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What Makes a Baroque Violinist?


What Makes a Baroque Violinist? - by David Wilson Any Navy SEAL will tell you that having the right gear and the right training are essential, but that another crucial part of the package can be described as “attitude,” a willingness to venture outside of one’s comfort zone and discover a new way of operating. As far as I know, no one has yet begun their violinistic career as a baroque violinist—we are trained as modern violinists, and at some point along the way we discover this other path and begin to pursue it. (I sometimes call this ...

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Mozart Requiem Soloists


We have a wonderful set of soloists for our Mozart Requiem Concert, March 11,12 and 13.They are all highly respected West Coast performing artists, all of whom perform extensively in the Bay Area and beyond. Nikolas Nackley was the baritone soloist for our November Carmina Burana concert. [caption id="attachment_1749" align="alignleft" width="145"] Claire Kelm, Soprano[/caption] Claire Kelm Claire Kelm has enjoyed a varied and wide-ranging career, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been heard as a soloist with San Francisco Symphony Chorus, San Francisco Bach Choir, Baroque Choral Guild/Cantabile, ...

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Carmina Burana: Soloists and Instrumentalists


We have a wonderful group of Bay Area soloists and instrumentalists joining us for this concert: Nikolas Nackley, baritone, the Ragazzi Boys Chorus, pianists Tim Getz and Duane Soubirous, and percussionists Kent Reed, Henry Reed, Connor Carroll, and Patrick McCaffrey. In addition, this concert will feature several BCG members who also regularly solo, both with us and other groups: Vai Rangarajan (soprano) and Steve Kispersky (tenor) will perform in Carmina while Amy Worden (soprano) and Allie Leeper (contralto) will do the honors in Peter Hallock’s Gloria. Photos and bios follow . . . . [caption id="attachment_1748" align="alignleft" width="130"]

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Music for Holy Week – 2


[caption id="attachment_1599" align="aligncenter" width="600"] "The sun rose on the gold walls of the city of peace. The air bore the cool freshness of spring."[/caption] The Sun Rose, by Caroline Hinshaw Music by Caroline Hinshaw, Text from the Gospel accounts of the events of Holy Week Regulars in our BCG audience have heard the chorus perform works written by local composers, including Sanford Dole, our Artistic Director, as well as ...

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Music for Holy Week – 1


Alberto Ginastera and The Lamentations of Jeremiah Music by Alberto Ginastera, Text from the Book of Lamentations The program Sanford Dole has developed for our March concert includes a variety of works. As you might expect, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Sanford, in addition to being BCG's artistic director, has been Music Director at St. Gregory of Nyssa Church in San Francisco for over 20 years. For this concert, he has chosen anthems, highlights, that the St. Gregory's choir has sung ...

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Poet’s Corner 4: Sonnets of Desire, Longing and Whimsy


Sonnets of Desire, Longing and Whimsy Music by Stacy Garrop, Poetry by Edna St. Vincent Millay  (1892–1950) [caption id="attachment_1417" align="alignleft" width="131"] Stacy Garrop, Composer[/caption] Sonnets of Desire, Longing and Whimsy is the fourth set of a large song cycle Stacy Garrop is writing using sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay, the sonnets all being explorations of different aspects of love. Set to Garrop's music, this poetry becomes dramatic and intensely emotional sound paintings. I had no idea what to expect when ...

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Poet’s Corner 3: Songs of the Spirit


Songs of the Spirit: Poetry by William Blake, Music by Nancy Wertsch One of our soprano choristers, Padma Rangarajan, is a Romanticist who studied Blake. She was kind enough to provide the following discussion of William Blake and the four poems which are the text for Songs of the Spirit. The illustrations accompanying the text below were created by Blake as illustrations for the books of poetry mentioned below that he himself published. In 1868, the radical poet Augustus Swinburne began his study of William Blake with a reflection on ...

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Poet’s Corner 2: Six Chansons


Six Chansons Music by Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), poems by Ranier Maria Rilke (1875-1926) [caption id="attachment_1379" align="alignleft" width="157"] Ranier Maria Rilke[/caption]  Although Rilke wrote primarily in German, the poems in Six Chansons - "The Doe", "A Swan", "Since All is Passing", "Springtime", "In Winter", and "Orchard", were written in French, in a beautiful lyrical style.  Hindemith's settings echo the lyricism of the poetry.  They are wonderful to sing - each one is different in character and mood. You can easily see the swan gliding ...

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Poet’s Corner 1: Invitation to a Voyage


Invitation to a Voyage [caption id="attachment_1354" align="alignright" width="192"] A young Charles Baudelaire[/caption] I'm going to start with my favorite work, Invitation to a Voyage, by the poet Charles Baudelaire, set to music by Sanford Dole. The text Sanford used was translated from the original French by Edna St. Vincent Millay.  We sang this piece several years ago, and we were completely captivated.  The music and the words work together to create a wonderful atmosphere, painting vivid images of the scenes Baudelaire describes. A contemporary of ...

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Mozart Festival next week!


Last night was the final rehearsal with piano - next week orchestra and soloists! We ran the show, with special emphasis on Vesperae Solennes de Confessore. What an amazing piece! Not a work I have sung before, it has been wonderful to listen to (over and over and over) and very rewarding to sing. Compared to the other two, it feels as if it has more weight. No, it's not heavy by any means, it just has more dimensions. More operatic would be a good description. We all can't wait to sing with the orchestra and soloists! I'm not going into more ...

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