Salon Sanctuary Concerts Presents FROM GHETTO TO CAPELLA, Today
Salon/Sanctuary Concerts is honored to partner with Carnegie Hall's La Serenissima Festival, the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, and NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò in presenting the third annual New York performance of From Ghetto to Cappella, conceived to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the creation of the Venetian Ghetto. This will take place at The Chapel of Emanu-el, Thursday, February 16.
With the generous patrocinio of the Comune di Sabbioneta, From Ghetto to Cappella was most recently presented in October 2016 at the 1590 Teatro all'Antica di Sabbioneta, one of three remaining Renaissance theaters in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In June, the program was performed at the Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy, at the invitation of the Synagogue.
While the Inquisition raged throughout Counter-Reformation Italy, the ghetto walls that separated Gentile from Jew were more porous than impenetrable. A lively dialogue between Jewish and Catholic musical cultures traversed the forbidding walls and enriched the music of both Synagogue and Sanctuary at a time of great oppression.
An international ensemble performs works of Benedetto Marcello, Francesco Durante, Salomone Rossi, GF Handel and unaccompanied Hebrew chants - exquisite music that attests to a vibrant conversation that triumphed over ignorance and resounds with hope and beauty into our own time.
NOTES ON THE PROGRAM
Our program of Italian music opens with an unaccompanied Yemeni chant. The text by Dunash ha-Levi ben Labrat (920-990) is a prayer for peace and freedom, a prayer in praise of the Sabbath, a prayer for security by an uprooted people.
Jews from the Middle East were transplanted to Italy as early as Ancient Roman times, as Jews expelled from Spain found a home there after 1492. Italian Jewish communities incorporated descendents of both Sephardic refugees as well as those of slaves brought back from Judaea by conquering Roman armies. That the Jewish presence in Italy was characterized by the familiar and precarious balance between assimilation and exile is well known. What is less commonly explored is the cross-fertilization between Jewish and Christian musical cultures, and the impact this exchange had on mainstream compositional voices of the seicento.
Salon/Sanctuary Concerts presented a concert dedicated to the music of the groundbreaking Renaissance Italian-Jewish composer Salomone Rossi (1570-1630) for four consecutive years. Rossi flourished as both a composer and violinist in the court of Mantua and revolutionized the sacred music of his own people by incorporating musical forms that had previously been forbidden in the synagogue. His sister was an opera singer who premiered roles in some of the very first operas that were ever written. He achieved a remarkable level of acceptance at a time of great intolerance. He lived in two worlds, and that is why our concert dedicated to him has always been called From Ghetto to Palazzo, in reference to the Ghetto of his people and the Palazzo of the people he served.
Salomone Rossi revolutionized sacred Jewish music and created an uproar by setting Hebrew texts to polyphony, a form considered too lavish and thus unbefitting a people in exile. Just as Rossi reshaped the music of the synagogue by incorporating the forbidden polyphony of the church, many Christian composers brought sweeping changes to their sacred music by absorbing sounds they heard from neighboring Jewish ghettos. Nowhere was this more prevalent than in Venice. Numerous Venetian sacred compositions reveal modes and melodies so closely associated with the synagogue that it is next to impossible not to bring up the comparison of Temple and Church. This is why our current exploration, which goes beyond the work of Rossi, is called From Ghetto to Capella.
17th century Venice was a melting pot with many parallels to modern day New York. Jewish ghettos co-existed with Turkish and Armenian ones, while relatively liberal social attitudes for the time allowed for a degree of social exchange between people of different religions. Venice was not just the city we know today, but the region of the Veneto, which encompassed Salomone Rossi's Mantua as well as a number of other cities and towns. The ghetto walls which separated Gentile from Jew were more porous than impenetrable. Many Christians went to the ghettos for entertainment as well as edification, visiting synagogue services in order to experience an ancient tradition that gave foundation to their own. That this curiosity did nothing to prevent frequent acts of violence against Jews is fascinating, and gives a picture of a Jewish community perched uneasily between acculturation and expulsion.
Salomone Rossi makes an appearance in our program with two canzoni written for the pleasure of the Gonzaga court. Along with Rossi we hear Benedetto Marcello (1686 - 1739), whose Estro Poetico Armonico (1724) includes Hebrew chants inserted between Psalm settings in Italian which take their melodies from the chants. Another composer whose work suggests a Jewish influence is Barbara Strozzi (1619 - 1677), who was unique not only for being a successful female composer in a time of limited options for women, but for possessing a singular artistic voice which shined through works of striking invention that stand the test of time and sound radical even today. Her Salve Regina daringly sets a standard Christian sacred text to a Byzantine chant-like opening, and in the opening of her Lagrime mie, one discerns elements of cantorial chant deployed in the expression of an abandoned lover's laments.
