Laudate Dominum: Music from Monteverdi's Selva Morale, Venice, 1641

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Gwendolyn Toth, Director


Time:              8 pm


Tickets:           $40 regular, $20 rear seating ($10 off for students & seniors)

                        Subscriptions available





Laura Heimes, soprano

Sarah Chalfy, soprano

Barbara Hollinshead, mezzo-soprano

Ryland Angel, countertenor

David Vanderwal, tenor

Philip Anderson, tenor

Charles Weaver, baritone

Peter Becker, bass-baritone

Theresa Salomon and Vita Wallace, violins

Jessica Troy, viola

Motomi Igarashi, viola da gamba

Daniel Swenberg and Charles Weaver, theorbos

Gwendolyn Toth, organ




ARTEK, America's premier ensemble for 17th-century music for over 27 years, will continue its exploration of the complete works of Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) with works from the composer's landmark sacred music compilation of 1641, the Selva Morale.

Monteverdi's Selva Morale includes multiple settings for Mass, Vespers, and other music for religious use. ARTEK's program features a rarely heard masterpiece of Monteverdi: the Magnificat Primo for eight voices, and 6-part instruments with basso continuo. Overshadowed by the famous concertato Magnificat setting in the Vespers of 1610, the Magnificat Primo of the Selva Morale is nevertheless the equal of any of Monteverdi's sacred works, with an orchestration and compositional style reminiscent of the grand settings in the Madrigals of Love and War, Book 8.

The Selva Morale contains multiple settings of the Vespers psalm Laudate Dominum omnes gentes. ARTEK will perform the second setting, with its playful opening interplay of triads between the two sopranos. Rounding out the program will be a selection of Monteverdi's smaller sacred music for one, two and three voices. Solos include another Laudate, the Laudate Dominum in sanctis eis, sung by tenor David Vanderwal; the magisterial Ab Aeterno, sung by bass-baritone Peter Becker; Jubilet tota Civitas sung by mezzo-soprano Barbara Hollinshead; and the Confitebor Domine terzo in "stile francese" with solo soprano Laura Heimes accompanied by ARTEK's string ensemble. Duets and trios with two violins accompanying form the remainder of the program. Much of the smaller chamber music has strong similarities to Monteverdi's dance and opera music, including a distinct reference to Act 2 of Monteverdi's opera Orfeo - indicating that despite being compiled and published in 1641, the works represent Monteverdi's compositional style from the early 1600's through the 1630's.


About the Ensemble and Artists:


Audiences love ARTEK concerts for their exciting, dramatic performances of baroque music, with compelling musical settings of beautiful poetry and infectious dance rhythms that infuse the performances with vitality and spirit. Founded by director Gwendolyn Toth in 1986, ARTEK features some of America's finest singers and instrumentalists in performances of seventeenth-century repertoire from Italy and Germany. Highlights of ARTEK’s past seasons include acclaimed performances in 2002 and 2003 of ARTEK’s theater show, I’ll Never See the Stars Again, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2005; standing ovation performances to sell-out crowds at the Regensburg (Germany) Tage Alter Musik Festival in 1998 and 2003; and ARTEK’s debut performance in 2003 at the prestigious Boston Early Music Festival. ARTEK’s recordings of Monteverdi’s Orfeo and other early Italian repertoire have been widely praised. ARTEK toured internationally from 1997 to 2002 with the Mark Morris Dance Group, visiting major venues in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada as well as more than 50 of America’s premier theaters: BAM, Cal Performances in Berkeley, the Shubert Theater in Boston, McCarter Theater in Princeton, and many more from California to the Northeast. ARTEK has appeared in Europe at the Regensburg Tage Alter Musik festival; at the Utrecht Fringe Festival; and in Feldkirchen, Austria; Dolni Lukavice, Czech Republic; Beaulieu, France; Konstanz, Germany; and Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. In the New York City area ARTEK has appeared on Wall-toWall Opera at Symphony Space; as featured performers with the Bach-Schutz Society Conference; on the Kaye Playhouse Chamber Music Series; on Music Before 1800; and on the Princeton Friends of Music series. ARTEK produces its own New York City and Princeton NJ season of evening concerts, and also performs regularly throughout the concert season on the free lunchtime concert series, Midtown Concerts, in midtown Manhattan. In spring 2001, director Gwendolyn Toth was awarded the Newell Jenkins Prize for excellence in early music performance in recognition of her work with ARTEK. ARTEK made its Lincoln Center debut in spring 2010 on the "What Makes it Great" series with Robert Kapilow, and traveled in June to the Berkeley Early Music Festival and Indianapolis Early Music Festival for highly praised performances of Italian madrigals. ARTEK’s latest CD is the complete Madrigals of Monteverdi, Book 5, and will release a recording of Rosenmüller’s solo cantatas in late 2012. Visit to learn more.

