Simon Carrington Returns to Direct Charpentier and Grier on October 24thCharpentier

Devotion and Ceremony Across the Channel: Music of Charpentier, Nivers and Grier

October 24th at 8 pm, First Lutheran Church, Boston

Tickets $35 premium/$25 general/$15 students and seniors

We are pleased to welcome Simon Carrington back to Boston for Canto Armonico's program of 17th-century French and 20th-century French-inspired music. Our concert pairs vocal music of Marc-Antoine Charpentier -- Litanies de la Vierge, H. 83 and Te Deum, H. 146, both for soloists, chorus and instruments -- with the striking Three Devotions for choir and organ by modern British composer Francis Grier. Like Simon Carrington, Francis GrierFrancis Grier is a former member of King's College, Cambridge and was active as organ scholar in the famous King's College Chapel before taking up positions at Christ Church, Oxford.

Preceding the festive Te Deum on our program, First Lutheran Church organist Bálint Karosi plays a suite from the Livre d'Orgue by Charpentier contemporary Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers (1632-1714).

Previous Concerts in 2015

Celestial Harmonies, Divine Inspiration: Music for the Tudors

July 11th at 7 pm, St. Mary's Church, Barnstable, a program of Tudor church music for the Cape Cod Early Music Festival

In the early 1600s the Separatists came to Cape Cod to practice their faith free of the restrictions imposed by the Church of England. In due time, Anglicans followed. The first Episcopal church on Cape Cod is the setting for a program of Anglican and English Catholic music from the early years of the reformation (ca. 1540-1590), by three of England's greatest composers active during those tumultuous times: John Sheppard, Thomas Tallis, and William Byrd.

Festive Vespers for Trinity from Lübeck's Marienkirche, c. 1660

A Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Event

Saturday, June 13 at 5:00 pm, First Lutheran Church in Boston

Freewill offering in lieu of admission

The great church of St. Mary in Lübeck, on Germany's Baltic coast and a major, thriving center of trade from the late Middle Ages onward, had an equally thriving and distinguished music program, quick to adopt the new Venetian styles when they emerged in the 1600s. We present a vespers service for the feast of Trinity, as it might have been performed in the Marienkirche under the direction of Franz Tunder, predecessor of Dieterich Buxtehude, in the 1660s. It was Tunder who established the elaborate programs of so-called Abendmusik with which Buxtehude is associated. Tunder's collection of choral music included vespers music by not only Monteverdi but also his successor at San Marco, Giovanni Rovetta, and his circle. We are pleased to welcome back Dr. Ulf Wellner,Dr. Ulf Wellner former Kantor of St. Jakobi in Lübeck and a specialist in the performance of 17th-century north European music, who will direct.

For use in the varied services at St. Mary's, Franz Tunder also composed cantatas and a substantial amount of organ music in styles familiar to those who know Buxtehude's organ works. Our vespers service will include his extended chorale fantasy "Komm, heiliger Geist" for Pentecost (a feast taking place the week before Trinity) and one of his many preludes, played by First Lutheran organist Bálint Karosi.

Our First Recording Appears on Hungaroton/Naxos!

Hungaroton CD cover

Chorales of Michael Praetorius, Heinrich Schütz, Johann Hermann Schein, and Samuel Scheidt

Now available from Hungaroton and iTunes, a new recording of Bach's monumental Clavierübung III by Bálint Karosi, with Canto Armonico performing the chorales that provide the basis for Bach's organ settings.

In this recording Canto Armonico is directed by Cheryl Ryder, artistic director and manager of Canto Armonico, and Ulf Wellner, former Kantor at Lübeck's Jakobikirche and now Kantor at the Martinikirche in Minden, Germany. Professor Markus Rathey of Yale University has written the liner notes.

Most current recordings of the Clavierübung III feature the organ chorale versions only, but this new recording immerses the listener in the 17th-century world of the young Bach and fellow composers, and demonstrates how central the sung chorale was to these German composers' lives. They would have known not only the simple versions of the chorales from church hymnals, but also many of the polyphonic settings published and sung by boys in the Latin school curriculum. Canto Armonico records a sampling of these polyphonic chorale settings alongside their simpler counterparts, as follows:

The settings by Praetorius for two tenors and two basses, in particular, merit special attention as they demonstrate how adept the composer was at writing music for whatever forces were at his disposal! We recorded the chorales in September and October under the direction of Dr. Ulf Wellner, a specialist in the music of Michael Praetorius, who directed our June 2013 performance of the St. John the Baptist vespers service during Boston's Early Music Festival.

Lutheran Vespers Music by Canto Armonico

Jakob Handl: Emitte Spiritum
Michael Praetorius: Der heil'ge Geist von Himmel kam
Michael Praetorius: Komm, heiliger Geist
Heinrich Schütz: Becker Psalm 104: Herr, wie gross sind deine Werk
Hieronymus Praetorius: Jubilate Deo