With a focus on vocal repertoire from the Early Baroque, the Renaissance, and the Modern, the versatile Early Music Ensemble strives for cogent performance excellence in vocal music across this vast temporal span. The group frequently collaborates with composition faculty and department ensembles, from the Percussion Studio to the Baroque Ensemble. Concerts are quarterly, with rehearsals held Mondays in the Ann E. Pitzer Center and Wednesdays, 7–9:30 pm, in Room 105, Music Building.
First rehearsal is Monday, January 8, 7 pm, in the Pitzer Center’s Recital Hall. Enter the building via the Northwest entrance only.
Early Music and Baroque Ensembles of UC Davis with guests—
Glenda Bates and Lot Demeyer, oboe Thomas Hill, bassoon | Farley Pearce, violone
Although originally performed in a church setting during Easter celebrations, Bach’s passions are almost operatic in nature. The Easter story is dramatically presented using the Gospel of St. John (rather than, say, Matthew), by featuring a chorus (which play the role of the crowd, soldiers, or disciples), as well as singers that play the roles of Evangelist (narrator), Jesus, Peter, a maid and servant.
It is the passions of J.S. Bach—not the Toccata in D Minor or Brandenburg Concertos—that were vital to bringing Bach to modern audiences. Had Mendelssohn not performed in the St. Matthew Passion in 1829, it is possible Bach would not be a household name as it is today. Both the St. John and St. Matthew Passions are exemplary of Bach’s best work, from stunning chorales to virtuosic instrumental work.
Matilda Hofman, whose conducting has been described as having “a striking sense of purpose” and “taut and finely controlled” (San Francisco Gate) has a busy and varied performance schedule. She works regularly with a wide range of groups in Europe, and in California, which she has made her home. Matilda has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Berliner Festspiele, Holland Festival and Ruhrtriennale among others.