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Magnificat will give premiere performances at all 2014­–2015 concerts

Mosaic of Magnificat performers with Warren Stewart in the lower left corner
Mosaic of Magnificat performers with Warren Stewart in the lower left corner
from the Magnificat Web site

While Warren Stewart organized the three concerts of the 2013–2014 season of his Magnificat ensemble around a common theme (Exquisite Exchanges), the new season with be distinguished by each of the three programs presenting a premiere performance. Each concert will focus on a single seventeenth-century composer, using new performing editions for each of them. As in the past, one of those concerts will be a co-production with the San Francisco Early Music Society; and all San Francisco performances will take place on Sundays at 4 p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (1111 O’Farrell Street, near the southwest corner of Franklin Street). Basic summaries of each of the three concerts, along with hyperlinks to further details, are as follows:

  1. October 5: This program will present the last published work (opus ultimum) of Heinrich Schütz, given the title Der Schwanengesang (the swan-song), It consists of a setting of Psalm 119 in eleven movements, followed by a single-movement setting of Psalm 100, and concluding with the Magnificat canticle, sung in German and as a single movement. Stewart has prepared a new orchestration for this music, which will be performed by the members of Magnificat together with The Sex Chordæ Consort of Viols and The Whole Noyse.
  2. December 21: This is the co-production with the San Francisco Early Music Society. Francesco Cavalli’s Missa Concertata will be sung in the context of a Mass for Christmas Day. Stewart has also prepared the performing edition for this concert. The Whole Noyse will again perform with Magnificat.
  3. March 8: The final concert of the season will feature two oratorios by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Both oratorios are based on Old Testament accounts of two particularly strong women, Esther and Judith. Sopranos Catherine Webster and Laura Heimes will be featured at this concert. The performances will be based on new editions prepared by John Powell, who is a member of the Magnificat Advisory Board.

Tickets for the December concert can be ordered exclusively through the San Francisco Early Music Society, once tickets availability has been announced; all other tickets may be purchased through the Magnificat Ticket Sales Web page.