Thursday, November 26, 2009

Concert with the Bel Canto Choir of Anna Maria College

On Sunday afternoon, members of the Abbey Schola performed a concert of Medieval and Renaissance choral music with the Bel Canto Choir of Anna Maria College at the Worcester Art Museum in the beautiful Renaissance Court, which houses several splendid mosaics of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, most notably the Hunt mosaic, which covers about 500 square feet of floor space.

Throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance composers used the chant of the Church's liturgy as a foundation for their compositions. The pieces of the program were chosen to illustrate the influence of chant on liturgical music from some of the earliest Christian monophonic chants, the Ambrosian chant of Milan, to late Renaissance five-voice polyphony based on Gregorian chant.

Opera singer and friend of the abbey, Peter Campbell, also sang with the choir and performed a solo rendition of A madre do que Livrou, from the Cantigas de Santa Maria compiled by the Spanish king Alphonso X. He was accompanied by Jamie Thiesing on violoncello.