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Cantemus Music at St John's Pevensey Road

Cantemus Music at St John’s Pevensey Road

St Cecilia’s Day Vespers – as heard in Venice

On Saturday 23 November, Cantemusmusic and the Occasional Consort combine for a free concert – St Cecilia’s Day Vespers in Venice, featuring specially arranged music by Antonio Vivaldi and Antonio Lotti at Christ Church, St Leonards, writes Chris Cormack.

The concert will reproduce authentic sounds which might have been heard in Venice in the early 18th century in unusually original formats, including all-female performances of Vivaldi just like those from La Pieta and plainsong performed by men with bells to add even more atmosphere.

For much of his career, Vivaldi was director of La Pieta, an orphanage and refuge for illegitimate children, where the girls trained as musicians and the boys were sent to work on the land. The choir and orchestra there were all-female; even tenor and bass parts were sung by female voices. The programme starts with a sequence of Vivaldi vespers:

Deus ad Adjuvandum (RV593)
Dixit Dominus (RV 594)
Beatus Vir  (RV 598)
Stabat Mater (RV 621)
Magnificat  (RV 610)

The Lotti Mass for three voices follows, three men as might have been heard in St Mark’s. Antoni0 Lotti was organist at St Mark’s at that time.

Cantemusmusic, directed by Christopher Arnold, is a chamber choir specialising in newly discovered and rarely heard music from the Renaissance and Baroque period. They made a lovely impression in Ecco Monteverdi,  a concert at St John’s celebrating 450 years of Monteverdi. The Occasional Consort, directed by Anne Whiteman, have been singing quality music for many years in Hastings and its environs.

Vespers for St Cecilia’s Day at Christ Church, Silchester Rd, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 OJA, Saturday 23 November, doors open at 7pm. Admission free, retiring collection.

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Posted 09:28 Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 In: Music & Sound

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