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California Bach Society, Paul Flight, Director

Berkeley Festival & Exhibition
Event organized by Berkeley Festival & Exhibition

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Heralded by the San Francisco press for its “dazzling” and “sublime” performances, California Bach Society showcases Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s best choral works. Artistic director Paul Flight leads the award-winning 30-voice chorus, vocal soloists, flutes, and a full consort of viols in the poignant Litanies de la Vierge and the splendid Missa Assumpta est Maria.

Charpentier wrote the Litanies de la Vierge early in his career, while in the employ of Mlle de Guise. The exquisite work, for six voices with two independent, treble gamba parts over it, was specifically written for Mlle de Guise’s house ensemble, in which Charpentier himself sang countertenor. To learn more about treble gambas, read California Bach Society’s blog post about the gamba family at http://www.calbach.org/blog/2017/4/19/the-gamba-family-on-stage.

At the end of his life, Charpentier held the most prestigious choir director post in all of France: “maître de musique” of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. It was for the choir that rehearsed and performed in this stunning church that he wrote the Missa Assumpta est Maria, nowadays widely considered his most beautiful mass setting. Artistic director Paul Flight says about this masterwork: “It is serene and exciting in turns, and has such a lovely scoring with the flutes.”

With vocal soloists Samuel Faustine, tenor; Timothy Silva, tenor; and Clayton Moser, bass. Instrumentalists joining the 30 voice, award-winning chorus for these performances are Vicki Melin and Alissa Roedig, baroque flutes; Marie Dalby Szuts and Amy Brodo, treble gambas; Julie Jeffrey, alto gamba; Roy Whelden, tenor gamba, Lynn Tetenbaum, bass gamba; and Yuko Tanaka, organ.