The first weekend in this coming October will offer three major choral recitals, each with its own unique perspective. Furthermore, the two performances on Sunday have been scheduled in such a way that the fleet of foot may be able to attend both of them. Here are the specifics ordered by when they begin:
Saturday, October 4, 8 p.m.: The San Francisco Girls Chorus will open its 2014–2015 season with a program entitled The Romantic Imagination. This will be the first program curated under Artistic Director Lisa Bielawa, and pianist Jon Nakamatsu will appear as guest artist. The program will feature selections from the repertoire of nineteenth-century art song, presenting works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, and Amy Beach in arrangements for treble voices by Alexander Blachly. Valérie Sainte-Agathe will conduct. Nakamatsu will perform Franz Liszt’s solo piano arrangements of two Schumann songs, “Widmung” and “Frühlingsnacht,” as well as Bielawa’s “Wait” for piano and drone.
This performance will take place at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (1111 O’Farrell Street, near the southwest corner of Franklin Street). Because this is the first concert of the season, both subscriptions and single tickets are available. Single tickets are $26 for general admission and $36 for priority reserved seating. City Box Office has set up an event page for online purchase, which includes a seating chart with information about availability. City Box Office as also set up Web pages for the purchase of full subscriptions for all six concerts in the season for $220.50 and a subscription for four concerts (October 4, December 8, April 19, and June 5) for $155.70. City Box Office may also be reached by telephone during working hours (Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 415-392-4400. Tickets can also be purchased directly at their facility at 180 Redwood Street, Suite 100.
Sunday, October 5, 4 p.m.: This will be the first concert in the 2014–2015 season of the Magnificat ensemble. Director Warren Stewart has prepared a concert that will focus on the music of Heinrich Schütz, featuring a presentation of his last published work, given the title Der Schwanengesang (the swan-song). This includes German settings of two of the Psalms (Psalm 119 in eleven movements and Psalm 100 in a single movement), along with the single-movement setting of the Magnificat canticle. These will be sung with an orchestration prepared by Stewart for which Magnificat will be joined by both The Sex Chordæ Consort of Viols and The Whole Noyse.
This performance will also take place at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. General admission is $35 with a $32 rate for seniors (62 and older) and $12 for students with proper identification. The Magnificat Web site has an event page from which tickets may be purchased online.
Sunday, October 5, 6 p.m.: This is also the date for the fall program of Cappella SF, a professional chamber choir of 24 singers that gave its first performance last February. Their program for the fall season is entitled Autumn Light, and the major work will be a setting of the Mass text for double chorus by Joseph Rheinberger (Opus 109 in E-flat major). The opening selection will be Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 225 motet “Singt dem Herrn ein neues Lied” (sing to the Lord a new song). In sharp contrast the program will conclude with the two final movements from Alfred Schnittke’s Psalms of Repentance cycle. Other works on the program will include Arvo Pärt’s seven antiphons on the Magnificat text and Ingvar Lidholm’s “De Profundis.”
This concert will take place at St. Mary’s Cathedral, located at 1111 Gough Street. For those thinking about a making a mad dash from Magnificat, St. Mary’s is almost directly on the opposite side of Gough Street from St. Mark’s. General admission will be $35 with a $55 rate for VIP seating. Tickets may be purchased online from an Eventbrite event page. They may also be purchased at the door.