Crescendo’s Baroque Splendor: Bach’s Magnificat and Handel’s Coronation Anthems

Crescendo Celebrates its 15th Anniversary!

Saturday Oct 26 | 4:00 p.m. | PURCHASE TICKETS: HERE

Crescendo presents Baroque music for chorus, soloists, and a period instrument orchestra. Together they will perform two of choral music’s greatest master-works, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat BWV 234 and George Frideric Handel’s Coronation Anthems HWV 258-261. The program will include an aria and chorales from Bach’s much-loved Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, with opportunities for audience participation. In its splendor and jubilation Bach’s Magnificat anticipates the great choruses of Bach’s later works, such as the Mass in B Minor. Handel’s festive Coronation Anthems were originally commissioned for the coronation of Great Britain’s George II, and have become standard for later coronations.

Crescendo Chorus, and soloists Julianne Baird and Jennifer Tyo, sopranos, Nicholas Tamagna, countertenor, Philip Anderson, tenor, Joseph Charles Beutel, bass with period instrument orchestra, directed by Christine Gevert

$100* (Premium – *Benefit Concert) / $35 (General) / $10 (under 18 years)

Rebels with a Cause: A Provocative Lecture Series
The Great Barrington Historical Society and Saint James Place Saturday Afternoon Lecture Series

Saturday November 2 | 2:00 p.m.

Laura Secord: Rebel for the Wrong Cause?

For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please call 413-591-8702. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $20 or on (please indicate series or specific lectures). Programs include lecture, tour of Saint James Place, and refreshments. Free parking available at Berkshire Community College South. Seating is limited.

To reserve seats ($20 per lecture), mail your check, payable to Great Barrington Historical Society with “Rebels with a Cause” and the specific lecture(s) you would like attend in the memo line to:

Great Barrington Historical Society
P.O. Box 1106
Great Barrington, MA 01230


Crescendo’s A Tale of Divine Love and the River Spirit

Acis y Galatea—A Spanish Baroque Semi-Staged Comic Opera

Saturday December 28 | 4:00 p.m. | PURCHASE TICKETS: HERE

Antonio de Líteres’s Acis y Galatea (1708) is a zarzuela in two acts with a libretto by José de Cañizares. The work quickly became one of the most famous of zarzuelas, the Spanish popular music-drama form that flourished in the late Baroque. Zarzuelas were a blend of sung and spoken episodes, usually performed by women actors who took both male and female roles, featuring characters that often are a mixture of gods, mythological creatures and rustic or pastoral comedy characters. This work tells of the love between mortal Acis and the sea-nymph Galatea. Líteres brilliantly weaves together Italianate da capo arias, French sung minuets, and Spanish seguidillas (sung popular dances). The singers are accompanied by traditional Baroque instruments and castanets, which give a typical Spanish flavor. A small group of ensemble singers act as a traditional opera chorus, commenting in fast-moving and rhythmical responses on the dramatic action.

Salomé Sandoval, mezzo soprano (Acis), Baroque guitar, percussion and co-director, Catherine Hancock, soprano (Galatea), Malina Rauschenfels, mezzo soprano (Tisbe), Roman Testroet, baritone (Momo), Sarah Fay (Glauco), Tom Schindler, (Polyphemo), are joined by Crescendo’s Vocal Ensemble Singers, and period instrument players Tricia Van Oers, recorder, Christa Patton, recorder and Baroque harp, Hideki Yamaya, Baroque guitar. Christine Gevert leads this semi-staged performance from the harpsichord in this collaboration with Ensemble El Fuego (Salomé Sandoval, Artistic Director)

$60 (Premium) / $35 (General) / $10 (under 18 years)

