Creuzburg, Celle, Leipzig, Erfurt and Minden Feature September 2016 Concerts by Canto ArmonicoStJohnBaptistNativity

Canto Armonico goes on tour to Germany! We have been invited to sing in the annual Praetorius-Tage held over the second weekend in September in Michael's native town of Creuzburg, near Eisenach. The program "Vesper zum Johannisfest mit Musik von und um Michael Praetorius," directed by Dr. Ulf Wellner, will be broadcast live on Saturday, September 10th, by Wartburg Radio in Eisenach -- that's right, from the Wartburg, where Martin Luther translated the New Testament into the vernacular! We will also visit this magnificent castle.

Music for our Creuzburg appearance, by Michael and Hieronymus Praetorius and Heinrich Schütz, will be heard in additional concerts in Minden and Celle in western Germany. In a separate set of programs, we will sing Tudor Reformation music in Hämelschenburg, Leipzig, and Erfurt. Watch for details about our tour blog!

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, interim First Lutheran Church organist Cheryl Ryder plays a suite from the Livre d'Orgue by Charpentier contemporary Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers (1632-1714).

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.

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