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My wonderful sister-in-law is a very talented woman. She is a full time professor at the University of California, Berkeley, she dances like a dream and she sings! I hope that if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, you will be able to go to this wonderful concert.
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Here is an excerpt of Nancy’s email to me and to her friends.

Autumn has come, with its enchanting golden light, as warm days ease us into the cozy fall to come.

. . . And so we come gladly into October, which means it’s time — already! — for the first concert of the season from the San Francisco Bach Choir, a superb Baroque chorus which many of you have come to hear that has been bring glorious choral works to San Francisco since 1937.

This choir is truly remarkable — and the music is marvelous! Our concert of works from Bach’s astonishingly rich ancestral musical heritage,made the critics’ list of ‘the most memorable concerts of the year’ for the San Francisco Examiner: https://www.examiner.com/classical-music-in-san-francisco/the-memorable-concerts-of-2011.

Incidentally, we are NOW holding auditions for new singers, just in time to join us for our famed Christmas candlelight program; those of you who, like me, have to have a ‘fix’ of music at Christmas, are warmly encouraged to join this festive concert of wondrous seasonal music-making. See: http://www.sfbach.org/join-choir

This time we are doing an entire program of glorious gems by Vivaldi and Lotti, including a ravishingly beautiful 8-part “Crucifixus” and other intricate works of double-choir polyphony, works reflecting an intimate, profound, and joyful piety. I have found these pieces deeply moving, and a joy to sing and hear. I am very grateful to get to learn and perform them, and warmly invite you to come hear them, too. The icing on the cake: an exquisite soprano soloist, and an extraordinary double orchestra sending all those zinging Vivaldi string passages out flying: the sound of pure joy!

Though the church is large, sometimes these concerts sell out. Also, the door price is higher, so if you think you will go, you should get your tickets in advance. See: http://www.sfbach.org/concerts/glory-vivaldi (To get a slight discount on your tickets, type in ‘venice’ as the special code. And please put “Nancy W.” in the “comments” box if you are buying tickets on-line, so I can help with any details or snafus.)

. . . and so the year’s wheel turns: The year ripens, as we renew our engagements in school, in music, & in community.
In this season of new adventures and new warmth, I wish you all a rich and rewarding autumn, full of crisp apples and golden light.

More details concerning the Choir and the concert.
SAN FRANCISCO BACH CHOIR
Corey Jamason, Artistic Director

The Glory of Vivaldi: Sacred Music from the Ospedale della Pietà
with mezzo-soprano Gina Morgano and the SFBC Baroque
Orchestra

Sunday, October 20, 4PM
At historic Calvary Presbyterian Church at Fillmore and Jackson Streets in
San Francisco.

Buy tickets: Advance $25-$30 ($24-$28 Senior)
Door $30-$35 ($28-$32 Senior)
Students $10, Youth up to 18 FREE.

The San Francisco Bach Choir begins its 78th season with a special concert for

all who love Vivaldi. This joyful program offers a unique opportunity to experience rarely performed works, including his powerful Credo, RV 591, magnificent Kyrie, RV 587 for double choir and orchestra, and the lively In exitu Israel, RV 604. The SFBC Baroque Orchestra will perform with the choir, and the brilliant mezzo-soprano Gina Morgano, who delighted both choir and audiences at SFBC’s Songs of San Francisco last May. The public is warmly invited to attend a free pre-concert lecture by Dr. Alexandra Amati-Camperi at 3 PM.

“All of the samples in this diverse program were given expressive and stimulating interpretations under Jamason’s direction. The chorus was nicely blended in both its homophonic and polyphonic passages; and Jamason’s approach to phrase-shaping always served the needs of the text.”
–San Francisco Examiner

The Ospedale della Pietà was an orphanage for girls celebrated for its remarkable musical performances in concerts as well as in church services. It was one of four such institutions in Vivaldi’s native Venice and the most important musically. Vivaldi received an appointment as maestro di violino to the Pietà in 1703. He remained attached to the organization in varying capacities for almost 40 years, beginning as a violin teacher, later as music master of the entire institution, and later still primarily as a supplier of new compositions. At the Ospedale, girls and women generally sang tenor and bass choral parts as well as the usual soprano and alto ones. Several contemporary accounts of their performances exist, including a vivid report from Charles Burney’s The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1771). Though published three decades after Vivaldi’s death, the performances Burney attended were likely similar in quality to those of Vivaldi’s day:

“This afternoon I went again into the Pietà. There was not much company and the girls played a thousand tricks in the singing, particularly in the duets, where there was a trial of skill and natural powers, as to who could go highest and lowest, or run divisions with the greatest rapidity. They always finish with a symphony…the band here is certainly very powerful…at the hospitals and churches where it is not permitted to applaud in the same manner as at the opera, they cough, hem, or blow their noses to express admiration.”

In an era when employment for women in professional orchestras was impossible, the Ospedale offered a rare opportunity for women in 18th century Italy to perform in a high-level orchestral setting. Performers at the Pietà such as Anna del Basso, famous for her violin and viola d’amore playing, and as her name implies, capable of singing a bass part, gained celebrity at the Pietà during an age when such opportunities were elsewhere denied to women.

ABOUT: The San Francisco Bach Choir is an auditioned volunteer choir providing the Bay Area with exceptional concerts focused particularly on the music of J.S. Bach, his contemporaries, and predecessors, and on rarely heard music of the Renaissance and baroque periods. Founded in 1937, it is the oldest continually performing community choir in the western United States. The Choir uses a historically informed approach, period instruments and professional instrumentalists and soloists.

GENERAL INFORMATION: for more information about the San Francisco Bach Choir, to order tickets, or to arrange an audition, visit the SFBC website at http://www.sfbach.org, visit us on Facebook, or call the SFBC at 855-4SF-BACH (855-473-2224, toll-free).

The San Francisco Bach Choir is sponsored in part by
San Francisco Grants for the Arts Hotel Tax Fund