Upcoming Concert

Bach and Paganini Solo Violin Music
Two Giants of Solo Violin Music played by a contemporary virtuoso on period violin

Baroque violinist Edson Scheid, concertmaster of Crescendo’s Period Instrument Orchestra, offers a program with solo violin works by two titans: Johann Sebastian Bach and Nicolo Paganini. Both composers revolutionized solo violin repertoire, and hearing their works side by side in a program is an unusual treat.

Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 4 pm
Trinity Church, Lakeville, CT

Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 4 pm
Saint James Place, Gt. Barrington, MA
Concert in The Great Hall (80 seats)

Concert Recording Premiere

Premieres: March 6, 2024 – 7pm


Crescendo Low-Voice Vocal Ensemble (*Section Leaders)
Alto Pat Barton, Christine Gevert*, Susan Pettee, Tuesday Rupp*
Tenor Michael Chamberlin, Igor Ferreira*, Matthew Kreta*, Randy Orzano, Douglas Schmolze*
Baritone Peter Perkins*, John-Arthur Miller*, Tom Schindler, Michael Wise
Bass Jim Barrett*, Brian Farrell, Andy Kettler

Rachel Begley, Dulcian and Recorder
Christine Gevert, Organ and Direction

Optime pastor – Shepherd, Maker of Good Virtue

Early Polyphony for low voices from Ockeghem to Palestrina

The Renaissance is considered the Golden Era of vocal music. The evolution of polyphonic music (music with more than one independent melody sung at the same time) started in the early 15th century in the lowlands. Franco-Flemish composer and singer Johannes Ockeghem was the most influential European composer of his time, alongside contemporaries, such as Heinrich Isaac. They were succeeded by Josquin des Prez, the greatest innovator and a pioneer in the technique of melodic imitation between voices. Polyphony spread in Western Europe, and English composers John Taverner, and later Thomas Tallis, excelled in this style. As new styles emerged over the course of the 16th century, Renaissance music began pushing boundaries by including chromaticism and ornamentation. In Italy, the polyphonic style was brought to Venice by the Flemish composer Adrian Willaert, and then culminated with Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso, the most published composer of the 16th century. While the 17th century brought a change away from polyphony, Claudio Monteverdi, the developer of the opera, made innovative use of polyphony, extending the rules beyond the conventions of the earlier masters.

This program features sacred four- to seven-voice works by these composers. A central subject in the program is the plea for peace, featured in several compositions: Taverner’s “In Pace” (In Peace shall I sleep and rest), and “Da Pacem Domine” (Give peace in our time), a motet by Lasso and also the main chant melody in Isaac’s “Optime pastor” (Shepherd, Maker of Good Virtue) motet. The low-voice ensemble typical of the era creates a dense texture with voices weaving in, out, and around each other. The Crescendo Vocal Ensemble, with Rachel Begley, dulzian, led by Christine Gevert, presents this repertoire with 16 singers, as the transparency and clarity of the smaller group makes for a unique listening experience.


Covid Prevention Policy: Masking recommended for audience members. These policies will be adapted according to community transmission rates.

Giving To Crescendo

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Crescendo is a family of music lovers that brings exquisite and unique choral and instrumental music to audiences throughout our region. With your help, Crescendo can continue to perform the music you love.

Crescendo At Home

Latest recordings:

Optime Pastor

Premieres: March 6, 2024 – 7pm
Recorded: February 3, 2024
Optime Pastor – Early Polyphony for low voices from Ockeghem to Palestrina

Carols for the Earth

Recorded: December 16, 2023
Carols for the Earth

Recorded: October 28, 2023
Fantastic Baroque!

Now you can watch Crescendo’s concerts at home at any time with our virtual concert portal – Crescendo at Home!

We want to keep choral and baroque music experiences alive not only during the pandemic, but also for your pleasure, comfort and for anyone who is not able to attend concerts in person.

Recorded in high quality audio by former Carnegie Hall engineer Leszek Wojcik, and filmed in high definition by Charlette Media Productions, we offer you an experience that is similar to being there in person. It even brings you closer to the performers than you ever would in a live concert.

Watch, and share with your family and friends!  Subscribe to our e-Newsletter for news on upcoming Crescendo at Home programming.

SINGERS based in the Berkshires are invited to join Crescendo’s Ensembles: Crescendo Chorus, Crescendo Vocal Ensemble, Crescendo Young Artists Program. We have openings for both amateur and paid professional positions in all voice groups. A limited number of scholarships are available. We regularly perform in Lakeville, CT and Great Barrington, MA. Learn more, and schedule and audition by writing to: crescendo@crescendomusic.org

These concerts have been made possible in part with support from CT Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature.