Christmas in Italy
Renaissance Music from Venice, Florence, Naples and Rome
Motets and Folk Music
Sunday, December 15, 2019, 5 pm
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
73 S. Fullerton Ave., Montclair, NJ
Watch the video of this concert at: https://youtu.be/J8whBeJnFsY
See photos from Montclair Local
We take you on a tour of Italy this Christmas.
Our tour starts with the Carnival in Venice, where we enjoy the street festivities of Italian dancing to Saltarellos, a mandolin band, early Italian Christmas carols, and other street performers.
Then on to Florence, when our singers become the “Choir of the Domo” and we view beautiful nativity artwork to two settings of “Hodie Christus Natus Est" (Today Christ is born). One setting is by the well-known 16th century Italian composer Giovanni Palestrina; the other is a two-choir setting by Giovanni Bassano that will be performed antiphonally between recorders and singers. The recorder consort will also perform Josquin des Prés’ beautiful “Ave Maria", his most famous motet and one of the most performed of all the 15th century motets.
From Florence we travel to Naples, famous for its Nativity presepes (crèches), images of which we will view to the hauntingly beautiful “Canzonetta Spirituale Sopra la Nanna” by the 17th century composer Tarquinio Merula. This lullaby, sung by Mary to her baby Jesus, will be performed by our featured soloists: soprano Joanne Dadd and classical guitarist Enrico Granafei.
Our Christmas tour of Renaissance Italy concludes in Rome where we will be visited by the Italian counterpart of Santa Claus — the Good Witch Befana who brings gifts to children each Christmas. The program ends with the audience invited to join in a Tarantella, an ancient Italian dance that was thought to cure the poisonous bite of a tarantula.