2001-2002: Magnificat’s Tenth Season
Magnificat celebrated it’s tenth season with a mix of old and new programs that included two of the composers featured in the 20th anniversary season this year: Heinrich Schütz and Claudio Monteverdi. The season also saw the release of our first two recordings of the Chiara Margarita Cozzolani’s music and two more weeks of recording sessions. Magnificat also made another appearance at the biennial Berkeley Festival and Exhibition.
A week of Cozzolani recordings in August preceded the regular season, which began in September with a program devoted to an excellent but under-performed composer, Johann Hermann Schein, one of Bach’s predecessors as cantor at Thomas Kirche in Leipzig. Already in Magnificat’s first season, Magnificat had included Schein’s striking setting of the Vater unser as part of our December concerts and individual works by the composer had made their way into program on other occasions. The release of a recording of Schein’s Banchetto Musicale in 2000 by the Sex Chordæ Consort of Viols led to plans for a joint program of the composer’s consort music and vocal works.
Instrumental works included three of the suites from Banchetto musicale(1617) and two Intradas from Venus Kräntzlein (1609.) The bulk of the vocal works were drawn from Schein’s motet collection Opella nova (1628,) with secular lieder from Diletto pastorali (1624) and Musica boscareccia (1628.) One of the joys of Magnificat has been programs like these when we have had the opportunity to explore music that is seldom if ever performed and give our audiences the rare chance to hear it.
In December, Magnificat marked the tenth anniversary season with a revival of Schütz’s Weihnachtshistorie, or Christmas Story, which, of course is filling the same celebratory role in our 20th anniversary season this year. It was a pleasure to welcome Martin Hummel back in the role of the Evangelist and to work once again with the early wind ensemble The Whole Noyse. The program was nearly identical to the program in 1992, with a psalm and Magnificat by Schütz and works from Schütz’s colleagues filling in the other parts of the liturgy.
Coinciding with the first of the Schütz’s performances was the release of Magnificat’s first recordings of Cozzolani’s music, Vespro della Beata Vergine. Another week of recordings in January ended with our next series concert which featured Cozzolani’s setting of the Mass ordinary that concludes her 1642 collection Concerti sacri. The program was built around the liturgy for the Feast of Purification and included the motets O Maria tu dulcis, Tu dulcis, o bone Iesu, O quam bonum, o quam iocundum, O dulcis Iesu, and Psallite superi.
Magnificat’s regular season ended with a selection of madrigals from Monteverdi’s Eight Book, published in 1619. Nine of Monteverdi’s madrigals were performed along with two instrumental works by Monteverdi’s colleague in Mantua Salamone Rossi. The program, and the regular season, ended with the ballo Tirsi e Clori, which had been featured in Magnificat’s first program in 1992.
But the season wasn’t really over, later in April, Magnificat performed another program of music by Cozzolani in two very different venues. The first was at the Carmel Mission in a concert presented by the Carmel Bach Festival, and the second was a self-produced concert at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in Petaluma. The program was built around the vespers liturgy for the feast of Cozzolani’s convent’s patron saint, St. Radegonda.
Magnificat’s final performance of the season occurred at the Berkeley Festival and Exhibition and also coincided with the release of our second Cozzolani CD, Messa Paschale, which showcased the mass we had performed in February. For the Festival, Magnificat performed a program built around the liturgy for the Feast of Corpus Christi.
During the course of the season, Artistic Director Warren Stewart led ensembles that included Elizabeth Anker, Peter Becker, Edward Betts, Meg Bragle, Hugh Davies, Rob Diggins, John Dornenburg, Jolianne von Einem, Suzanne Elder-Wallace , Jennifer Ellis, Ruth and Steve Escher, Ken Fitch, Andrea Fullington, Richard Van Hessel, Martin Hummel, Yayoi Isaacson, Julie Jeffrey, Joyce Johnson-Hamilton, Linda Liebschutz, Matthias Maute, Marc Molomot, Herb Myers, Hanneke van Proosdij, Deborah Rentz-Moore, Katherine Shao, Sandy Stadtfeld, David Tayler, Lynn Tetenbaum, Catherine Webster, Scott Whitaker, and David Wilson.