church Boston, 299 Berkeley St., Boston, MA.
About the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston
Since its founding in 1998, Chameleon and artistic director Deborah Boldin have earned unqualified praise for integrating old and new repertoire into unexpected chamber music programs that are themselves works of art. They were recognized nationally with 2009 and 2007 ASCAP/CMA Awards for Adventurous Programming. The Boston Globe praised Ms. Boldin's "carefully curated blending of classic and contemporary repertoire," and her "discerning ears and cosmopolitan tastes," and remarked, "during intermission, concertgoers could be heard marveling at the program's breadth and wondering why other groups aren't as adventurous. Chameleon makes daring seem easy."
This innovative ensemble now draws capacity audiences of those who love the adventure of music-classic and contemporary. A Chameleon concert is a multifaceted experience in an intimate environment joining audience and musicians in an exuberant celebration of music. The musicians are among Boston's most highly-respected and sought-after performers, with growing national and international reputations. Their superb artistry and finely honed collaborative skills ensure luminous performances and dynamic musical dialogues.
The Chameleon Arts Ensemble is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and by the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, administrated by the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events.
Gabriel Langfur, Managing Director
Founded in 1981 in the picturesque and historic Cape Ann seaport village of Rockport, Massachusetts,
Rockport Music, presenter of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, is one of New England’s cultural
gems. Located just 40 miles north of Boston, Rockport, one of the country’s oldest art colonies, with its
spectacular scenery and rich artistic heritage, is an ideal music festival setting.
Celebrating its 29th season this 2010 summer, Rockport Music, established by soprano Lila Deis and
pianist/composer David Alpher (artistic directors from 1981-1994) with local businessman Paul Sylva,
has grown from a 12-concert chamber music festival held in June to a 1.2 million dollar organization
presenting classical, jazz and world music year-round. The Rockport Chamber Music Festival (RCMF),
now a 20-concert summer chamber music series presenting some of the world’s foremost classical
musicians and ensembles, distinguished Boston-based artists, as well as the rising stars of tomorrow,
remains Rockport Music’s signature concert series.
Rockport Music is proud to have commissioned some of the major composers of our time to create new
works for small ensemble, including Gunther Schuller, John Harbison, Fred Lerdahl, Elena Ruehr and
Charles Wuorinen. Among the reknowned artists who have performed at the festival are pianists Richard
Goode, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Wu Han, Christopher O’Riley, Anton Kuerti, Garrick Ohlsson, Menahem
Pressler, Charles Rosen, Peter Serkin, and Dubravka Tomsic; cellists Andres Diaz and David Finkel,
clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, harpist Nancy Allen, violinists William Preucil and Jennifer Frautschi. The
list of ensembles presented includes Anonymous 4, the Boston Camerata, eighth blackbird, Eileen Ivers
and Immigrant Soul, Imani Winds, the Brentano, Borromeo, Miami, Shanghai, St. Lawrence, and Ying
string quartets and the Boston, Claremont, Eroica and Triple Helix piano trios, to name a few.
A major milestone in Rockport Chamber Music Festival’s history will be reached this season when it
moves into its new home on June 10, 2010. Since 1981, performances have been graciously hosted by the
historic Rockport Art Association. The growing popularity of the Festival, combined with the vision of
the Artistic Director and Board of Trustees to expand artistic programming and build new audiences, led
to the call for a larger venue. Rockport Music’s new home, the Shalin Liu Performance Center, situated
between the Atlantic Ocean and Main Street in Rockport, will fulfill the organization’s vision to present
an expanded season of top quality artistic programming to even more audiences, in a larger extraordinary
venue with more capacity. Designed by Alan Joslin and Deborah Epstein (Principals-in-Charge) of
Epstein Joselin Architects and acoustician R. Lawrence Kirkegaard, the new 330-seat performance center
will feature a state-of-the-art concert hall with a two-story stage window behind the stage with direct
ocean views. Named in honor of the Massachusetts philanthropist who contributed the lead gift to
Rockport Music’s $20 million campaign to build the new hall, the center replaces the 1870’s Haskins
Building at 37 Main Street. It will be unique in New England, combining intimacy, extraordinary acoustical quality and a matchless natural setting.