Crescendo’s Thanksgivings for Life and Love

16th Century Spanish Polyphony and Contemporary Latin American Folk Music

Saturday February 1 | 4:00 p.m. | PURCHASE TICKETS: HERE

The concepts of Thanksgiving, The Dove, The Dew, Mary, Weeping and Remembrance are portrayed in Hispanic works of two different eras and styles. Featured are motets for four to six voices by Tomas Luis de Victoria, Francisco Guerrero and Antonio Lobo–some of the most remarkable composers of 16th century Spanish polyphony. Works include Victoria’s Te Deum, Guerrero’s Maria Magdalena, and Lobos’s Versa est in luctum, among others. In contrast, choral and instrumental arrangements of Latin American folk melodies of the 20th and 21st centuries by Carlos Guastavino (Argentina), Violeta Parra and Victor Jara (Chile), and others are celebrated as Canto Nuevo (The New Song). Some of the most famous themes are Parra’s “Gracias a la vida”, and Guastavino’s “Se equivocó la paloma”. The poetry of these newer works includes texts by Nobel Prize winner Gabriela Mistral, and one of the greatest literary figures of the Silver Age of Spanish literature, Rafael Alberti.

Crescendo Vocal Ensemble is joined by Alturas Duo, Carlos Boltes, charango and viola, and Scott Hill, guitar, and Gonzalo Cortés, quena, zampoña and percussion. Directed by Christine Gevert from the organ.

$60 (Premium) / $35 (General) / $10 (under 18 years)

Crescendo’s Music Across Borders

17th Century and Contemporary Choral Musicfrom Poland, Latvia, Czech Republic and Germany

Sunday March 29 | 4:00 p.m. | PURCHASE TICKETS: HERE

As Italian Baroque music influenced all countries strongly in the 17th and 18th centuries, national styles then developed, and started to influence each other. This program explores repertoire of some of the countries in Eastern Europe and the influence composers there had on composers of other regions such as Germany. The festive Baroque choral works by Szarzyński, Gorczycki, Telemann, Meder and Černohorský feature strings and Baroque trumpets in the orchestra. They will be contrasted with contemporary works by Ešenvalds (Latvia), Lukaszewski (Poland), and Lukáš (Czech Republic). Works include Szarzyński’s “Completorium”, Gorczycki’s “Laetatus sum”, Meder’s “Jubilate Deo omnis terra”, Ešenvalds’s “Stars” (accompanied with seldom-heard tuned musical glasses), and Lukáš’s “Pater noster” op. 263 among others.

Crescendo Chorus and soloists, with period instrument players, directed by Christine Gevert.

$60 (Premium) / $35 (General) / $10 (under 18 years)

Crescendo’s Baroque Ornamentation for Singers

Voice Masterclass with Julianne Baird: An Educational Event and Master Class for Young Professionals and Advanced Students

Saturday April 18 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Advanced voice students or professional singers coach solo repertoire from Purcell to Handel with Julianne Baird. The special emphasis of this session is the art of ornamenting according to national style, genre and era. The masterclass will have up to six active students, and unlimited auditors.

Dr. Julianne Baird, voice teacher, with Christine Gevert, harpsichord accompanist

$10 (Auditors, tickets sold at the door) – Singers: apply at

Crescendo’s An Evening in the Home of J.S. Bach

Julianne Baird Sings Arias by Bach and His Children

Saturday April 18 | 6:00 p.m. | PURCHASE TICKETS: HERE

The world-renowned Early Music soprano, Julianne Baird, offers a solo recital, which provides a glimpse into the domestic music of the 18th century, and the musical tastes of the Bach family. Most of the works are from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena, a manuscript notebook that Johann Sebastian Bach presented to his second wife, Anna Magdalena. The recital will include arias: “Gedenke doch”, “Bist du bei mir”, “Willst du dein Herz mir schenken”, “Schlummert ein”, arias from Bach’s Hunt Cantata BWV 208, and from his Wedding Cantata BWV 202; and harpsichord works, such as the First Prelude of The Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846/1, and the “Aria” of the Goldberg Variations BWV 988/1, among others. Songs and arias from his sons Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian Bach, and from his grandson Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach will round out the program.

Julianne Baird, soprano, and Christine Gevert, harpsichord

$100* (Premium – *Benefit Concert) / $35 (General) / $10 (under 18)