Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cappella Clausura has done it again.

By  Rosie Rosenzweig

Cappella Clausura has done it again. Dubbed by The Boston Globe as “rich and resplendent... [It] shines a light on forgotten female composers..." and is the 2017 Winner of the Chorus America award for adventurous programming. Its repertoire covers the earliest music known to be composed by women in the 9th century to our own time including some by male counterparts to bring greater depth and context to the audience's understanding of music by women. The brainchild of Amelia St. Clair who founded the group in 2004, Arts Boston calls it “one of this country’s leading ensembles focusing on the research and performance of music by women composers,”


Its most recent concert did just that by juxtaposing the parts of the Messe De Nostre Dame, the first polyphonic setting of mass by 14th century the French composer Guillaume de Machaut with Psalms composed for this ensemble by contemporary composer Patricia Van Ness.   She has been called “a modern-day Hildegard von Bingen,” whose 12th century work has also been performed by Cappella Clausura. During

Van Ness’ address to the packed house, she said that her “choice of work was based on desire to create what is moving and beautiful” and embody that in the juncture with the divine. Her work called  “Birds of Psalms” was highlighted by her rendition of Psalm 148, which she subtitled “Creeping Things and Winged Bird, with a delightful multi-voiced orchestration reminiscent of the flight of birds. Clausura’s ensemble of 12 acapella voices, all accomplished professionals, rendered this with excellence.

St. Clair chooses her churches wisely, and her ensemble’s voices resonated off the walls of the Eliot Church with heartfelt and spiritual uplift.

Cappella Clausura’s next concert in January will feature the surround sound of music; past concerts have had the singers walking around the audience. Go to the website for more information about other future concerts.

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