PACIFIC MOZART ENSEMBLE OPENS 2000-2001 SEASON
WITH THE REPERTOIRE OF BACH, MOZART AND VIVALDI
DECEMBER 9 AND 10, 2000
Berkeley, CA - One of the most versatile and inspiring musical
organizations in the Bay Area presents its first concert of the 2000-2001
season. Under the direction of Richard Grant, founding director, the Pacific
Mozart Ensemble has entertained Bay Area audiences since 1980. The concert
includes Johann Sebastian Bach, Motet I, Singet dem Herrn; Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart, Vesperae solennes de Confessore; Antonio Vivaldi, Kyrie and Credo
(fragments from lost masses). The chorus is accompanied by a chamber
orchestra. The concert takes place 7:30 p.m., Saturday December 9, 2000 at
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way in Berkeley and 5:00 p.m.,
Sunday December 10, 2000 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1668 Bush Street in
The Bach Motet for double chorus is widely thought to be the pinnacle of
Bach's composition for the human voice. In its remarkably compact sixteen
minute duration, the work exemplifies the towering technical and spiritual
heights Bach achieved. The vocal demands of this work have made it a rite
of passage for choral singers, and once learned, they long to return to its
performance much like athletes are drawn to "extreme" sports.
The Vivaldi excerpts are vigorous, exuberant rococo delights that are all
that is left to us from masses long lost to the ages. Much in the tradition
of his Gloria, these works are totally Italian in their flamboyant
celebration of style over all else.
Mozart's "Solemn" Vespers are anything but. This is a joyous expression of
the vespers text, set for chorus, solo quartet and orchestra. The soprano
solo, Laudate Dominum is transcendently beautiful, considered by many to be
the single most perfect example of Mozart doing what the Salieri character
in the film Amadeus called "taking dictation from God".
The Pacific Mozart Ensemble has become an innovative favorite in the choral
music world. Fulfilling an important role in the cultural life of the Bay
Area, PME has presented courageous and innovative programs providing
composers an opportunity to collaborate with a professional chorus in
performances of new and experimental works.
The choral ensemble is equally accomplished throughout a breadth of musical
forms, with its 40+ members being equally at home in traditional classical
literature as they are with jazz and pop. This mix of classically trained
and professional jazz musicians allows for outstanding performances of
crossover musical styles recently demonstrated in their series of concerts
with Dave Brubeck. PME has been particularly active in carrying on the
tradition of small-group a cappella jazz and pop singing that, after nearly
disappearing in the 80's, has now had an astonishing resurgence.
Pacific Mozart Ensemble will present two more concerts during the 2000-2001
season. The second concert includes the Duruflé Requiem accompanied by Grace
Cathedral organist Christopher Putnam. The first performance will be on
March 10, 2001, at Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street, San Francisco at
7:30 p.m. The second performance will be on March 11, 2001 at 1st
Presbyterian Church of Oakland, 2619 Broadway, in Oakland at 5:00 p.m.
The final concert of the season is the annual performance of a cappella
jazz and pop favorites. The dates for these performances are Saturday, June
2, 2001 at St. John's Presbyterian Church Hall, 2727 College Ave, Berkeley,
5:00 p.m.; Friday June 8, 2001, at The Green Room, The Veterans War Memorial
Bldg., 401 Van Ness @ MacAllister, San Francisco, 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday June
10, 2001 at The Crowden School, 1475 Rose Street @ Sacramento, Berkeley, 5pm.
Tickets for Pacific Mozart Ensemble's December performances are priced at
$20 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors. Season tickets
are available and are priced at $48 for general admission and $36 for
students and seniors. For tickets and information call (415) 705-0848.