Chalice Consort Presents "By the Waters of Babylon" - 11/7/09
Chalice Consort will open its 2009 season with music by William Byrd (c.1540-1623) in November; directed by our guest director, Davitt Moroney.
These works illustrate with beautiful and highly passionate music many of the historical issues that were being played out at that time, including religious fanaticism, oppression of minority communities, questions of faith and conscience, and political issues church and state, many of which are being replayed in different ways and from quite different perspectives around the world today, in America, in France and Britain, in Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, etc. The crisis of communication between extremist Catholics and Protestants in the sixteenth century was just as strong as the present one between, for example, some extremist Christians and Muslims. Byrd's music reminds us there was a narrow middle way at a time when oppressive tyrannical actions were hidden under the mask of state religion, and private religious beliefs often caused feverish believers to engage in acts of terrorism, and when caught to be tortured and executed.
At the very center of the concert is "Why do I take my paper ink and pen?", a work Byrd published despite its highly dangerous associations; he here composed music to a poem written by Henry Walpole that recorded the persecution and execution of Edmund Campion, a Jesuit priest who was executed in 1581 (supposedly for treason, but in reality for his religious beliefs), a gesture that started a wave of persecution of Catholics in England. In a move reminiscent of the modern Taliban, the Protestant state also ordered the hands of the poem's printer to be chopped off. But a few years later Byrd bravely published this extraordinary musical setting. All of the pieces in this concert are exceptionally powerful, both musically and emotionally. This is a concert not to miss, of music that cannot be forgotten.
Tickets: $20 general admission, $15 seniors, $10 students. $2 discount for advance online purchase
November 6, 2009 - 8 p.m.
Old First Presbyterian Church
1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
At the corner of Sacramento St. & Van Ness, San Francisco
Parking: Old First Parking Garage on Sacrament between Polk and Van Ness
Tickets - http://www.oldfirstconcerts.org/performances/268/
November 7, 2009 - 8 p.m.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Oakland
116 Montecito Ave, Oakland, CA 94610-4598
At the corner of Montecito Ave & Bay Pl., just off Grant Ave, Oakland
Chalice Consort collaborates with early music scholars and musicians in helping little-known works from the Renaissance and early Baroque eras become more widely appreciated by the modern music-loving public. The Consort pays special attention to the verbal texts and to the music's rhetorical force, as well as to acoustics. Its performances also take into account the various concepts of stylistic decorum that were strongly articulated by humanist writers in the Renaissance and provide an essential part of the context in which these repertoires were composed, performed, and first appreciated. Chalice Consort aims to communicate the emotional power of this music to modern listeners.