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Filed under: children's entertainment, performance art, opera, classical music, General — site admin @ 5:40 pm

Directed by Douglas Lawrence presents

MELBOURNE - Sun 8 June, 3pm Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 218 Richardson St Middle Park

San Marco, with its golden domes, dominates the profile of the ancient island city of Venice. Out of this majestic edifice has come some of the most beautiful and awe inspiring choral music ever written. The Australian Chamber Choir (ACC) will recreate some of the magic of San Marco, performing works by Monteverdi, Schütz, Willaert, Lotti and Gabrieli in their second concert of 2014, Music from the Basilica of San Marco Venice.

Adding to the aural magic, the 18-member Choir will be accompanied by an array of early instruments including cornetto, rackett, curtals, sackbuts, baroque violin and chamber organ.

Director Douglas Lawrence has devised a program that brings together San Marco’s greatest composers. It is a program of grandeur, but also ravishing intimacy. Seated at the middle point between the altar and the organ gallery, instrumentalists to the right and singers to the left, and a quartet of magnificent soloists centre stage, audience members will be transported to San Marco – albeit for an afternoon.

The architecture of San Marco provides many galleries from which singers and instrumentalists can perform. But its vast interior also adds a long reverberation making it difficult for singers or instrumentalists in different galleries to sing or play together. Adrian Willaert (1490–1562) solved the problem by writing antiphonal music, where opposing choirs would sing successive phrases, often contrasting, coming together for climactic ‘surround sound’ finales. This is a rare case of the architecture of a single building influencing the development of a new musical style.

The ACC will demonstrate this exciting sound in Willaert’s Sacro fonte regenerate and in Monteverdi and Gabrieli’s compositions for cori spezzati, literally ‘separated choirs’.

Antonio Lotti’s Crucifixus demonstrates an intensely intimate later style, which contrasts with the grandiose multi-choral works on this program. Guest countertenor soloist, Ian Travers will lend the alto solos in authentic 17th century Italian colour.

The audience will see instruments and hear sounds they may never have heard before: Heinrich Schütz, possibly Gabrieli’s best-known student, was particularly fond of the racket, a double reed instrument, which will be played by Simon Rickard.

MSO principal player, Brock Imison will join Simon Rickard to play alto and bass curtal respectively whilst Matthew Manchester gives the ensemble a virtuoso soprano line on the most important solo instrument of the 16th and 17th centuries, the cornetto.

A further change of texture is provided when Elizabeth Anderson plays an interlude on a Dutch chamber organ. The work is by Andrea Gabrieli, uncle of Giovanni Gabrieli and the first internationally renowned composer of the Venetian school.

Douglas Lawrence, as famous for his organ concerts as for his choral conducting, has played organ concerts in St Mark’s and conducted a choral concert in the piazza with the Basilica as a magnificent backdrop. He studied organ at Melbourne University with Venetian organist, Sergio de Pieri who is the older brother of celebrity chef, Stefano de Pieri. Sergio also taught Douglas to cook! Lawrence has chosen the spacious and resonant acoustic of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middle Park and Macedon’s Church of the Resurrection for Music from the Basilica of San Marco Venice.

PERFORMERS Australian Chamber Choir
Directed by Douglas Lawrence
Simon Rickard (leader): great bass rackett and bass curtal
Matthew Manchester: cornetto
Emma Williams: baroque violin
Brock Imison: alto curtal
Bob Collins: alto sackbut
Julian Bain: tenor sackbut
Elizabeth Anderson: chamber organ

PROGRAMME Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1633)
- Domine ad adiuvandum from the Vespers of 1610
Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) - Saul, was verfolgst du mich
Heinrich Schütz - Ist nicht Ephraim mein teurer Sohn
- Freue dich des Weibes deiner Jugend
Andrea Gabrieli (1533-85) – Fuga del nono tono
Claudio Monteverdi - Magnificat XIIIa from Vespers of 1610
Antonio Lotti (1667-1740) - Crucifixus a 10
Adrian Willaert (1490-1562) - Sacro fonte regenerata
Giovanni Gabrieli - Jubilate Deo
Claudio Monteverdi - Cantate Dominum
Giovanni Gabrieli - In Ecclesiis

Sunday June 8, 3pm Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 216 Richardson Street, Middle Park

Tickets for both concerts: $40, $35 and $25. Primary and secondary school students free with a paying parent or guardian when you book online.

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