SPOTLIGHT: Singers to perform Italian Baroque masterworks in concert

Posted in Feature, Music, Spotlight

The Whidbey Chamber Singers directed by Robert Prosch will perform two Italian Baroque choral masterworks in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 16 at Langley United Methodist Church.

Italian Baroque (or Barocco) is a stylistic period in Italian history and art that spanned from the late 16th century to the early 18th century. This program includes “Gloria” by Antonio Vivaldi and “Magnificat,” attributed to Giovanni Pergolisi, though Prosch has a story to tell the audience about the dubiousness of that attribution. The style may be more likely that of Pergolesi’s teacher Francesco Durante, but the important thing to note about this piece of music is that is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns. It is also known as the “Song of Mary” or the “Canticle of Mary” and is frequently sung (or spoken) liturgically in Christian church services.

At any rate, the learned choral director Prosch will explain it all to the audience, a benefit that comes with attending a Whidbey Chamber Singers concert, there is always something to learn that one may not have known about these treasures of classical music.

Al Benson is one of the singers who took the challenge.

“I have really enjoyed what you might call the “duality” of this music in that it is both centuries old and yet modern sounding to the contemporary ear,” Benson said.

“I think if we performed just the “et in terra pax” (adante, movement 2), that would satisfy my need for singing and participating in the performance of truly great music.”

Lucky for audiences, there’s both “Gloria” and “Magnificat,” two wonderfully expressive compositions, as music of the Baroque period tends to be, and made even more beautiful here with the accompaniment of  an instrumental ensemble from the Saratoga Orchestra, as well as by the vocal soloists.

Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and military, $5 for children and $40 per family and are available at the door. Langley United Methodist Church is on the corner of Third Street and Anthes Avenue in Langley.

Visit Whidbey Chamber Singers for more info.

(Pictured at top is a photo of a detail of Fra Angelico’s painting  “Freskenzyklus im Dominikanerkloster San Marco in Florenz,” or “Frescoes in the Dominican convent of San Marco in Florence” pertaining to a visitation of an angel to Mary.)



Leave a Reply