Bach’s Mass in B-minor at Trinity Episcopal and Mission Dolores Basilica
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
Beginning its 35th season, under the baton of John Emory Bush, the SAN FRANCISCO CONCERT CHORALE is among the most consistently innovative and rewarding vocal ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Concert Chorale is an independent group dedicated to musical performances of the highest quality. Singers are selected twice each year by audition and rehearse to a professional standard of performance.
Dedicated to introducing choral treasures to the San Francisco Bay Area, the Concert Chorale performs both favorites and less familiar works from throughout the choral repertoire. The Concert Chorale has presented the Bay Area premieres of Conrad Susa’s oratorio The Wise Women, Antal Dorati’s Pater Noster, and Robert Levin’s completion of Mozart’s Requiem, the latter in collaboration with the Wyoming-based Cheyenne Chamber Singers. The Chorale is also noted for its inspiring and unique performances of Handel’s Messiah. Additional collaborations have included work with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, the Kronos Quartet, the Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic, the GOLDEN GATE BOYS’ CHOIR , and the London Piano Duo.
HELMUTH RILLING, Conductor
THE BACH EXPERIENCE includes two weekends of Bach. The first is on Saturday, May 10th, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church (Bush @ Gough Streets, San Francisco). The event introduces the MASS IN B MINOR with a master class facilitated by Helmuth Rilling. The master class will combine a lecture facilitated by Mr. Rilling with musical interpretation presented by the San Francisco Concert Chorale. The focus on the Mass will provide insight to conductors, singers and Bach enthusiasts of the significant contribution Bach has made with his sublime masterpiece.
JOHN EMORY BUSH and JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
The second performance, Saturday, May 31st at 8:00 pm takes place at Mission Dolores Basilica (Dolores @ 16th Street, San Francisco). Featured is a rare chamber presentation of the MASS IN B MINOR, featuring the San Francisco Concert Chorale, conducted by John Emory Bush and accompanied by the finest musicians from orchestras throughout the Bay Area. The performance will include the 35 member chamber choir, soloists and orchestra. Though many large choirs perform this masterpiece, the Chorale will present the Mass in an intimate setting that honors the composer’s original intent.
The Concert Chorale was one of two American choral groups to participate in Mexico City’s Festival de Centro Historico in 1999 and performed in Cuernavaca at the invitation of the Institute Cultural de Morelos. The Concert Chorale has performed throughout southern France, including a memorable performance at the historic Cathédrale Ste-Cécile in Albi. They have sung jointly with the choir of St. Matthew’s Cathedral of Dallas, presenting concerts in Dallas and San Francisco. Most recently, the Concert Chorale, joined by the Valley Concert Chorale, Los Positas College Chamber Choir, and Cantabella Children’s Choir, performed Carmina Burana.
To purchase tickets on-line: THE BACH EXPERIENCE
To purchase tickets to a special Benefit Reception with Helmuth Rilling: RECEPTION
Meet Helmuth Rilling in an intimate setting after the Lecture. Wine and Hors d’oeuvres will be served. Saturday, May 10, 2008 4:30 – 6:00 pm Saint Mary’s Cathedral – Event Center, 1111 Gough Street, San Francisco. Limited Free Parking.
Add these recordings to your Classical Library:
CD – CARMINA BURANA, by Carl Orff . Featuring the San Francisco Concert Chorale with the Las Positas College Chamber Choir, the Valley Concert Chorale, and the Cantabella Children’s Chorus. John Emory Bush conducting.
CD – AMERICAN IMAGES. The San Francisco Concert Chorale’s first recording of the 21st century offers a cross-section of American music written or arranged in the 20th century, drawn from the many colors of the American palette: modern choral works, jazz, folk songs, and spirituals.
CD – ON A STILL, STILL NIGHT. San Francisco Concert Chorale’s 1998 debut recording, features timeless Christmas music.
CD – BACH: MASS IN B MINOR. Featuring Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo-Soprano), Margaret Marshall (Soprano), Robert Tear (Tenor), Samuel Ramey (Bass). Sir Neville Marriner conducts the Orchestra/Ensemble of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
CD – BACH: MESSE IN H-MOLL . Featuring the Vienna Boys’ Choir with soloists Rotraud Hansmann, Emiko Iiyama, Helen Watts, Kurt Equiluz, Max van Egmond. Conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt leads the Vienna Concentus Musicus.
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Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.