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.