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Cantabile Chorale Performs Palestrina, Rautavaara and Bach - March 11, 12 & 13

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  • Sonja Wohlgemuth
    For Immediate Release, Palo Alto, California, February 22, 2005 Press Contact: Sonja Wohlgemuth 650-424-1410, sonja@cantabile.org Cantabile Choral Guild
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 22, 2005
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      For Immediate Release, Palo Alto, California, February 22, 2005
      Press Contact: Sonja Wohlgemuth
      650-424-1410, sonja@...

      Cantabile Choral Guild
      Artistic Director Sanford Dole
      Presents
      Songs of Love and Liturgy
      Guest artists: Nikolai Massenkoff-Russian Bass, Kevin Gibbs-Tenor, Joshua
      Habermann-Lecturer.

      from the Italian Renaissance
      G. P. Palestrina’s Song of Songs, sublime
      motets on biblical love poetry

      from modern-day Finland
      Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Vigilia, a dramatic
      setting of the Orthodox vespers liturgy

      from the German Baroque
      J. S. Bach’s Motet No. 6, Lobet den Herrn,
      a sheer joy and delight

      ***************

      March 11, 2005 Friday, 8PM
      St. Gregory of Nyssa
      500 DeHaro, San Francisco

      March 12, 2005 Saturday, 8PM
      First United Methodist Church
      625 Hamilton (at Webster), Palo Alto

      March 13, 2005 Sunday, 7:30PM
      First Congregational Church
      2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

      Preview lecture 30 minutes before each concert

      Street Parking Available, all venues
      Open seating, all venues

      Single Ticket Prices: $25 General, $20 Senior, $6 Student
      For ticket information call 650-424-1410 or visit www.cantabile.org
      __________________________________________________________________

      The 70-voice adult choir of Cantabile Chorale continues its 26th season with
      presentations of music of three masters from distinctly different eras. From
      the Italian Renaissance: G. P. Palestrina’s Song of Songs, a collection of
      motets on biblical love poetry. From modern-day Finland: Einojuhani
      Rautavaara’s Vigilia, an exquisite choral tour de force and the first
      setting in Finnish of the Russian Orthodox vespers liturgy. From the German
      Baroque: J. S. Bach’s Motet No. 6, Lobet den Herrn, a work of sheer delight.
      The first half of the program is devoted to the music of Giovanni Pierluigi
      da Palestrina, a towering figure of the 16th century on a par with Lassus
      and Byrd. After working his way up through several posts, Palestrina spent
      his last 23 years in the most prestigious position for a musician in the
      Renaissance world, maestro di cappella at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
      Perhaps best known for his 104 masses, he also wrote many other liturgical
      works as well as secular madrigals. Our program selects 16 motets from his
      Canticum canticorum, or The Song of Songs, a cycle of 29 motets on texts
      from the biblical book of love poetry of the same name. These gems show
      Palestrina’s mastery of the strict style of diatonic counterpoint that was
      the ideal for Renaissance choral music and has been known ever since as the
      Palestrina style.
      After intermission, from a modern master, Einojuhani Rautavaara, the most
      renowned living composer in Finland. The Helsinki Festival and the Orthodox
      Church of Finland commissioned him in 1971 to create his Vigilia, or
      All-Night Vigil, the first setting in Finnish of that Orthodox divine
      service. You may recognize some texts from having heard their Slavonic
      counterparts in the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil we presented last season.
      Rautavaara’s a cappella masterpiece comprises both Vespers and Matins, and
      Chorale will perform the Vespers portion, 14 movements of lush harmonies in
      a vast diversity of textures for chorus and soloists, including Russian
      basso Nikolai Massenkoff. Joshua Habermann, a familiar name to many in the
      Bay Area music scene, happens to be a scholar of Rautavaara’s choral music
      and will present a preview lecture before each concert.
      The close of the concert continues Chorale’s cycle of the motets of Johann
      Sebastian Bach and conclude the March program with Bach’s Motet VI, Lobet
      den Herrn, alle Heiden, or Praise the Lord, All Ye Nations, in which the
      great master of the Baroque era displays his adept handling of counterpoint
      in one delightful fugue after another. This jewel is a real blast to sing
      and is sure to send listeners off into the evening with joy in their heart.
      Featured Guest Artists:
      Joshua Habermann, a native of California, is a graduate of Georgetown
      University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied
      conducting with Craig Johnson. At San Francisco State University, he directs
      the SFSU Chamber Singers and coordinates the graduate program in choral
      conducting. As a singer he performs with Conspirare in Austin, the Oregon
      Bach Festival Chorus in Eugene, and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, where
      he is assistant to Vance George. In 1997 Dr. Habermann’s dissertation The A
      Cappella Works of Einojuhani Rautavaara was nominated for the Julius Herford
      Prize for Choral Scholarship.
      Russian bass Nikolai Massenkoff was born in China of a Russian mother from
      Siberia and a Russo-Mongolian father. His passionate involvement with music
      began in a Russian Orthodox orphanage, where he discovered his voice while
      singing ancient religious chants. He has studied with such masters as Tito
      Gobbi, Alexander Kipnis, and George London. In 1975 he created the
      Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival, a touring company performing Russian
      songs, balalaika music, and folk ballet all over the world and in television
      specials. As a solo artist, he has appeared with opera companies and
      symphony orchestras in classical and pops concerts. Mr. Massenkoff sang as a
      soloist with Cantabile, then called Baroque Choral Guild, for Rachmaninoff’s
      All-Night Vigil in March 1995.


      Sonja Wohlgemuth, Executive Director
      Cantabile Choral Guild (formerly Baroque Choral Guild)
      Cantabile Chorale (adult chorus)
      Cantabile Youth Singers
      953 Industrial Ave, Suite 118
      Palo Alto, CA 94303
      650-424-1410 Phone
      650-424-1430 Fax
      www.cantabile.org
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