Thursday, January 17, 2008

Weekend Concert Calendar, 1/17/08

At last - Boston has recovered from its new year's excesses, and once again you are inundated with choices for concerts this weekend, so many that perhaps you feel exhausted just thinking about them and want to stay home. Never fear, I am here to lead you through the tangle! And please, if you go to any of these concerts, drop me a comment and let me know how it was!


My choice for Friday is Ladysmith Black Mambazo! The world-famous South African crazy-awesome mbube group will be at Sander's Theater at 8pm. Mbube is a style of South African a cappella singing, and if you've never heard it, it's smooth and rich and joyous. More details on the WorldMusic/CRASHarts site. (Oops, I just looked on their site, and this concert is sold out. Sorry to get your hopes up. Um, moving right along.)

Also on Friday:

The Cantata Singers are at Jordan Hall at 8pm. See under my pick for Sunday.

The Lexington Pops Chorus will present Mozart's Missa Brevis in F Major, and a medley from The Fantasticks, among other pieces. 8 pm, Hancock Church in Lexington Center. More information is here. This will also be Saturday at 8 pm.

The Greek Byzantine Choir will be in Manchester, NH at 8 pm. See under Saturday for more details (when they are singing in Boston.) Details are here.


My choice for Saturday is the Harlem Gospel Choir, which will be performing at 8 pm at Sanders Theater with the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School Vocal Ensemble and the OrigiNation Dance Troupe. The concert is called "Joyful Noise" and it celebrates Dr. MLK. This looks like a crazy fun concert. Details are here.

Also on Saturday:

Convivium Musicum is presenting "Josquin was here: Franco-Flemish musicians in Italy." Convivium Musicum is an excellent amateur Renaissance choir, and my experience has been that they are pretty stellar programmers as well. They will be performing Saturday in Hamilton at 8pm, Sunday in Andover at 4pm, and also next week in more public-transit-friendly locations for those of us Boston-bound. More details are here.

The Greek Byzantine Choir is in town, courtesy of BEMF. They will be performing at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England at 8 pm, and will be singing Medieval hymns and psalms from the Byzantine tradition. I suspect this is a relatively rare opportunity for a glimpse into a choral tradition not entirely familiar to most of us.

On Saturday at 7:30, the Boston Globe has an intriguing snippet about the Cambridge Chamber Singers, who will perform at the Arlington St. John's Episcopal Church. The concert is called "100 Years of Music: A Tribute to The MacDowell Colony." Details, such as they are, here. They are enough to get you to the church on time, should you be interested.


My choice for Sunday is The Cantata Singers, who continue their year-long exploration of Kurt Weill. This concert features "Propheten," from The Eternal Road and a world premiere by Lior Navok called Slavery Documents 3: And the trains kept coming . . . This will be Friday at 8 pm and Sunday at 3 pm at Jordan Hall. There will be a pre-concert lecture with Navok, and the PALS Children's Chorus and Spectrum Singers will also be participating. More information is here.

Also, not choral, but a couple of things need to be mentioned anyways. First, David Daniels is in town on Saturday! For those who don't know, Daniels is one of the greatest countertenors alive today.

Second, the Tuvan throat-singing group ALASH is in town. They will perform at the Lilypad in Cambridge on Saturday at 8pm. They will also be in Framingham on Saturday and Sunday, and give a masterclass on how to perform Tuvan throat-singing on Monday in Jamaica Plain. Details of their tour are here.

And in the category of "Save the Date," the BSO will be performing Elgar's Dream of Gerontius next weekend on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Advanced word from members of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus is that this is going to rock. Just so you know.

As always, if I've missed anything, please let me know!


  1. Greetings!:

    Lazy me could obviously find this out by visiting the BSO's Website, but, if you would care to say, who is conducting their _Gerontius_, and who will be the soloists? Sir Colin Davis (probably the future Sir Colin at that time) conducted it with them some years ago, and I heard a broadcast, during which one could also hear some of that conductor's out-of-tune humming, or whatever one calls it. Elgar is a particular favourite composer of mine!

    I spent nearly 12 years in your adopted Area due to a problem into which I got myself, but have been back here in the Nation's Capital since July of 2002. You obviously do not need for me to tell you that you have a _VERY_ rich choral presence there, but, dare I say it, _SO_ _DO_ _WE_! Your references to groups and venues was like a proverbial trip down Memory Lane, with such references as Jordan Hall, Sanders Theatre, the Cantata Singers, and possibly etc.! And, if I may be a "homer" again for just a moment, Mr. Daniels is due to star in a production of Handel's _Tamerlano_ with the Washington National Opera this coming Spring, and I might try to attend since a favourite singer of mine, Mr. Andrew Foster-Williams, is also due to participate!

    Though I do not think I read any of the obituaries, I note that your current Area lost a musical institution recently, when Dr.? Craig Smith died. Whatever one thought of his musicology when conducting Bach or Handel, he obviously contributed much, particularly through his weekly performances of Bach Cantatas at Emanuel Church as well as his ongoing series of concerts there. And a number of great singers worked with him, notably the late Mrs. Hunt-Lieberson.

    Hoping this finds you well, wishing you the very best for 2008, and further hoping, if you do not mind the invitation, that you will visit our Area soon if you have yet to do so, or will return should you wish,

    J. V.

  2. And this brief follow-up is solely for the purpose of allowing me to check the box that hopefully will bring me any follow-up comments to this post!

  3. To JVaughan,

    The Dream of Gerontius is going to again be conducted by Sir Colin Davis. If you like Elgar, it's too bad you won't be here!

  4. Sir Colin seems to be serving Elgar much of late, having recorded both Symphonies and the Payne elaboration of sketches for the _Third_ and possibly etc. I think he _MAY_ have recorded _Gerontius_ as well, though I do not think it has received glowing notices. Should you attend tone of the BSO's performances, I will be interested to read what you have to say about it.

    J. V.

  5. Here are Ladysmith Black Mambazo's tour dates. Too bad for me they aren't coming to DC.

  6. This must be your DC invasion day!

    J. V.