Arts & Events

American Bach Soloists Perform Pergolesi’s STABAT MATER

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Monday August 12, 2019 - 12:59:00 PM

Giovanni Pergolesi (1710-1736) enjoyed a brief, mercurial career, dying at age 26. His most famous works were composed in Naples, where he drew upon local dialect to write comic operas or intermezzi, the most well-known of which is La Serva padrona (The Maid-Mistress). Pergolesi set his dramatic works in Naples and dealt with ordinary characters in everyday situations. With his mercurial musical style, Pergolesi vividly brought his characters to life. He did likewise in his sacred work, the Stabat Mater, which he composed in his last days. Here too, as in his works for the stage, Pergolesi strove to emphasise affect, or the emotions.

In the second concert of their 2019 Summer Festival, American Bach Soloists performed Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater on Friday, August 2, at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. For the second half of the program, ABS presented George Frideric Handel”s “Utrecht” Te Deum & Jubilate (1713). This concert was dubbed “Treasures from Lyon” because the scores for both works were discovered in the library of the venerable Concert de Lyon, France. Soloists for Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater were ABS stalwarts soprano Mary Wilson and baritone William Sharp. Jeffrey Thomas conducted the period instrument orchestra and the American Bach Choir. -more-

All Dressed Up and No Place to Go: Bach’s B-Minor Mass

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Monday August 12, 2019 - 01:25:00 PM

In 1749, at the end of his long, creative life, Johann Sebastian Bach assembled bits and pieces of music he’d written many years earlier, added a few new bits, and, voilà, there was his Mass in B-Minor. Bach seems not to have written this setting of the Latin Mass for any commission or performance. Indeed, the B-Minor Mass was not performed in the remaining months of Bach’s life. So why did he, a devout Lutheran, compose this Catholic mass? The answer seems to be that Bach, who revered his musical heritage, knew the traditional importance attached to settings of the Latin mass, and decided he too ought to show he could excel in this time-honoured genre. And excel he did! Today, Bach’s B-Minor Mass is considered a lasting testament to his art. -more-

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, August 11-18

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday August 10, 2019 - 09:39:00 AM

Worth Noting:

City Council is on summer recess until September 9th and most of the Boards and Commissions also take a summer break, some in July and some in August.

Wildfire Evacuation Drills for high risk fire areas

  • August 11 from 9am – 10 am, neighborhood Wildcat Canyon to the east, The Alameda to the West, Berkeley-Contra Costa border to the north, Codornices Park to the south,
  • August 25 from 9am – 10 am, neighborhood Berkeley-Contra costa to the east, Spruce to the west, Codornices Park to the north and UC Berkeley to south.
For more details on Wildfire Evacuation Drills and to sign up go to link -more-