Home > Berkeley Festival > Magnificat to Join in Berkeley Festival Finale – Monteverdi to Vivaldi!

Magnificat to Join in Berkeley Festival Finale – Monteverdi to Vivaldi!

CanalettoThis year’s Berkeley Festival & Exhibition will conclude with a grand event – a program celebrating the glorious repertoire of vespers music by Venetian composers from Monteverdi to Vivaldi. It will also be a celebration of the Berkeley Festival, in which all the main stage ensembles will collaborate to offer a unique experience for the Festival audience. In addition to Magnificat the final concert will feature performances by ARTEK, AVE, The Marion Verbruggen Trio, Music’s Recreation, ¡Sacabuche!, and the string ensemble Archetti. The concert will take place at 4:00 pm on June 13 at First Congregational Church in Berkeley.

Structured around Second Vespers for the Feast of the Visitation, the program will include psalm settings by Claudio Monteverdi (Dixit Dominus from the famous 1610 Vespers and Laudate pueri from his 1641 collection Selva morale), Ludovico Viadana (a four choir setting of Laetatus sum from 1612), Giovanni Rovetta (Nisi Dominus published in 1639), and Biagio Marini (Lauda Ierusalem from 1652). Each of the psalms will be preceded by a chant antiphon and followed by an “antiphon substitute” as was common in Italy throughout the Baroque period. The “substitutes” will include sonatas by Francesco Cavalli, Dario Castello, and Giovanni Legrenzi, a solo motet by Alessandro Grandi, and the Vivaldi e minor concerto for four violins. All the performers will join for Monteverdi’s beloved setting of the hymn Ave maris stella from the 1610 Vespers and Vivaldi’s g minor Magnificat, both of which will be conducted by Magnificat’s Artistic Director Warren Stewart.

The late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries were a period when the efforts to draw parishioners back into churches and solidify their faith had taken a decidedly theatrical turn, with church decorations, including marbles, paintings and sculptures, becoming evermore colorful, ostentatious and theatrical. Vesper music for solo voice with virtuoso embellishments, the use of a variety of instruments, and the colorful, sometimes highly embellished concertato psalm and Magnificat settings of Monteverdi reveal the efforts of composers to match the theatrical attractiveness of the ecclesiastical physical surroundings with an attractiveness of theatrically oriented music. Interest in the composition and publication of elaborate Vespers music accelerated through the course of the 17th century, with hundreds of collections issued from the presses of Venetian music publishers.

Marking the 400th anniversary of the publication of Monteverdi’s famous Vespers of 1610, Early Music America will be hosting a conference during the Festival that will explore the development of Vespers music over four centuries and will include both panels of noted scholars and participatory workshops. The final concert will showcase the widely varied repertoire of vespers music that followed Monteverdi’s masterpiece and the exceptional early music specialists that have come together for the 2010 Berkeley Festival. Order Tickets Here!

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