San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra performs Stabat Mater
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The San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra with singers Susan Gundunas (soprano) and Twila Ehmcke (alto) will be performing one of the gems of the Baroque music era, Stabat Mater, written in 1736 by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.
San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra will give three performances:
All Saints Episcopal Church, 555 Waverley Street, Palo Alto: Sunday March 18, 4 pm
All Souls Episcopal Church, 2220 Cedar Street, Berkeley: Saturday March 24, 7.30 pm
Mission Dolores, San Francisco: Friday March 30, 7.30 pm
Stabat Mater is an intense and profound work on the thoughts of Mary at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying. It was originally a medioeval poem, in Latin, and has been set to music many times over the centuries. Pergolesi's Stabat Mater is one of the better known. It was originally written for two singers with small Baroque orchestra (2 violins, 1 viola, and Basso Continuo (usually played by a cello, double bass, harpsichord or large lute). The work is traditionally performed during the Lent period, prior to Easter.
The orchestra will be joined by Howard Kadis on archlute for the Berkeley and Palo Alto performances, and Jerome Lenk (Musical Director of Mission Dolores) on the harpsichord, for the San Francisco performance.
The SFMO version of Stabat Mater, although played on plucked strings rather than bowed strings, uses the original parts. A chorus of tremolo sustains the tone for the long notes, swelling and falling with the singers' voices. Long notes are dramatically emphasized, or flutter or purr softly to indicate sadness. Fast passages of plucked notes are heard underneath the singers' powerful rendition of the words.
Stabat Mater was performed last year for the first time by orchestra and received many tributes and record audiences. The concerts are the culmination of the 12th Season for the orchestra now under the direction of conductor Achille Bocus, and concert master Nicola Swinburne Bocus. The orchestra is a community orchestra with 20-25 members. Based in San Francisco, members of the SFMO come from all over the Bay area, from Petaluma to San Jose, to seek out this unique Classical mandolin gathering.
Read more at www.sfmandolin.org.
All Souls Episcopal Church (View)
2220 Cedar St.
Berkeley, CA 94709