In the News
THE BERKSHIRE EDGE
PREVIEW: Crescendo chorus and ensemble premiere Myers’ ‘In Search of the Bridges’ at Trinity Church and Saint James Place
“To bridge ethnic, political, generational, and religious division, and transcend the arbitrary boundaries that separate us from each other.”
— John Myers
Preview by David Noel Edwards of The Berkshire Edge
THE BERKSHIRE EDGE
PREVIEW: Crescendo presents ‘Cantos y Suspiros – Songs and Sighs’ for soprano and period instrument ensemble
“Alternating between dances, songs, and airs, the program can be thought of,” Gevert explains, “as a dramatic flow that resembles a stage work of one of the writers of the era: Shakespeare, Moliere, or Cervantes …”
BY DAVID NOEL EDWARDS
POSTED ON FEBRUARY 2, 2023
Crescendo presents: A Story of Hope in the Voice of the New World: Vibrant dramatic vocal and instrumental music from Colonial Latin America
Crescendo will present a special end-of-December concert with four soloists from Latin America, Europe and the U.S., and and ensemble of period and folk instrument players. The musicians will give voice to forgotten Latin American music that is only beginning to be explored and performed in our current times. It is both sacred and also secular music from two early manuscripts from Guatemala and Peru. The music is a mixture of native folk music and Western European-style compositions, likely by indigenous composers. The two sources are manuscripts from Huehuetenango found in convents of Northwest Guatemala, and the second source is the Martinez Compañón Codex of Northern Peru. On the program are a selection of villancicos, sacred Hispanic Renaissance polyphony, and also lively dances and songs.
Crescendo presents: Holiday Concert: Resonet In Laudibus – Resounding Joyful Praises
The award-winning music organization Crescendo will present a holiday concert with Renaissance and Baroque music for chorus and brass on December 10 in Stockbridge, MA and on December 11 in Lakeville, CT. The Crescendo Chorus and soloists will collaborate with The Berkshire Brass in this festive program. An outdoor light show by Joe Wheaton will add a special multi-sensory experience to the Stockbridge performance.
This program features some of the most festive music for the holiday season in settings by Italian and German Renaissance and Baroque composers. From delicately soft and soothing, angelical melodies to powerful and dramatic echo choirs, this program is all about music on which some of today’s beloved Christmas carols are based. Some of the popular melodies that originated in medieval times, and are still popular today are: “In dulci jubilo” (Sweet rejoicing), “Resonet in laudibus” (Resounding joyful praises), and “Puer natus in Bethlehem” (A Child is born in Bethlehem). Some of the familiar chorales from the Christmas Oratorio by the great Johann Sebastian Bach, are an expression of joyful expectation, and the celebration of Christ’s incarnation – a love story between God and humanity.
Crescendo presents: A Story of Hope in the Voice of the New World – Vibrant dramatic vocal and instrumental music from Colonial Latin America
Crescendo will present a special end-of-December concert with four soloists from Latin America, Europe and the U.S., and ensemble of period and folk instrument players. The musicians will give voice to forgotten Latin American music that is only beginning to be explored and performed in our current times. It is both sacred and also secular music from two early manuscripts from Guatemala and Peru. The music is a mixture of native folk music and Western European-style compositions, likely by indigenous composers. The two sources are manuscripts from Huehuetenango found in convents of Northwest Guatemala, and the second source is the Martinez Compañón Codex of Northern Peru. On the program are a selection of villancicos, sacred Hispanic Renaissance polyphony, and also lively dances and songs.
Afterlife Aesthetic in Baroque Music with Crescendo
by Kevin T McEneaney
Crescendo, under the baton of Director Christine Gevert, provided a sampling of the continuation of Baroque aesthetic in Eastern Europe at both Trinity Church in Lakeville, CT and Saint James Place in Great Barrington, MA. Beginning with Grzegorz Gorczycki (born in Bohemia in 1663 and graduated from Prague University), Gorcyki became the most famous Polish composer of his era. Nick-named the Polish Handel, he employed counterpoint in his compositions, although most of his work has been lost.
