Reflections of the Artistic Director on the 2018-19 Concert Season

Reflections of the Artistic Director on the 2018-19 Concert Season of

The Collegium Vocale of St. Louis.

 

This was an unusual season for the Collegium Vocale.

 

In the first place, due to unexpected challenges in our funding, we had to cancel our Fall concert.  This was intended to be a program of François Couperin’s smaller sacred pieces to celebrate the 350th anniversary of his birth.  However, we were able to present this program in April at the magnificent Old St. Ferdinand Shrine in Florissant, MO, which proved to be an inspired matching of place and material.  These remarkable compositions of Couperin sounded at their very best in the splendid acoustic of the Shrine and were further enhanced by the visual details of its architecture.  Our talented performers rose to the challenges of this demanding program and acquitted themselves well to the delight of our enthusiastic audience.  I think this success will inspire us to investigate more French music in the future.

 

In  February, our concert of Christoph Graupner cantatas was presented at the Concordia Luthern Church in Kirkwood,  This was a new venue for us, but one to which we hope to return in the future.  This, our fifth bi-annual Graupner concert revealed the beauties of yet another four sacred cantatas of Graupner.  We are proud to be part of the international

re-discovery of this wonderful composer.  Next year, for our February offering I plan to program two cantatas by J. S. Bach, and two cantata by Graupner, all of which had been used as audition pieces when both composers sought the position of Cantor at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig.  It should by a fascinating opportunity to examine the works of these two contemporaries.

 

We plan to offer a program of Baroque music composed for Shakespeare’s plays in the 17th and 18th centuries, in the Fall. The Spring  program will feature cantatas and other music of Giovanni and Antonio Bononcini, two highly respected and admired composers who were brothers.

 

I am very pleased and proud that, despite some unanticipated challenges, the Collegium Vocale was able to present two fine concerts for our loyal audience, and for new concert goers.  Each concert explored a little known and rarely heard repertory, an accomplishment that supports our mission of presenting high-quality, entertaining and educational programs throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area.  I look forward to another exciting season next year and hope you will join us.

REJOICE AND BE GLAD! Four Sacred Cantatas of Christoph Graupner

Touch this link to retrieve PDF – Press Release_Collegium Vocale Performs REJOICE AND BE GLAD Cantatas of C Graupner_3 Feb 2019_Concordia Lutheran Church


The Collegium Vocale of Saint Louis

CollegiumVocaleOfSaintLouis.org  /   facebook.com/CVSTL

 

 

 

January 17, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:    Dr. Bruce Carvell, CVSL Artistic Director

(314) 650-3817 or stltenor@att.net

 

 

The COLLEGIUM VOCALE OF SAINT LOUIS presents

REJOICE AND BE GLAD! Four Sacred Cantatas of Christoph Graupner

 

  1. LOUIS, MISSOURI – The COLLEGIUM VOCALE OF ST. LOUIS is proud to present “Rejoice and Be Glad!: Four Sacred Cantatas by Christoph Graupner,” a concert of Baroque sacred music on Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. Dr Bruce Carvell will give an introductory lecture at 2:30 p.m. to provide greater context and insight into Graupner and his music. The concert will be performed at Concordia Lutheran Church, 505 S. Kirkwood Road, 63122. Suggested donation – $10.

 

Christoph Graupner, a contemporary of J. S. Bach, was a prolific and highly-regarded composer in the first half of the 18th century.  After a long period of obscurity, his music is being rediscovered and brought before the public worldwide.  An innovative and imaginative composer, Graupner has a distinctive style showing great invention and variety in his use of form, text-setting and instrumentation.  The four sacred cantatas are newly edited from his manuscripts especially for this concert. These performances will be the American premieres of these masterful works. The six vocalists of the COLLEGIUM VOCALE will be accompanied by an ensemble of highly-skilled musicians playing instruments of the period or modern replicas of recorders, violins, viola, cello, trumpet, bassoon, and organ.

 

Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood provides a beautiful and resonant space in which to experience the intriguing and expressive artistry of this delightful music.

 

The COLLEGIUM VOCALE OF ST. LOUIS, a 501(c)3 organization, is devoted to presenting historically informed performances of a diverse and wide-ranging repertory of 17th- and 18th-century music for voices and instruments.

 

WHAT:         REJOICE AND BE GLAD! Four Sacred Cantatas of Christoph Graupner

                     Performed by THE COLLEGIUM VOCALE OF ST. LOUIS

Suggested donation $10 / Free parking

WHEN:         Sunday, February 3, 2019, 3 p.m.

                     Introductory lecture at 2:30 p.m.

 

WHERE:      Concordia Lutheran Church

505 S. Kirkwood Road

Kirkwood, Missouri, 63122

###

A few thoughts about our 2017-2018 season.

As I reflect on our three concerts from the past season, I am proud of our achievements.

 

We met several milestones for our organization:  We continue to present high quality performances of little-known music of the Baroque period.  With our February concert of three Bach cantatas performed in the magnificent Trinity Lutheran Church in Soulard, we featured the largest instrumental ensemble that we have ever used, including trumpet, 2 oboes, flute, bassoon, strings and organ.  We added to our roster of talented singers with the appearance of soprano Emily Truckenbrod in our February and May concerts and bass-baritone Robert Reed on our Bach concert.

 

A few performances that remain vivid in my memory from this past season include Nathan Ruggles’ colorful performance of Telemann’s “Der Schulmeister” in October, Robert Reed with John Korak on trumpet, in the stirring bass aria from Cantata #5 in February, and Stephanie Ruggles, contralto, lyrical performance of Scarlatti’s solo cantata, “Son io, barbara donna,.”  Each one of our performers is a standout in their field, so it’s really not fair of me to single anyone out for special notice.  However, these seemed to me occasions where the music and performer met in a special way.

 

I want to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters who come to our concerts and offer financial support that allows us to produce these rare concerts of worthy, but often neglected compositions.  I was particularly gratified by the response to our appeal for donations to help with the purchase of the Roland portable organ that we have been borrowing from Concordia Seminary over the past couple of years.  The acquisition of this instrument, along with the generous donation by Elizabeth Horsley a couple of years ago, of a harpsichord, now enables us to function much more independently with these crucial keyboard continuo instruments.

 

Looking ahead to the coming season, I have been working on the music of François Couperin, whose 350th anniversity of his birth we will be celebrating in the fall.  An organist, Couperin was one of the most outstanding musicians and composers of his day.  We will be focusing on his sacred music, composed for Louis XIV and performed at Versailles.  In the Winter, we will be presenting another in our series of concerts of modern premieres of sacred cantatas of Christoph Graupner.  We are very excited to be among several international ensembles presenting these works for the first time since they were performed under Graupner himself.  Our Spring concert will present vocal chamber music of the brothers Giovanni Bononicini and Antonio Maria Bononicini.  While Giovanni, a well-known rival of Handel, is more famous than his younger brother, Antonio, I have found some really wonderful pieces that we will be presenting that demonstate Antonio’s considerable talent and well-developed skill.

 

Each of our programs is a labor of love for me.  In the first place, I love searching for interesting music and matching each piece to one or several of our very talented performers.  It is equally rewarding for me to join them in the preparation of this music for performance.  Perhaps most satisfying is presenting each program to our loyal audience, enabling them to discover music that they would not have access to otherwise.

 

I hope to see you next season.  Please tell your friends.

 

If you are not yet on our email list and would like to be, please notify me at stltenor@att.net.