The Princeton Region News


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Date ArticleType
7/1/2017 Member News
Westminster Choral Festival Chorus Performs Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 in Princeton on Saturday, July 1

Westminster Choral Festival Chorus Performs Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in Princeton on
Saturday, July 1

The Westminster Summer Choral Festival Chorus and Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, conducted by Joe Miller, will perform Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 on Saturday, July 1 at 7 p.m. in Miller Chapel on the campus Princeton Theological Seminary.  A free-will offering will be taken at the concert.

Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is known for the grandeur of its conception and the opulence of its sound. No other surviving work from that time is written on such a scale, combining the grandest of public music with the most intimate of solo songs; no other such work calls for the many colorful instruments and uses them in such a daringly modern, virtuosic way. The work is believed to have been written as an example of what could be done setting texts in different styles, particularly the new theatrical style of which Monteverdi was a great pioneer. Instead of the flowing, closely knit counterpoint expected from a composer like Palestrina of the preceding generation, the Vespers of 1610 has been described as half opera and half dance.

Joe Miller is director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and conductor of the Westminster Choir, as well as director of choral activities for the Spoleto Festival USA.  His staged production of John Adams’ El Niño with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, the Westminster Choir and an international cast, earned critical acclaim.  The Financial Times praised, “the driving minimalistic iterations of Adams’ score securely projected under Joe Miller’s direction.

Piffaro is known for its highly polished recreations of the elegant sounds of the official wind bands of the late Medieval and Renaissance periods.  Its ever-expanding instrumentarium are all careful reconstructions of instruments from the period. Under the direction of Artistic Directors Joan Kimball and Bob Wiemken, these world renowned pied-pipers of Early Music present an annual subscription concert series in the Philadelphia region; tour throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and South America; and appear as performers and instructors at major Early Music festivals.

This concert is the culmination of the annual Westminster Summer Choral Festival, which offers choral singers the opportunity to live, sing, study and perform in a professional-level choral ensemble each summer on the Westminster campus.

For more information, visit www.rider.edu/arts.

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Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, will join the Westminster Summer Choral Festival Chorus, conducted by Joe Miller, to perform Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 on Saturday, July 1 at 7 p.m. in Miller Chapel on the campus Princeton Theological Seminary.  A free-will offering will be taken at the concert.  Learn more at www.rider.edu/arts.