Time-Traveling Trio with Crescendo
by Kevin T McEneaney
Trinity Church in Lime Rock, CT, hosted a Baroque concert, “The Art of Improvisation” by Crescendo last Friday evening when the weather was so Spring-gorgeous that the outdoors appeared to be like a noted cathedral. Unlike today when classical music is carefully scripted, much baroque music resided in the energy of the improvised present—musicians were presumed to be accomplished improvisors who could spontaneously create new music before the audience who never knew what exactly was being played, which led to the present being more preciously spontaneous. That spirit of spontaneous artistic camaraderie only exists today in jazz and a few, very few, experimental ensembles.
Crescendo presents: Music Across Borders
Baroque and Contemporary Eastern European Choral Works
The award-winning music organization Crescendo offers its second program of the fall 2022 season, featuring Baroque and contemporary European Vocal music from the Baltics and Eastern Europe. The Crescendo Chorus, national and international soloists, accompanied by a period instrument orchestra with strings, natural trumpets and basso continuo will present these rarely heard festive Baroque and hauntingly beautiful choral works.
This program takes us beyond the borders of the countries we normally associate with great Baroque music: Italy, Germany and France, the home of beloved composers such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Lully. Transcending these borders, we will embark on a musical journey discovering how the Baroque style became a transnational cultural phenomenon, as composers constantly forged new connections among diverse cultural centers across borders.
Two concerts with rarely heard music by Crescendo:
“The Art of the Improvisation” and “ Grandson of Afro-Brazilian Slaves”
In June the award-winning music organization Crescendo will present to two concerts of rarely heard chamber and choral music, featuring for the first time a Black composer of the Classical era. These concerts conclude Crescendo’s 2022 spring series.
The Millbrook Independent
Crescendo: Latino Baroque at Trinity Church
by Kevin T McEneaney
This past Friday evening Christine Gevert performed a program on the interplay of South American indigenous folk music as it melded with Spanish music during the Baroque period which appropriated various melodies and dance formats of folk music into classical music, especially J.S. Bach and Georg Phillip Telemann. Well-known Latin American pieces were performed alongside of two lesser-known, more lengthy classical works. This nexus had much to do with the popularity of dance tunes during the Baroque period.
This trio consisted of Christine Gevert, director of Crescendo, on virginal harpsichord, Carlos Boltes from Chile on charango and viola, and Job Salazar Fonesca, a member of Early Music America, on violin and drum.
Saint James Place Blog: Crescendo, Chamber Music & Christine Gevert
How excited are you to perform in front of live audiences again, and what are you most looking forward to?
Very excited! While we have expanded our online presence – and it has been a silver lining of this pandemic to do that – the nature of music is the moment, the live interaction of the musicians with each other and with the audience in a beautiful space, such as Saint James Place. The whole point of music is to move the audience, and a live performance is one of the most precious and unique creative moments I can think of. The audience, and the space in which this takes place are very much part of the creative process.
A Chamber Music Concert by one of Crescendo’s Ensembles:
Mientras me abraza (While she hugs me)–Baroque, Latino, and Folk Fusion
On April 8 and 9, the music organization Crescendo will present the first in a series of four concerts of vocal and instrumental music.
This first concert of Crescendo’s 2022 season is a program featuring chamber music with a “twist.” The repertoire featured and the instruments uses not only crossover into different genres of classical, folk and contemporary music, but they also break down the barriers between these genres and illustrate how very connected these different styles of music are.
The unifying element is the folk dance – from Poland over Spain to Latin America. Folk music and dance rhythms permeate classical music, and connect different genres and eras from the Baroque to present times. Polish folk music and dances influenced music by many Baroque composers, including some that are generally associated with serious sacred music, such as Johann Sebastian Bach and George Philip Telemann. The ensemble will present their own ar-rangements of three Baroque works, Telemann’s Suite Polonoise, and Bach’s famous Orchestral Suite in B minor, and his motet “Singet dem Herrn.” All are great examples of this fusion of styles.
Lakeville music program eyes return to in-person performances
By Michael Walsh Feb 22, 2022 Updated Feb 22, 2022
LAKEVILLE — A love for classical has always been inside Christine Gevert.
Gevert, who was born in Germany but raised in Chile, said there are generations of love of music deep within her family.
“The love for classical music came from many generations in my family,” Gevert said. “I had a great-grandmother who wanted to be an opera singer, but was not let by her family who was very religious. It was not proper.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org