Director Gwendolyn Toth is recognized as an outstanding performer on early keyboard instruments, performing in early music festivals in Boston, Utrecht, Holland; and the Czech Republic and on radio networks in Holland, Germany, France, and America's National Public Radio. As a conductor, she has appread at BAM in Brooklyn, Sadler Wells Theater in London, University of Salisbury, and other venues in addition to her ground-breaking work with ARTEK.

Praised for her "sparkle and humor, radiance and magnetism" and hailed for "a voice equally velvety up and down the registers", soprano Laura Heimes is widely regarded as an artist of great versatility, with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. She has been heard at the Boston, Connecticut and Indianapolis Early Music Festivals, at the Oregon and Philadelphia Bach.

Sarah Chalfy, soprano,is an active performer on a variety of musical stages, from theatres to concert halls to cabaret and rock venues.She specializes in premiering new worksby some of today’s most esteemed composers, including the title role in ADA, Nellie Bly in Stunt Girl, Lori in Terezin, and Madeleine X in the LA world premiere of Michael Gordon’s opera What to Wear, conceived, designed, and directed by avant garde theatre legend Richard Foreman.

Barbara Hollinshead, mezzo-soprano, has appeared with many of the finest early music groups in eastern North America including Tafelmusik, Chatham Baroque, and the Four Nations Ensemble, and she is a regular guest artist with the Folger Consort, Opera Lafayette, and the Washington Bach Consort. The Washington Post has described her singing as "precise in pitch, varied in color as the occasion requires, agile in the ornaments intrinsic to baroque music and deeply expressive of intense, conflicting emotions."

Countertenor Ryland Angel has performed with William Christie, Nicholas McGegan, Rene Jacobs, Ivor Bolton, Roy Goodman, Christophe Rousset, Philippe Herreweghe, Jane Glover, Herve Niquet, and Graeme Jenkins. Recordings include discs of Charpentier, Scarlatti, Lorenzani, Peri, Handel, Beaujoyeux, Purcell, Bach, Buxtehude, Monteverdi, Spears, film soundtracks of Le Petit Prince, La Peau, Henry 4th and Machete. He also maintains an active career as a pop and crossover singer.

Hailed for his "voice of liquid warmth and easy stage presence" tenor Philip Anderson has been a soloist with New York Collegium, Mark Morris Dance Group, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Chatham Baroque, Lionheart, and Piffaro. Mr. Anderson received critical acclaim across the United States and Canada for his performance in the title role of The Play of Daniel with New York's Ensemble for Early Music.

David Venderwal, tenor, has sung with American Bach Soloists, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, New York Collegium, Tafelmusik, as well as many other regional orchestras across the nation have featured him in roles. Mr. Vanderwal has recorded under the Allegro, Delos, Pro Musica Gloriae, and Koch International record labels, and with Western Wind of New York on their own label, and teaches at the International Bachakademie’s Stuttgart Festival in Überlingen, Germany.

Peter Becker, bass-baritone, has performed with the Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, Teatro Opera di Roma, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the 20th Century Consort, the Metropolitan Opera Education Program, the Eugene O'Neil Center, and New York's Lyric Theater. He has been a featured guest artist with Tafelmusik, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Magnificat, the Newberry Consort, and at a number of festivals including Spoleto, Caramoor, Aldeburgh, Utrecht, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, and Lille. He has recorded for the Decca-London, New Albion, Dorian and Bard labels.