Among the musical offerings now presented by Rockport Music in addition to the summer festival are a
3-concert fall-winter-spring Rockport Music Series; a 4-concert “Rockport Music Presents” summer nonclassical
concert series; 7 Free Community Concerts; music education outreach programs for children,
prelude suppers, a spring lecture series, and a music book group. New this 2010 season, Rockport Music
will also present open rehearsals, a master class, panel discussion/lunch and two adult lectures during the
Known for 27 years as the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, in July of 2008, the Board of Directors
voted to adopt the name Rockport Music to better represent the expanding organization. Under the
visionary leadership of renowned pianist David Deveau, artistic director of the Rockport Chamber Music
Festival since 1995, the organization has steadily grown in stature and reputation, and it continues to
reach new audiences. Rockport Music’s commitment to presenting the world’s finest music performed by
internationally acclaimed musicians continues to be a defining characteristic. The RCMF programs,
noted for their musical breadth, depth and range, draw capacity audiences each season. In blending
familiar masterpieces of the central chamber music literature with less familiar music ranging from the
pre-Baroque to the 21st century, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival offers audiences unsurpassed
Historically Rockport Chamber Music Festival performances have been heard on WGBH in Boston.
Previously recorded performances are also featured regularly on American Public Media’s Performance
Rockport is easily accessible by car or public transit, and is near two major airports – Boston’s
international Logan Airport and New Hampshire’s Manchester Airport.
Additional information about Rockport Music, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival and its numerous
events can be found on the organization’s website: www.rockportmusic.org.
National Publicist for the 2010 season:
Laura Grant, Grant Communications
OFF: 978.208.0552; Cell 917.359.7319
Gregg D. Sorensen
Director of Marketing, Rockport Music
OFF: 978.546.7391 Ext. 110; Cell: 617.519.5564
Cambridge, 15 January 2010. Cantata Singers, one of the nation’s leading ensembles dedicated to performing and commissioning choral-orchestral works, continues from today in Cambridge, through April 2010 to explore the greatest German composer of the 17th century, Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672). Performing Friday, January 15th at 8:00 pm, at the First Church in Cambridge, Cantata Singers returned to Schütz’s settings of So fahr ich hin from Geistliche Chormusik and Psalm 116, coupled with the music of John Harbison, a composer who by his own claim is devoted to the older master, and capped with Cantata Singers’ first performance ever of the sublimely mysterious Requiem by Maurice Duruflé. Cantata Singers has announced its new Executive Director, Jeffry George – former managing Director of the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre in Wellfleet, MA, and former Managing Director of Theatre Aspen in Aspen, Colorado who has joined during its 46th season dedicated to composer Heinrich Schutz.
Cantata Singers inspiringly provides a stimulating opportunity for Boston audiences to discover Heinrich Schütz, an artist whose music is beloved by choruses but less familiar to the general public. Describing Schütz’s music as “unusual and poignant,” the Boston Globe recently applauded the Cantata Singers for “capturing its unusual shape and textures.” According to David Hoose, the Music Director of Cantata Singers, this upcoming January concert promises to be an exquisite experience. “To pair Schütz’s Psalm 116 with music of John Harbison’s, someone whose own thought owes so much to Schütz’s, could not be more perfect,” explains Hoose. “The powerful companionship of these two composers and the serene Requiem by Maurice Duruflé (a first for Cantata Singers) will be nothing short of astounding.”
The program features two works by Schütz: music from the height of his creative life – So fahr ich hin from Geistliche Chormusik (1648); and a watershed in his career – Psalm 116 (1616). With beautiful clarity in its delicious polyphony, So fahr ich hin is a work in the “old-practice” late Renaissance style, without continuo and with all voices equally conceived. The motet is one of the grand collection Geistliche Chormusik (SWV 369-397), twenty-nine motets that represent the composer’s “last word” on the traditional motet. Schütz’s setting of the entirety of Psalm 116 is a large-scale masterpiece that can comfortably be compared to the greatest Italian madrigals of Monteverdi and Marenzio. Known to be a major turning point in his career, Psalm 116 is “a demonstration of all that the musical language of the early 17th century can do to engrave a text in the consciousness of the listener,” says John Harbison. Composer John Harbison (b.1938), one of America's most prominent artistic figures, cites his most important influences as J.S. Bach and Heinrich Schütz, both of whose music he has spent considerable time studying and performing.
It is these composers’ thinking, rather than their actual musical language, that holds constant fascination for him, especially their contrapuntal rigor, cogent and powerful harmonic motion, and their deep commitment to locating the essence of the words. “John Harbison’s music is amazingly powerful, its strength made deeper by his highly musical and engaging sensibility,” explains Hoose. “That’s something you perceive when you’re hearing Bach’s and Schütz’s music, and Harbison owes much to those old German composers.” Slated to be performed are Harbison’s My Little Children, Let Us Not Love in Word (2004) and We Do Not Live to Ourselves (2002), an unaccompanied, four-voice motet composed in response to the death of his close friend, Michael Hammond. Completing the program was Cantata Singers' highly anticipated first performance of Maurice Durufle's beloved "Requiem", op. 9 (1947). The work is usually heard in its version for chorus and organ; it is heard less often in its version for chorus and full orchestra. Even more rare is the opportunity to hear the work in the composer's third, and perhaps greatest, version, one for chorus, string orchestra, trumpets, timpani, harp, and organ, the version that the Cantata Singers presented in Cambridge. Durufle (1902-86) published only eleven works, but his Requiem holds a very special place in the hearts of music lovers. It integrate into its fabric the traditional Gregorian chants of the "Mass for the Dead".
