Thanks to Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and Orchestra, we can finally hear the music of Rameau and Charpentier, two rare guests in our town. Handel, the Third Man of the program, is a little more frequent in these parts, but tends to visit as the Messiah and the Water Music. (How about a Handel opera in concert, Tafel? Ariodante or Alcina or an all-female Serse? And please no casting countertenors where the female trouser roles should be. Alright, I’m off the soapbox.) Officially, all three works on the program are sacred music — Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Rameau’s Grand Motet “In convertendo” and Charpentier’s Salve, Regina — but don’t take them for their word. No piety will be in evidence, luckily. I have the Dixit Dominus CD by The Scholars Baroque Ensemble (with, ahem, countertenors instead of altos… my luck) and it sounds like Vivaldi got really drunk one night and decided to compose an opera in Latin. With dance numbers. You think I’m exaggerating, but go hear for yourself, the muscle cramp-inducing seats at Trinity St. Paul be damned.
Among the many attractions of the performance, the Dutch soprano Johannette Zomer.
Now, I doubt that she will wear that, but who knows, it’s baroque. Above is the picture from the Dutch National Opera’s imaginative 2009 production of Cavalli’s Ercole Amante in which La Zomer played three roles. To have a taste, listen to her Pasitea here or the entire fabulous opera, which outs Hercules as a WWF wrestler and caveman, here in HD. Her recordings are full of good choices and are getting good reviews. The CD of Handel Arias Love and Madness contain stuff from Ariodante, Il trionfo del tempo e disinganno, Rinaldo and Amadigi, paired with the baroque oboe.
[As I’m writing this, I’m listening to Dixit Dominus — the Gloria is raving maaaaad. I’m putting it on Repeat right now.]
Or Zomer’s Caccini CD with Nuove Musiche. Here she’s explaining why she simply had to include ‘Amarilli, mia bella‘:
What should also take you to the TSP church this week is Rameau’s ‘In convertendo’. Here’s one of the movements, Qui seminant in lacrimis, performed by Les Arts Florissants with soloists, conducted by William Christie.
The entire luscious piece is, thanks to the Mezzo television channel and protestant7, available on YouTube and starts here.
Concert tickets, dates, details.
Nov 11-14, Trinity-St. Paul
Johannette Zomer, soprano
Vicki St. Pierre, mezzo-soprano
Lawrence Wiliford, tenor
Peter Harvey, baritone
Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and Orchestra directed by Ivars Taurins