When Carl found out that there was going to be an Early Music Festival in Berkeley titled “Four Hundred Years of Vespers” and would feature workshops on the Monteverdi Vespers, he jumped at the chance to attend. As it turned out, Ian Capps and Jeannette Johnson, occasional LCH choristers, were also scheduled to go. Coincidentally all of them were on the same flight and took the BART into Berkeley where they stayed at the same hotel in Berkeley.
There were some familiar faces at the festival: Jonathan Dimmock who had played an organ recital on LCH’s Abendmusiken series a couple of years ago and Jennifer Lane, who has sung in LCH’s performances of the Bach St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion. Jennifer will be coming to Hawaii next week for Chaminade’s Enchanted Isle Lute Song workshop as well as for our performance of the B-Minor Mass.
Both Jonathan and Jennifer were involved in outstanding concerts at the Festival: Jonathan was the conductor of AVE, a choral group which presented an all-Gesualdo concert. Jennifer was one of five singers in Magnificat, a stunning program of music by all women’s composers.
The heart of the conference were the workshops. Here are the sessions which Carl attended:
- Vespers of 1210, the model upon which Monteverdi based his monumental work
- A Brief History of Vespers in the Renaissance, with special focus on Dufay at Cambrai
- Creating a liturgically-based Portuguese Advent Vespers
- Choral Workshop on Vespers by Victoria
- Choral Workshop on Vespers by Dufay
- Instrumentation in the Monteverdi Vespers
- Panel discussion about performance decisions in the Monteverdi Vespers
- Reading sessions on the Monteverdi Vespers
Carl has been in “Study Mode” for the Monteverdi for the last couple of months, which means that he comes home every night and listens to various Monteverdi Vespers recordings with the score, which is constantly in his possession.
When the LCH choir performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in the year 2000, Carl played it every night as dinner music for eight months. Even our son Stephen had it memorized!