Angels Cry Aloud: Masters of the Roman Collegio Germanico
Time: 4:00 pm
Tickets: Admission is free
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Voyces, the Staten Island-based early music ensemble, presents a concert of 16th and 17th century masters influenced by the renowned cappella of the German College in Rome. Both Tomás Luis de Victoria and Giacomo Carissimi held the title Maestro di Cappella of the College almost a half century apart. Parisian composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier is believed to have studied with Carissimi during his stay in Rome in the 1660s. The College, known as a center for superb Counter-Reformation music, was founded in 1552 with an eye to educating German-speaking seminarians in defense against encroaching Protestantism.
Victoria composed Super flumina Babylonis (1573) as a towering setting of Psalm 137 "By the waters of Babylon". The motet employs double choir in rising lamentation, briefly dancing in triple meter to depict the captive Israelites' "songs of Zion".
Jephte (1649), an early oratorio by the "Father of Oratorio" Giacomo Carissimi, sets to music the tragic biblical story of the general Jephthah and his rash vow to God, which leads to an unthinkable sacrifice. Narrators, in solo recitatives and ensembles, presage the moving finale, one of the most beautiful plaints of 17th century music. Voyces welcomes guests Anthony Turner, baritone (Jephte), and Corrine Byrne, soprano (Filia).
The evening finishes victoriously with the magnificent and martial Te Deum, H.146, by Charpentier. This ultimate celebration motet features the splendor of a full Baroque orchestra. With Young Voyces and Voyces Baroque Ensemble.
Super flumina Babylonis by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Jephte by Giacomo Carissimi
Te Deum, H.146, by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
About the Ensemble:
Founded in 2011 by Music Director Beth Johanning, Voyces, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has brought the pleasure of early music to the community of Staten Island. Starting with its inaugural concert Wassail! the holiday tradition continued, partnering with St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Staten Island each December since 2012 to produce Renaissance Lessons and Carols. December of 2014 culminated with O Great Mystery: Renaissance Reflections on 9 Lessons hosted by St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery.
In December of 2012, Voyces participated in a concert for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in the devastated Staten Island community of Midland Beach.
The ensemble has collaborated with and hosted a number of musical organizations, local and regional. Notably, in June 2013, Voyces hosted Richmond Choral Society Youth Chorus, the Christ Church Community Youth Choir, and the Baroque instrumental ensemble American Virtuosi in a concert featuring Bach BWV 106 Actus Tragicus. The 2013-2014 season produced a new oratorio, Masada by H. Bialor, in collaboration with the Bernikow JCC. In addition to Voyces concerts of early music, in 2014 the group performed Carmen with the SI Philharmonic and co-sponsored a concert of Baroque instrumental music performed by Aeris in conjunction with the 5 Boroughs Music Festival. In April of 2015 and 2016 Voyces was the guest of Saint Mary the Virgin Church, Times Square for Evensong.
Voyces "triumphed" in June 2013 with Cryes of London, a concert of 17th century English music, featuring excerpts from Purcell's Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary and the semiopera King Arthur. Since then the ensemble has treated Staten Island audiences to more masterpieces of Baroque opera: L'Orfeo (excerpts)by Claudio Monteverdi as part of The Underworld Project and a semi-staged Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell, both with an orchestra of period specialists.
2016 highlights saw Voyces co-sponsor and collaborate with the superb vocal ensemble New York Polyphony as part of the 5 Boroughs Music Festival, and record an arrangement of Dvorak's "Goin' Home" by Staten Island composer Dr. Roger Wesby for New York Philharmonic's New World Initiative website.