1140 Cowper St. Sundays at 8:30am and 10:30am

Music at First Pres

San Francisco Early Music Society Presents:

AGAVE BAROQUE with Reginald Mobley, countertenor
Peace in our Time: Music of Love and Loss in the Shadow of the 30 Years’ War

Friday, February 2
8:00pm in the Sanctuary

The Thirty Years’ War was a pervasive, horrible war that ravaged Europe from 1618-1648, and devastated not only the population but also the cultural heritage of much of Europe.  Rather than relying on a long tradition of classical art music, musicians had to draw on what they found and heard around themselves.  Many of these composers developed a regional model based on the “fantastical style” (stylus fantasticus)… The result is the drunken country fiddler and his band playing… in church!  In the darkest shadows of war, music had the immense power to motivate, unite, comfort, heal, and lift people out of the depths of their grief.  This program explores a style of music with an incredible range and depth of human emotion, including pieces by Johann Christopher Bach, David Pohle, and Johann Pachelbel.

AGAVE BAROQUE: Aaron Westman, violin; Natalie Carducci, Anna Washburn, violins & violas; Katherine Kyme, viola; William Skeen, cello & viola da gamba; Kevin Cooper, guitar and theorbo; Henry Lebedinsky, harpsichord and organ) with Reginald Mobley, countertenor

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Age of Indulgence

Friday, March 2
8:00pm in the Sanctuary

Hear the unique music from the eve of an aesthetic revolution, daring, experimental works of the French Rococo. These pieces from the 1740s and 1750s don’t conform to our expectations about baroque music, but they’re not quite Classical either. Rather, they mix the humor and wit of early Haydn and Gluck, a little of C.P.E. Bach’s Sturm und Drang, and characteristically lush French harmonies together to create a truly unique sound. We will sample works by François-André Philidor, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and more.

LES DÉLICES: Debra Nagy, baroque oboe; Julie Andrijeski and Adriane Post, baroque violin; Emily Walhout, viola da gamba; Mark Edwards, harpsichord

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The Magnifick Consort of Four Parts—Fantasies, Suites and Sonatas for viol quartet

Friday, April 6
8:00pm in the Sanctuary

The second half of the 17th century witnessed the rise of violin-dominated chamber and orchestral genres, but the viola da gamba continued to inspire some of the most profound and astonishing music of early baroque. The viol consort’s increasing rarity seemed to invite the special attentions of some of the era’s finest composers, whose most daring and unusual musical ideas would find perfect expression in the intimately passionate sound-world of the viol ensemble. This concert features masterworks by three of these composers: the exquisite “Fantazias of four parts” by Henry Purcell, Matthew Locke’s “Magnifick consort of 4 parts,” and Giovanni Legrenzi’s lively and intense “Sonate à quatro viole da gamba.” Wildcat Viols explores this music’s kaleidoscopic variety of colors and moods with fearless depth and sensitivity.

WILDCAT VIOLS: Joanna Blendulf, treble viol; Julie Jeffrey, tenor viol; Annalisa Pappano, tenor viol; Elisabeth Reed, bass viol

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