Heinrich Schütz is regarded as the first German musician of European standing. He spent his youth in Weibenfels (Saxony) where he gained a comprehensive education at the “Mauritianum” of Landgrave Moritz of Hessen-Kassel. In 1608 he began to study law in Marburg but abandoned this course in 1609 and with the Landgrave’s support began to study music in Venice with the organist of St. Mark’s Cathedral. His apprentice pieces were the Italienischen Madrigale, published as Opus 1 in Venice in 1611. In 1613 Schütz returned to Kassel but just two years later he was lured away by Elector Johann Georg I of Saxony to come to the court at Dresden as organist and director of music. Here he held the position of Hofkapellmeister from 1617 until his death (from 1656 under Elector Johann Georg II).
Prior to 1631, before Saxony entered the Thirty Years’ War, Schütz composed significant large scale works with rich instrumental and choral resources: the Psalmen Davids (published 1619), the Auferstehungshistorie (1623), the Latin Cantiones Sacrae (1625), the Psalter collection based on the rhymed psalm paraphrases of the Leipzig theology professor Cornelius Becker (1628), the first volume of Symphoniae Sacrae, which was published in Venice during Schütz’s second visit to Italy in 1629. In addition to these large collections, Schütz composed many independent compositions, although only a few of them have survived.
Schütz was twice temporarily resident at the court of the Danish King in Copenhagen (1633-35 and 1642-44). It was during his second stay that he composed the second volume of Symphoniae Sacrae, which in contrast to the Latin first volume contains soloistic concerti with instrumental obligati and is based on German bible texts (published in 1647). In spite of the decline of the Saxon Hofkapelle, Schütz produced more collections, with which his reputation reached its height in Germany and northern Europe: the collection of motets Geistliche Chormusik (Dresden, 1648) and the third volume of Symphoniae Sacrae (1650), again based on German texts and with which he intended to end his career as Kapellmeister. This was however not to be, and it was only under the young Elector Johann Georg II that Schütz was finally granted his wish to retire. The impressive late works of Schütz begin with the Weihnachtshistorie (Christmas History) (1660, published in 1664); followed by the Die Sieben Worte (The Seven Last Words, probably composed in 1662), the three a-cappella passions St Luke, St John and St Matthew (1665/66) and in 1671, a year before his death, his “Swansong,” an extensive double-choir composition setting Psalms 119, 100, and the German Magnificat. This work, Schütz’s last, will close the Cantata Singers season in May 2010
Noted for compelling programming, exceptional artistry, and eloquent performances, Cantata Singers offers Boston-area audiences a range of musical events, consistently recognized as engaging, nuanced and penetrating. With a repertoire that includes works from the seventeenth century to the present day, Cantata Singers’ commitment and dedication to challenging programming, including the commissioning of new works, was acknowledged in 1995 when the group was awarded the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. The Boston Globe raves, “both chorus and orchestra give [gave] a sense of total commitment in very demanding music… its precision and discipline generates[ing] considerable emotional power.”
Founded in 1964 to prepare and present what was then a long-neglected repertoire — the cantatas of J.S. Bach — Cantata Singers has since been led by such distinguished music directors as John Harbison, John Ferris, and, now in his twenty-seventh year with the ensemble, David Hoose.
Under Mr. Hoose’s direction the group has commissioned and premiered ten major choral-orchestral works, the first of which, John Harbison’s The Flight Into Egypt, won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The group has recorded works of Bach, Schütz, Schein, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky, as well as the American composers Irving Fine, David Chaitkin, Seymour Shifrin, John Harbison, Peter Child, and Charles Fussell. Cantata Singers’ recordings and performances can be heard regularly on local and national radio, most often on WGBH-FM (Boston).
The 44-member Cantata Singers chorus presents an annual subscription series of four main programs with its chamber orchestra in Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory in Boston, as well as a chamber series under the direction of Allison Voth. In addition to concert activities, the Cantata Singers sponsors “Classroom Cantatas” in the Boston Public Schools. This educational program introduces composition and performance preparation to elementary, middle, and high school students; by the end of the 12-session residency students with little or no prior musical experience have written and performed their own musical compositions. For more information, visit http://www.cantatasingers.org. April Thibeault furnished information for this piece.