Showing posts with label Cal Performances. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cal Performances. Show all posts

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Five Bay Area choirs to perform lost 40-part Renaissance Mass

It is no secret that the Bay Area loves its choirs. And it’s nice when we really get to flex our choral muscles.

This weekend, back in the Bay by popular demand, Cal Performances presents “The Polychoral Splendors of Renaissance Florence” Alessandro Striggio's Missa sopra Ecco sì beato giorno for 40 and 60 voices. The piece was last performed in 2008 at the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. This mass is the largest known contrapuntal choral work in Western music.

UC Berkeley Musicology Professor Davitt Moroney spent twenty years looking for the 16th century manuscript and finally found it in 2005; it was miscataloged, filed under the wrong composer name and the wrong title.


Watch and Listen to UC Berkeley musicologist and conductor Davitt Moroney as he discusses this work.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Swedish Radio Choir: leading in adventurous programming - another cool choir

The Swedish Radio Choir does not play it safe. They go all out for the rare, hard-hitting, obscure and difficult. And when a musical ensemble takes risks, it is memorable. Even a week later, my ears are still buzzing from some of the repertoire performed by The Swedish Radio Choir by Cal Performances at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. It was also exciting to see Ragnar Bohlin, Chorus Director of the San Francisco Symphony as guest conductor. He has worked with the Radio Choir in the past and teamed up with them for their 2010 Spring tour.

Even though I have sung in choirs for over half of my life and have a deep love for this music, I would not consider myself a choral music specialist. However, I will usually be familiar with at least one or two selections on any given program. From this program, I only recognized the names of Gustav Mahler and Johann Sebastian Bach. It is always exciting to hear music that is completely new to the ears. The Radio Choir features Swedish compositions, rarely performed pieces of the great masters and relatively obscure composers from all over the world.

The piece that I can still hear buzzing in my ears and that I am most excited about is Anders Hillborg's "Mouyayoum," composed for 16-part-chorus without text [hear excerpts in video below].


Friday, April 3, 2009

Two great international artists on tour: Habib Koite & Lila Downs

Here is an article I wrote about two great shows this weekend in the Bay Area.

Malian Habib Koite and his band Bamada are on tour and will be performing at Zellerbach Hall with Cal Performances.  Performing at the Fillmore is Mexican singer/songwriter Lila Downs. Check and see if they are coming to a theater near you!

Habib Koite's website

Lila Downs website