Francesco Durante (1684 - 1755) was a Neapolitan composer known for his sacred compositions. His aria Vergin tutto amor has become engrained in the consciousness of classical singers everywhere due to its inclusion in the collection of 24 Italian Songs and Arias with which so many of us in the United States begin our vocal study. The song is known as a pedagogical piece, and as it is uprooted from its historical context, we know Vergin tutto amor as an isolated work rather than as an excerpt from a mass or motet. However the phrygian mode discernable in the descending scale which sets the text O madre pia (merciful mother) is known as Freygish, common to Middle Eastern music and Hebrew prayer. Because so little is known about Durante, how the Freygish made its way into this setting of a most Catholic text is an intriguing mystery about which we can only conjecture.
At the dawn of the 18th century, Georg Friedrich Handel's youthful Italian sojourn in Venice and Rome offered the German composer a lesson in the compositional techniques of the Italian seicento. This education resulted in a compositional output that formed the blueprints for many of his later works which he wrote in London, oratorios which set Old Testament stories to Italianate music. The chamber duet Langue, geme tells a story of a dove separated from her mate, who rootlessly flutters and laments until reunited with her other half.
In 1759, the year of Handel's death, the Jewish community of Amsterdam commissioned a Hebrew translation of Handel's London oratorio, Esther, which tells the story of Esther the orphan, the indomitable Jewish heroine who saved her people from extinction under Persian rule. A duet from that work, Mi mavet mi nafshi, concludes our program. In this short piece, Esther's entreaty finds voice through a Hebrew text.
The translation from English to Hebrew was penned by Jacob Saraval (1707 -1782), Rabbi of Mantua.
- Jessica Gould
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Soprano and Salon/Sanctuary Founder and Artistic Director Jessica Gould enjoys consistent praise both for compelling performances and innovative research projects that view history through the prism of music. As a soprano, she has been noted for "a dramatic intensity that honored the texts" (The New York Times), for "expansive range, coloratura facility, and multi-hued, powerful sound" (Seen and Heard International), and for having "reached the heart of an enrapturEd English audience" (Traditional Music Maker, UK). Her original programming featuring repertoire from the 8th to 18th centuries has been praised as "impeccably curated" by Time Out New York, "highly original" by The New York Times, and "imaginative" by New York Magazine.
She is honored that From Ghetto to Cappella, her original program commemorating the 500th anniversary of the creation of the Venetian Ghetto, is being produced in conjunction with the Carnegie Hall La Serenissima Festival. The program recently received the patrocinio of the Comune di Sabbioneta, Italy, where it was performed by Ms. Gould and members of L'Aura Soave Cremona in the Teatro all'Antica, a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of three remaining Renaissance Theaters in the world, constructed by Vincenzo Gonzaga in 1590. Previous to the Sabbioneta concert, From Ghetto to Cappella was presented by the Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy after being premiered in New York City at Columbia University.
Among her recordings is the New World Records CD Tell the Birds, with actor Roger Rees and the Paul Dresher Ensemble featuring works of living composer Eve Beglarian. Forthcoming CDs include a program of seicento motets associated with the paintings of Caravaggio with lutenist Diego Cantalupi, and From Ghetto to Cappella, performed with L'Aura Soave Cremona on the MV Cremona label. A recording of Neapolitan cantatas with Swiss recorder virtuosa Corina Marti is also forthcoming.
Chamber music performances include The Guggenheim Works & Process Series with The Cassatt Quartet, The Beinecke Library at Yale University, The Clarion Society, Sinfonia New York, The Four Nations Ensemble, The Virginia Arts Festival, The American Philosophical Society, and as well as guest soloist appearances with numerous ensembles. Presenters abroad include the Istituto Francese, Martedì in Arte at the Palazzo Davanzati, Casa Martelli, the Church of Santissima Annunziata, the Museo di Arte Sacra in Tuscany, Scandicci Cultura, and the Library of the Museo di San Marco (Florence), the Chiesa di Santa Barbara dei Librari, Primavera in Musica (Rome), the UK Lute Society (London) and Hengrave Hall (Bury St. Edmunds, UK).
