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EARLY AUTUMN: THE BOSTON CAMERATA IN NORTH AMERICA

SymphonyofPsalmsIn the best tradition of wandering minstrelsy, Camerata is literally all over the map this fall. We told you about European activity in the previous post…here’s a rundown of our early-autumn activity in our own country.

On October 30, seventeen of Boston’s finest early music performers, directed by Anne Azéma, will appear onstage at Calvin College, Grand Rapids Michigan, as that distinguished institution extends its third invitation to The Boston Camerata. On November 1, the same consort is welcomed to the Cathedral Concerts Series of Saint Louis, Missouri. On November 6, we are in Dordt College, Iowa. And finally, on November 8, we return home with a performance at Memorial Church, Harvard University.

“A Symphony of Psalms” is the title of our first North American production of the new season, and it is conceived as a celebratory concert on a large scale. In homage to the great reformer/theologian Jean Calvin (1509-1564), Anne Azéma, in collaboration with Joel Cohen, has conceived a program of magnificent Renaissance psalmody (and related song) from half a dozen countries, sung in Hebrew, Latin, French, Dutch, and German, and with a rich consort of solo voices and early instruments: lute, harp, and keyboard, viols and violins, cornet and sackbuts.

In each venue, we will be met and assisted by a fine local choir. Our Cambridge partners, once again in the wake of several previous, successful collaborations, are the Choral Fellows of the Harvard University Choir, Edward E. Jones, director.

Anne has chosen to begin with congregational psalm settings from her own French Huguenot tradition, moving later in the program to more elaborate, later works by such great masters as William Byrd, John Dowland, Salamone Rossi, and Heinrich Schütz. “This repertoire is near and dear to my heart,” she comments, “but, more importantly, it’s central to our shared musical and cultural heritage, with a number of surprises in store for American listeners. And the music is just terrific.”

More information about times and places of these concerts is available by clicking on the links of the “Live” page.

And there will be lots more intense Camerata music making, in many far-flung places, coming in December….