Joel Spears and Friends

December 17, 2018, 8:00 pm

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Lutist Joel Spears returns to WFMT with an early music ensemble to perform an early 17th century Christmas oratorio. The program features lutenist/guitarist Joel Spears, The Strangers, an early music vocal ensemble, plus accompaniment by harp, violin, organ, harpsichord, and theorbo.

The centerpiece of the Christmas concert will be the American premiere of a Christmas Oratorio first performed at the Vatican on December 24, 1629: Kapsberger’s I pastori di Bettelemme (The Shepherds of Bethlehem). This concert also includes virtuosic music for violin by Frescobaldi and Buonamente, and additional Christmas vocal music by Merula, Carissimi, and Palestrina.

Singers:

Josefien Stoppelenburg – soprano, first angel
Nathalie Colas Grant, – soprano, second angel
Lindsay Mecher – mezzo-soprano, second shepherd, third angel, Testo
Luke Lemmeier – countertenor, first shepherd
Josh Pritchett – tenor, third shepherd
Matthew Cramer – baritone, fourth shepherd
Vince Wallace – bass, fifth shepherd

Players:

Joel Spears, theorbo and lute
Jason Moy, harpsichord and organ
Claire Happel Ashe, harp
Kiyoe Matsuura, violin
Isabelle Rozendaal, violin

Music

Part I: Prologue

Canzon terza à due canti, by Frescobaldi
Kiyoe Matsuura and Isabelle Rozendaal, violins; Jason Moy, organ; Joel Spears, theorbo; Claire Happel Ashe, harp

Part II:

I pastori di Bettelemme (The Shepherds of Bethlehem), by Kapsberger (American Premiere)
Seven singers; Jason Moy, organ and harpsichord; Joel Spears, theorbo and lute; Claire Happel Ashe, harp

Part III:

Figlio dormi, by Kapsberger
Josefien Stoppelenburg, soprano; Joel Spears, lute; Claire Happel Ashe, harp

Sonata Quarta, by Buonamente
Kiyoe Matsuura and Isabelle Rozendaal, violins; Jason Moy, harpsichord; Joel Spears, theorbo

Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nannaby Merula
Nathalie Colas Grant, soprano; Claire Happel Ashe, harp; Jason Moy, harpsichord

Desiderata nobis, by Carissimi
Three voices; Claire Happel Ashe, harp; Joel Spears, theorbo; Jason Moy, harpsichord

Hodie Christus natus est, by Palestrina
Seven singers; Jason Moy, organ and harpsichord; Joel Spears, theorbo; Claire Happel Ashe, harp