Optime Pastor

Early Polyphony for low voices from Ockeghem to Palestrina

Recorded February 3, 2024 @ 3:00 PM

Trinity Church,
Lakeville, CT


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


Johannes Ockeghem (c. 1410-1497)Gloria from Missa Caput
Four-voice ensemble, soli: Tuesday Rupp, alto, and Igor Ferreira, tenor

What is chant and cantus firmus, and how is this used in the vocal polyphony? 

Gregorian ChantDa pacem Domine
Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594)Da pacem, Domine LV 957
Five-voice motet

Costanzo Festa (c. 1485/90-1545) Contrapunctus 95 over Da pacem Domine, and La Spagna
Arranged for dulcian and organ, with a diminution by Rachel Begley

Heinrich Isaac (c. 1450-1517)Optime pastor
Six-voice motet over Da pacem Domine, and Sacerdos et pontifex

~ Intermission ~

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)Ricercar del secondo tuono
Arranged for recorder and organ

Adrian Willaert (c. 1490-1562)Sustinuimus pacem
Five-voice motet

Josquin des Prez (c. 1450/55-1521)O Domine Jesu Christe, pastor bone (Quarta & Quinta pars)
Four-voice motet

Thomas Tallis (1505-85)In Pace in idipsum
Arranged for organ

John Taverner (c. 1490-1545)In Pace
Four-voice motet

Audience Sing-Along: Chanting two well-known melodies: Merrily we roll along, and Three blind mice over a three-voice ‘Renaissance’ polyphony by Christine Gevert

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)Sanctus à 6, and Agnus Dei II à 7 from Missa In illo tempore

Crescendo and its programming

Crescendo is a national-award-winning music performance organization. Now in it’s 20th season, Crescendo has presented concerts year- round in northwestern Connecticut, the Berkshires, and the mid-Hudson Valley of New York. The organization is based at Trinity Church Lime Rock in Lakeville, CT.

Founder and Artistic Director, Christine Gevert, is celebrated for her innovative approach to programming and performance. Crescendo’s audiences are often rewarded with programs of rarely-heard and newly discovered works. Often Ms. Gevert uses original manuscripts to make her own performing editions for chorus, soloists and orchestra because there are no existing published editions. Frequently our programs feature early and contemporary music works alongside each other, creating a contrast for the listener. Eight new works have been commissioned for our chorus and vocal ensemble. Crescendo has presented ten U.S. premieres.

Crescendo’s innovative programming relies on a local base of dedicated and talented auditioned amateurs and professionals who make up the Crescendo Chorus and Crescendo Vocal Ensemble. Crescendo has its own Period Instrument Orchestra and Andean Ensemble, comprised of professionals from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Hartford. These instrumentalists and the internationally recognized soloists who regularly collaborate with Crescendo bring the performances to a level comparable to the best ensembles in the country. Instrumental music ensembles and concerts with vocal soloists have been part of Crescendo’s programs since the beginning. Some of the performers have been: Julianne Baird (Philadelphia) soprano, Nicholas Tamagna (Oldenburg, Germany) countertenor, Peter Sykes (Boston) and Władysław Kłosiewicz (Warsaw, Poland), harpsichord, Chris Bellsucio (Boston), natural trumpet, Tricia van Oers, recorder, I Fagiolini Renaissance Vocal Ensemble (London, UK), L’Orchestre de Chambre Francaise (Paris, France), Peter Lekx (Montreal) baroque violin, Duo Alturas (Hartford) charango, viola and guitar, and Duo Les Inégales, traverso and harpsichord.

We are strongly committed to educational outreach―to our own singers, our audiences and local students. Talented local high school singers and young musicians are coached by Ms. Gevert as part of our “Young Artist Program”, and often play a part in our performances. She and members of the chorus visit local schools to work with students.

Artistic Director Christine Gevert is celebrated for her innovative approach to programming and performance: In 2014 Crescendo won the prestigious Chorus America / ASCAP Alice Parker Award. Today’s programming reflects some of the diversity and scope of music that Crescendo is known for.