Fall Quarter, 2017, repertoire includes Bach’s cantata Aus der Tiefen (BWV 131), and will be directed by David Nutter, professor and director emeritus.
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, October 2, 7 pm, in the Pitzer Center’s Recital Hall. Enter the building via the Northwest entrance only.
One of Bach’s earliest surviving sacred cantatas, Aus der Tieffen (Out of the deep I call, Lord, to you) is set to Luther’s translation of Psalm 130. The same text has been used in many other musical settings, including the De profundis section of many requiem masses, perhaps suggesting it was composed for a somber occasion. The cantata also features the hopeful chorale “Herr Jesu Christ.”
“The passion as a music genre achieve prominence in North Germany during the mid-Baroque, though its history extends well back in the Middle Ages, from which time there are examples in plainchant. Bach’s masterpieces are among the last. Individual singers in the St. John Passion take the roles of the characters in the story (Jesus, Pontius Pilate, etc). There is always an angry crowd, the turba judaeorum, urging crucifixion. The evangelist narrates the story. In the Bach passions, the story is told largely in recitative with short interjections by the cours. The aris reflect on the vents that have transpired; the chorales are affirmations of faith from the congregation. What is exceptional about the many chorales is the way bach harmonizes them to cast each text in the atmosphere appropriate to the surrounding drama. Bach wrote these works knowing that he would be able to engage virtuoso instrumentalists for this Easter week performances, such that there is important solo work for gamba, lute, woodwinds, and individual string players.”
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.