In the festive spirit of the season, the Cleveland Chamber Choir will celebrate with carols, Renaissance polyphony, and Sephardic music from Spain and Portugal. The concert will feature familiar favorites, like Fum, fum, fum and Ríu, Ríu Chíu and Tomás Luis de Victoria’s meditative O Magnum Mysterium. Sure to become new favorites are the fiery ensaladas by Matteo Flecha that combine madrigal, dance and polyphonic traditions. “They are as close to rock music as you get in the early Baroque era,” said Artistic Director Gregory Ristow, “and the name of the genre really does mean salad, because each piece is like a tossed salad of languages and both secular and sacred musical styles.” Within Flecha’s La Bomba you’ll hear “a sea-shanty that meets a sacred Renaissance chanted prayer.” Of particular note are the sacred compositions of Afro-Portuguese composer and music theorist Vicente Lusitano, whose work was neglected and excluded because of his race; and music from the Sephardic Jewish tradition. “Lustino’s music is some of the most striking and beautiful of the High Renaissance, and it’s only in the past several years that it has been rediscovered by choirs,” said Ristow. “We’re excited to share it with Cleveland audiences for the first time.” Friday, December 15, 2023 at 8:00pm, Fairchild Chapel, Oberlin College, 50 W. Lorain St., Oberlin Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 7:00pm, First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, 3630 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Ticket registration free, but requested, at clevelandchamberchoir.org. Free-will donations accepted. A pre-concert talk will be presented by Charles Edward McGuire, PhD, from Oberlin College & Conservatory, 45 minutes before each performance. This concert is presented with generous grants from The Cleveland Foundation, The Gund Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and Local 4 Music Fund. The Choir provides audiences with exceptional performances of unique and diverse repertoire, blending music by living composers with six centuries of choral repertoire, and emphasizing the works of composers historically excluded from the concert hall. Since its founding in 2015, the Choir has won acclaim for inclusive programming, for partnering with community charities, and for free concerts that ensure everyone can afford to hear world-class professional choral singing. Throughout their eight seasons, the Choir has commissioned and/or given world or United States premieres of over 32 works. Under the direction of Acting Artistic Director Gregory Ristow, the Cleveland Chamber Choir brings together performing artists, administrators, audience members, and donors with the philosophy that choral music is a vehicle for good in the world that should be accessible and welcoming to all. More information at clevelandchamberchoir.org.
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