A versatile artist with an affinity for many musical styles, Noa Frenkel is a true contralto with an extensive vocal range. Her concert repertoire reaches from Renaissance to contemporary music. Recent concert appearances include a.o. Händel's Dixit Dominus with the Flemish Radio Choir, Donatoni's Abyss in Casa da Musica in Porto, Luigi Nono's Prometeo at La Scala-Milan, Holland Festival, Lucerne Festival, and the Berliner Philharmonie; Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse, Verdi's Requiem at the Ljubljana festival, Mahler's Symphony No 2 with the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion and and Nono's Guai ai gelidi Mostri at the Salzburg Festival. Most recent opera appearances include world premiere of the complete version of Stockhausen's Sontag aus Licht at Opera Köln, Pnima by Chaya Czernowin at Opera Stuttgart, Tod eines Bankers by Andreas Kersting in Theater Görlitz, Woman in Zaide/Adama by Mozart/Czernowin at the Salzburg Festival, Frau Ocholowska in world premiere of Johannes Kalitzke's Die Besessenen at Theater an der Wien, Third lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Opera of Nantes and Angers, Madame Flora in Menotti's The Medium with Opera Rotterdam, La Maestra delle novizie in Puccini's Suor Angelica with the Bochumer Symphoniker, Philip Glass's Akhnaten in Rotterdam, the Madrigal Opera La Barca with the Nationale Reisopera in Holland and Belgium and a new production of Zaide/Adama at Theater Bremen.
Frenkel has appeared with Baroque ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, Elyma Ensemble, Combattimento Amsterdam, and the Utrecht baroque Consort. She has co-founded the Kassiopeia quintet, a vocal madrigal group that later has recorded all 6 madrigal books of Carlo Gesualdo. The CD´s have been highly praised by the international music press. She is an admired interpreter of contemporary music, and is performing regularly in the main festivals in Europe with renowned ensembles such as Ensemble Modern-Frankfurt, The Schönberg Ensemble-Amsterdam, Klangforum Wien, L'Ensemble Intercontemporain-Paris, MusikFabrik - Cologne, The Israeli Contemporary Players, as well as the Experimental Studio Freiburg (SWR). Noa Frenkel had the pleasure to work with conductors such as Ivor Bolton, Reinbert de Leeuw, Ingo Metzmacher, Kenneth Weiss, Kenneth Montgomery, Dan Ettinger, Ilan Volkov, FriedemAnn Layer, Gabriel Garrido, Peter Dijkstra, Emilio Pomarico, Jos van Veldhoven and Steven Sloane.
Davide Pozzi received a diploma with full marks of harpsichord, fortepiano and clavichord, and organ and organ composition at the Conservatorio G. Verdi in Milan, where he also received a first-class degree in organ. He completed his studies at the Civica Scuola di Musica di Milano with Lorenzo Ghielmi, and then at the Schola Cantorum in Basilea, attending Andera Marcon and Jean Claude Zehnder's classes. After winning a prize in several organ and harpsichord national contests, he won the second prize as harpsichordist of the "Estro Cromatico" ensemble at the international contest "Bonporti" in Rovereto and the Bärenreiter prize at the "Telemann" in Magbeburgo, whose chairman, in both contests, was Gustav Leonhardt.
His schedule include concerts in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Croatia, Poland, Finland, Latonya, Israel, the USA and Japan, performing for concert bodies of the highest levels as: Tage Alte Musik Regensburg, Museum of the Instruments and Berlin's Philarmonie, Salle Gaveau, Salle Pleyel e Cité de la Musique Paris, Berlin and Vienne's Konzerhaus , Amsterdam's Concertgebow, Tonhalle Zurich, Società del Quartetto Milano, Teatro alla Scala Milano, Teatro Regio Parma, Teatro Real of Madrid, Auditorium of Milano, Teatro degli Arcimboldi Milano etc. He's been invited to collaborate with groups such as Il Giardino Armonico, The Mahler Chamber Orchestra Il Pomodoro, La Venexiana, L'aurasoave Kammerorchester Basel, Kammerorchester Zürich, I Barocchisti, KammeraKademie Potsdam, the symphonic and baroque Orchestra "La Verdi" of Milano, La magnifica comunità, Il canto di Orfeo, I solisti di Pavia and others.
As a harpsichordist and fortepiano player he performed the solo concerts with orchestra of J.S. Bach, Galuppi, Serini, C.P.E.Bach, Johann Christian Bach and others with many ensembles in Italy and abroad. Notable perfromances include a concert 1058 of J.S. Bach in Berlin's Philarmonie under Sergio Azzolini's direction, the V Bach's Brandenburg concert in the Regio theatre in Parma with Enrico Dindo, the 1052 concert and again the Brandenburg concert in Auditorium of Milano. In 2012 he played in a solo tour in Germany with Emmanuel Pahud, first flutist of Berliner Philarmoniker, performing a J.C Bach concert and the V Bach's Brandenburg. He recently participated to prestigious tours across Europe with the star singers Cecilia Bartoli and Simone Kermes.
