Upcoming: Imperial Splendor at Salzburg Cathedral in December

Salzburg Cathedral in the 1700s

Simon Carrington directs the Biber Vespers Friday, December 20th at 8 pm, First Lutheran Church

Simon Carrington reprises his acclaimed 2004 performance of the Biber Vesperae Longiores ac breviores with Canto Armonico in Boston, in a new setting for the season of Advent.

Evoking the baroque splendor of Salzburg Cathedral where Heinrich Biber spent much of his career, the music features elaborate and virtuosic solos for voices and strings by Biber and his contemporaries, including the talented Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

Our First Recording to Appear on Hungaroton/Naxos in 2014!

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

This fall, Canto Armonico was privileged to participate in a recording of Bach's monumental Clavierübung III, a collection of organ chorales published late in the composer's life. The organ performances are by Balint Karosi, winner of the Leipzig Bach competition in 2008 and a regular soloist in our concerts. To introduce the organ chorale versions, Canto Armonico chose simple versions of the chorales, ones that Bach would have known from his youth. These include both hymnal settings of the late 1600s from two songbooks used in Leipzig churches and slightly more elaborate versions that were sung by choirboys at the schools Bach attended, 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 performance during Boston's Early Music Festival. Stay posted for updates on release of the double-CD issue of the Clavierübung III, planned for late 2014.

A North German Organvespers for the Feast of St. John the Baptist

Canto Armonico at Pentecost Vespers 2011

Saturday, June 15th at 5 pm, First Lutheran Church

A Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Event

Canto Armonico reprises its successful Organvespers from the Early Music Festival week of 2011, now in a setting for the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist which falls on June 24th. To be held at First Lutheran Church, the program is structured like a German vespers service from the Hamburg area in the late 17th century. The feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, like the feast of St. Michael at the end of September, marked the end of a fiscal quarter in much of Germany, and prudent church music directors could reserve funds to supply more elaborate music for those feasts, bringing in professional singers and instrumentalists to augment the regular choral and organ music in the churches and cathedrals.

We also celebrate the 350th anniversary of the death of Heinrich ScheidemannHeinrich Scheidemann, highly regarded organist in Hamburg and former student of Sweelinck whose compositions for the organ chorale introduced an expressive ornamentation style embraced by his followers across northern Germany.

Canto Armonico is pleased to present this program as a fringe event during the Boston Early Music Festival, with music ranging from chant to polychoral motets. We will be joined by an instrumental consort of recorders, gambas, theorbo and harp, and the unique First Lutheran Church OrganOpus X Richards & Fowkes organ, one of the finest instruments in the world for the rendering of 17th-century German repertory.

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