Friday, September 20, 2013

If You're Free Saturday Night

That is, if you are not at SF Symphony for Mahler 9, or at West Edge Opera for Vanessa, check out Piccola Morte, the new chorus, which repeats its Lassus secular music program in Oakland:

Music of Lassus: The Agony and the Ecstacy
Cathedral of Christ the Light
2121 Harrison Street, Oakland, CA 94612

8 p.m.

Tonia D'Amelio, soprano
Danielle Reutter-Harrah, mezzo
Brian Thorsett & Eric Tuan, tenors
Nicholas Nackley, baritone
conducted by Christopher Kula

A quintet of impressive solo talent joins forces to present the exquisitely crafted polyphony of Franco-Flemish master Orlando di Lasso (ca.1532–94), exploring the philosophical side of the madrigal and the expressionistic, lurid side of the motet: the grey area between secular and sacred.

Lassus wrote several books of Italian madrigals, but a fraction of a vast oeuvre spanning several genres and languages. Many of his madrigals are composed on the dark, transcendent poetry of Francesco Petrarca, a.k.a. Petrarch (1304–74). The expansive, six-movement madrigal Standomi un giorno (Visions of Petrarch) recounts a wild series of hallucinations of beauty, destruction, and strange redemption. The motets Veni in hortum meum and Veni dilecte mi, on the other hand, set passages from the Old Testament’s prototypical contribution to the genre of the steamy romance novel, the Canticum Canticorum. The concert will also feature pieces in praise of St. Cecilia, patron saint of music (Cantantibus organis, Caecilia virgo), and of Orpheus, the mythical musician who sang his way into, and back out of, Hades (Deliciae Phoebi), as well as other madrigals from throughout the composer's career.

Piccola Morte (“the little death”) is the newest affiliate organization of MusicSources, Center for Historically Informed Performance, and performs early Baroque madrigals of Monteverdi and others as part of the MusicSources 2013–14 concert season (February 7, 2014). For more information about the concerts and the ensemble

Admission $15 / $10 students and seniors. Tickets available at the door or online at:

More information can be found at:

This event is all ages and wheelchair accessible.

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