California Bach Society is a 30-voice chamber choir specializing in Renaissance and Baroque music. We present four concerts each season in Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Berkeley. The 2013-2014 season will include Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers, Cantatas from 17th century Germany, and a Mozart and Haydn program with the New Esterházy Quartet.
2013 - 2014 Season
Doors open 30 minutes before each performance.
Tickets may be purchased online, by phone, or at the door.
* Please note that some venues may be different from previous concerts. *
Christmas with Peter Warlock and Henry VIII
Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 8pm at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco
Sat, Dec 14, 2013, 8pm at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Palo Alto
Sun, Dec 15, 2013, 4pm at *St. John's Presbyterian Church* in Berkeley
We will celebrate Christmas in England from the medieval period to the present: six centuries of music inspired by enduring images of landscape, winter, and the nativity. Some of the earliest English carols date from the 15th century and the court of Henry VIII. The king composed memorable carols of his own, and we also find elaborate polyphonic motets in the Eton Choirbook. The turn of the twentieth century saw a revival of the English carol, with musicians such as Peter Warlock writing contemporary settings of the early texts. Gustav Holst, William Walton, and Benjamin Britten also contributed to a new generation of beloved carols.
German Cantatas circa 1700
Fri, Feb 28, 2014, 8pm at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco
Sat, Mar 1, 2014, 8pm at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Palo Alto
Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 4pm at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley
With artistic director Paul Flight, California Bach Society has become known for presenting lesser-known Baroque masterworks and was recently called a "prospector of Baroque gold" by San Francisco Classical Voice. We perform cantatas by three forerunners of JS Bach: Johann Pachelbel, Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, and Johann Kuhnau, Bach's predecessor in Leipzig. The inventive and exquisite cantatas of these early German masters strongly influenced the young Bach and yet are hardly known today. One might easily miss Johann Pachelbel's chorale cantata on Christ lag in Todesbanden when considering Bach's more famous work. We invite you to join us in exploring these treasures from the courts and churches of Thuringia and Saxony.
Haydn and Mozart Rediscovered
Fri, May 2, 2014, 8pm at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco
Sat, May 3, 2014, 8pm at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Palo Alto
Sun, May 4, 2014, 4pm at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley
We are delighted to announce our first ever collaboration with the New Esterházy Quartet – another Bay Area organization known for presenting rarely heard masterpieces. Together with this fabulous period string quartet, we will perform lesser-known jewels by Haydn and Mozart. Among the highlights is Joseph Haydn's Salve Regina, written for the church of the Barmherzigen Brüder near the princely Esterházy estate in Eisenstadt. The concert also features music Mozart composed for Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg: the richly contrapuntal offertory Misericordias Domini and the charming Missa Brevis in F. Haydn's witty and amusing partsongs, among the first examples of the genre, will round out this unique program.
Monteverdi Vespers of 1610
Fri, Oct 11, 2013, 8pm at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco
Sat, Oct 12, 2013, 8pm at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Palo Alto
Sun, Oct 13, 2013, 4pm at *First Congregational Church* in Berkeley
Renowned in his own day, Claudio Monteverdi is considered one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music. The Vespers of 1610 was at the time the most colorful and vocally splendid sacred music that had ever been written. Its sonic grandeur mirrors the Byzantine architecture and luminous gold ceiling mosaics of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, where the masterwork was first performed in 1613. Paul Flight leads the 35-voice choir, members of period brass ensemble The Whole Noyse, Baroque violinists Kati Kyme and Shira Kammen, and special guest cornettist Kiri Tollaksen. In addition to soloists from the choir, the performances feature soprano Rita Lilly and tenor Brian Staufenbiel.
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