In 2013 he was invited by Basel's Kammerorchester as a solo for the BWV 1056 and the Cantata with solo organ BWV169 of Bach with the famous countertenor Andreas Scholl. He recorded the concert for Fortepiano and orchestra Wq 35 of C.P.E. Bach for the Sony Classical with Streicherakademie Bozen's orchestra. As an organist, he is constantly invited to peform on seasons of historical repertoire and to perform on some of the most prestigious instruments and copies. His recordings include more than 40 CDs and many broadcasts for Rai TV, Rai radio 3, Decca, Sony, Erato, Stradivarius, Naive, Glossa, Chandos, Amadeus, Bongiovanni, Tactus, Bottega Discantica, Arts and live for various t radio and television broadcasting stations all over the world. The last of his five solo CDs (Stradivarius) is dedicated to C.P.E. Bach's Sonatas for fortepiano and harpsichord and garnered extremely positive reviews.
One of Italy's leading lutenists with over 100 recordings to his name, Diego Cantalupi studyed classical guitar with Mauro Storti. Parallel interests in renaissance, baroque and pre-romantic music led him to study early performance techniques following courses in lute-playing at the Ancient Music Department of the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milano (Paul Beier) and at the Conservatorio in Parma (Andrea Damiani).?In 1996 he was awarded a degree with honours in Musicology from the Scuola di Paleografia e Filologia Musicale in Cremona. He performs regularly as soloist and continuo player with leading period instrument ensembles worldwide, such as 'La Venexiana', 'L'Arte dell'arco', 'La Verdi Barocca', 'Divino Sospiro', 'Accademia degli Astrusi', 'Il Capricio'.?He is the founder and the director of the 'Ensemble L'Aura Soave', whose repertory and instrumentarium is based exclusively on his research.?Equally at home working with modern instruments, Diego has performed with many leading orchestras including 'Solisti Filarmonici Italiani', 'I Solisti Veneti', 'Kammerakademie Potsdam', 'I Pomeriggi Musicali', 'Streicherakademie Bozen'.?His repertory spans many centuries, and his discography ranges from some of the earliest surviving lute works to the contemporary theorbo and lute works written for him. An experienced teacher at all levels, Diego Cantalupi teaches lute at the Conservatorio di Bari, and on many summer schools and courses; he is regularly invited to serve as specialist examiner by both universities and music conservatoires. He is currently preparing the first modern method for theory.
James Waldo enjoys an active career as both a cellist and viola da gamba player, frequently appearing with the acclaimed ensemble Lestrange Viols. This spring, cellist James Waldo served as principal cellist in an all-Beethoven program with Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra in Stearn Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. Originally from Minnesota, James now lives in New York City, where he works as a freelance chamber and orchestral musician. Recent noteworthy projects include appearing as solo cellist with the Atlanta Boy Choir on a tour to Poland and the Czech Republic, participating in the inaugural recording project of newly formed consort LeStrange Viols, touring the west coast with orchestral folk ensemble Spirits of the Red City, appearing as a guest cellist at Gramercy Theater with The Brilliance, performing in the dramatic production of "More Between Heaven And Earth" with the Salon/Sanctuary Chamber Orchestra at the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, and joining the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra and Trinity Cathedral Choir in Columbia, SC for a performance of Handel's "Messiah." James is a merit scholarship graduate of the Master's of Music and Professional Studies Diploma programs at Mannes College in New York City, where he studied with Timothy Eddy, and served all four years as principal cellist for Mannes' Orchestra and Opera programs. James also received a Bachelor of Music with Academic Distinction at the University of Madison-Wisconsin under the tutelage of cellist and Feldenkrais practicioner Uri Vardi. As a child, he studied at the MacPhail Center for Music Suzuki Program with Brenda Villard in Minneapolis, MN.
James' first and perhaps most formational award experience was auditioning for and winning a spot in a masterclass with Yo Yo Ma at age 11. Other awards and recognitions include the prestigious Gregory Award for Excellence in Performance, The Dale Gilbert Award for Outstanding String Players, first prizes in the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Menomonee Falls Concerto Competitions, and the rank of finalist in the Mannes Concerto Competition.