Italian baroque music for Advent and Christmas

Ekaterina Gorlova, soprano
Boel Gidholm, baroque violin
Mary Riccardi
baroque violin
Aika Ito, baroque viola

Christopher Haritatos, baroque cello
Naomi Gregory, harpsichord
Deborah Fox, theorbo

Friday December 8, 7:30 pm
Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word
597 East Avenue, Rochester, NY

Saturday December 9, 7:30 pm
St. Paul's Lutheran Church
28 Lincoln Avenue, Pittsford, NY

Michelangelo Caravaggio: The Rest on the Flight into Egypt (click to enlarge).

Italian music and musicians dominated European musical life in the 17th and 18th centuries, but many of the leading Italian composers of vocal music had very few works published. Countless treasures have remained only in manuscript until recently, and are now beginning to be made available to the public. In our concert "Rejoice!" we will feature music for Christmas by some of the foremost Italian composers of the Baroque, whose music deserves to be heard anew today.

Bernardo Pasquini was the leading composer of opera in Rome in the 1680s, and our program will include the Rochester premiere of his Christmas cantata S'apriro i cieli for soprano and strings, performed by soprano Ekaterina Gorlova, making her debut with Publick Musick. Pasquini's younger colleague Alessandro Scarlatti is well known for his brilliant and very virtuosic vocal music, and will be featured on our program with the beautiful Cantata pastorale per la nascità di Nostro Signore. Also on the program is Tarquinio Merula's Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nanna, one of the most extraordinary and beautiful songs of the early 17th century, a surprisingly dark lullaby sung by Mary to her newborn child.

The program will also include instrumental music by Arcangelo Corelli and other illustrious composers of the Italian Baroque