As I announced in my season preview piece, the ninth season of San Francisco Renaissance Voices (SFRV) will begin with their annual Office of the Dead Concert. All Saint’s Day is commemorated every year with a performance of a setting of the Mass text by a Renaissance composer. This year the composer will be Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611); and the music will be a parody mass, so called because the themes are taken from Victoria’s motet “O quam gloriosam est regnum” (O, how glorious is the Kingdom). To help listeners appreciate the nature of the parody mass form, the motet will also be performed. For the Mass itself, Victoria’s polyphonic settings will alternate with sections in monodic chant. The program will also include works by Ascanio Trombetti (1544–1590), so named because his family was one of accomplished wind players, William Byrd (1540–1623), Juan Esquivel Barahona (1560–1625), and possibly others. For this concert Don Scott Carpenter of the American Bach Soloists will serve as conductor.
Those who find Victoria’s music particularly appealing may then wish to attend the SFRV Halloween Fundraiser. Both the parody mass and the motet will be sung again, but this time the audience will be invited to join in the singing. A limited number of scores for both pieces will be available for $20 (hence the $5 increase of the figure provided in the season preview). However, there is also a Web site of Victoria scores from which both the motet and the Mass setting may be downloaded. (The movements of the Mass setting must be downloaded separately.) There is no index. However, the motet is located about a quarter of the way down the page, and the Mass score is at about the half-way point. Carpenter will again conduct; and, in the proper Halloween spirit, he has promised to begin the evening with a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous (notorious?) BWV 565 D minor toccata and fugue. This will come to about one hour of music, after which there will be a post-concert reception featuring Halloween treats.
The San Francisco performance of the Office of the Dead Concert and the Halloween Fundraiser take place at the Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church (1329 Seventh Avenue), just south of Golden Gate Park and near the Muni N Line stop at the corner of Irving Street and Seventh Avenue. The concert will be on Saturday, October 27; and the fundraiser will be on Halloween, Wednesday, October 31. Both events will begin at 7:30 p.m. Brown Paper Tickets has a Web page for the concert with tickets available for $25 and a student/senior rate of $20. Entrance to the Halloween Fundraiser will be free; but a free-will offering will be taken. It is donations like these that allow SFRV to produce such fascinating and informative (and sometime participatory) events.