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Cappella SF to Span the Music of a Millennium

October 25, 2017

Ragnar Bohlin's Cappella SF is giving two concerts this week, performing a program with the title “Timeless: Music Through Ten Centuries.” The distinguished chamber chorus presents music from the earliest music written down in Western Europe, follows its development through the centuries, culminating in music being written today.

Bohlin, chorus director of the San Francisco Symphony, is planning to implement a plan he has long considered: “I have been wanting to record a CD with choral masterpieces from all time periods. That is, after all, Cappella SF’s mission statement.

“This concert is the material which we are recording and are planning to release by next summer. It covers music from Hildegard von Bingen to Eric Whitacre and premieres by Ola Gjeilo and David Conte.”

The first concert is on Oct. 28 in St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Saratoga, and the second is on Oct. 29, in the San Francisco Mission Dolores Basilica. Each concert will feature a different young people’s choir along with CappellaSF:  Cantabile Youth Singers in Saratoga and Young Women’s Choral Projects in San Francisco.

From the single melodic line from the time of Hildegard von Bingen's “Columba aspexit,” the program traces the development of choral music through  Guillaume de Machaut’s Sanctus from Messe de Notre Dame, Carlo Gesualdo’s Iteneo miei sospiri, the Praetorius-Bach Triptyche Innsbruck Variations,  to works by Ludvig Norman, Francis Poulenc, Benjamin Britten, Arvo Pärt, Eric Whitacre, and others.

Additional works in Saratoga are Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine and  Rachmaninoff’s Angel #6 from Six Choruses for Treble Voices. In San Francisco, David Conte’s The Kingdom of God and Miklós Kocsár’s Salve Regina will be added.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].