Between the glories of early seventeenth-century Venice, with grand multi-choir works such as Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, and the majesty of high baroque German church cantatas and oratorios by Johann Sebastian Bach, lies the rarely-heard but captivating repertoire of Johann Rosenmüller (1619-1684).
Renowned New York City early music ensemble ARTEK has brought the music of Rosenmüller to New York City audiences since 2011. ARTEK returns on Saturday, December 29, 2017 with a magnificent program of Rosenmüller’s Christmas Vespers.
This holiday concert is part of ARTEK’s 33rd season of concerts of musically significant, rarely-heard repertoire performed on period instruments in historical style, featuring the finest early music artists.
“Deeply considered, beautifully sung...consistently polished, finely balanced performances.”
- Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
A true musical genius, Rosenmüller began his career in Leipzig but in 1655 escaped scandal by fleeing to Venice, where he wrote music in the grand Venetian style for St. Mark’s Cathedral. His sacred music represents both the final flowering of the grand Venetian style and the emergence of the glorious German high baroque oratorio.
ARTEK’s concert will include twenty-five performers, including members of Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse, a world-renowned French historical wind ensemble who have collaborated regularly with Hesperion XXI, Les Arts Florissants, and many other European ensembles, including a collaboration last season with Jordi Savall in Carnegie Hall. ARTEK’s roster of performers includes soprano Laura Heimes of Lawrenceville, NJ; soprano Clara Rottsolk of Philadelphia; mezzo-soprano Barbara Hollinshead of Washington, D.C.; countertenor Ryland Angel of the United Kingdom; tenors Andrew Fuchs and Philip Anderson of New York City; bass-baritone Andrew Padgett of Connecticut; bass-baritone Peter Becker of New York City, and violin leader Cynthia Freivogel of the Netherlands. Gwendolyn Toth, director of ARTEK, will conduct.
The program will include Vespers psalms Dixit Dominus, Beatus Vir, and the Magnificat in C minor, as well as Christmas motets and instrumental music. The performers all use period instruments and perform in 17th-century temperament (quarter-comma meantone) at A=465 pitch. Instruments include rare copies of 17th-century contrabasso sacbut and contrabasso dulcian, the only examples of these instruments existing in the US. The performance will take place in the visually splendid and acoustically excellent venue of Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown New York City. Rosenmüller: Christmas Vespers is a not-to-be-missed event bringing together outstanding international artists to play rarely heard masterpieces.