(ORLEANS, MA) – Gloriae Dei Cantores presents two sets of Winter Chamber Concerts at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA at Rock Harbor, Feb. 6-7 and March 6-7. The two concert weekends feature unique, lesser-known selections of sacred choral music from the early Renaissance, generally considered one of the richest periods of creativity in Western civilization.
The repertoire of the February concerts showcases sacred motets by Italian, Spanish, German, French composers including Corteccia, Valcampi, Sweelinck, Guerrero, Lassus, Non Papa, Cardoso, and Des Prez, among others. These ancient texts highlight the early life and teachings of Christ – teachings of love, compassion, and healing – which are especially significant as the church begins its journey through Lent and Easter.
The March concerts feature works by Byrd, di Lasso, Palestrina, and other early Renaissance composers, as well as Poulenc’s stunning Motets for the Season of Lent.
The concerts are held at the choir’s home, the Church of the Transfiguration, a modern expression of an ancient basilican style of architecture filled with stone and bronze sculpture, fresco, mosaic, and modern glass works by international artists. Renowned for its stunning acoustic, the Church of the Transfiguration provides an ideal context for experiencing the pure, luminous sacred music of this time period.
Concert Times and Location
Concert times are 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Transfiguration, Rock Harbor, Orleans (5 Bay View Drive). Tickets are $35 ($30 for Seniors, FREE for students and ages 18 and under). A reception follows the concert. For tickets, call 508-240-2400 or purchase online atwww.gdcchoir.org.
About Conductor Richard K. Pugsley
Richard K. Pugsley is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Gloriæ Dei Cantores. Pugsley and Gloriæ Dei Cantores have embarked on an ambitious artistic journey in the 2014-15 season with seven programs at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts, two choir tours to Italy, and the release of two recordings on the Paraclete Recordings label. He has conducted Gloriæ Dei Cantores for the past 15 years, and has performed and conducted in concert halls and churches in 23 countries throughout Europe, Russia, and the United States.
Known for his depth of interpretation, musical sensitivity, and impassioned directing, Pugsley is equally adept conducting intimate, a capella works as he is leading oratorio. His commitment to inhabiting the world of the composer and presenting extraordinary, often lesser-known choral treasures has garnered critical acclaim and cemented his reputation for thoughtful and imaginative artistic directing.
Pugsley has led Gloriæ Dei Cantores in numerous operatic and concert performances, including Handel’s Messiah; Israel in Egypt; and Saul, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, and J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. His direction of the New England premiere of the opera The Pilgrim’s Progress by Vaughan Williams won accolades from the Boston Globe. In 2013 and 2014 he directed William Walton’s The Twelve, Poulenc’s Gloria, Durufle’s Requiem, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, in collaboration with world-renowned soloists Andrew Nolen and Jossie Pérez.
His vision for creating transparency of sound between the listener and the recorded performer has led to the addition of surround sound, Super Audio Compact Discs and high-definition digital downloads into the Gloriæ Dei Cantores recordings catalog. Notable recordings produced under Pugsley include Mozart: Rare Choral Works, praised for the “finely executed, energetic, vibrant choral ensemble singing and equally dynamic and tightly-knit orchestral accompaniment, expertly conducted by Richard Pugsley.” (Classics Today) and Mandorla: Choral Masterworks of Frank Martin, Edvard Grieg, Howard Hanson, which ArkivMusic called “a terrific recording featuring repertoire that only a truly imaginative mind would think of combining on one disc.”
Under his leadership, the choir performed the Mozart Requiem with Philippe Entremont and the Munich Symphony Orchestra on a 16-city tour of the United States in 2011, and collaborated for nine holiday tours with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra. A passionate life-long advocate for youth music education, Pugsley has directed workshops with thousands of students throughout the world.
A graduate of Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Pugsley studied vocal performance and pedagogy. He was praised by the late Richard Miller, voice pedagogist and performer, as a teacher of extraordinary insight and ability.
About Gloriæ Dei Cantores
Founded in 1988, Gloriæ Dei Cantores from Orleans, MA has touched the hearts of audiences in 23 countries in Europe, Russia, and North America,receiving extensive critical acclaim for its artistic elegance, performance authenticity, and compelling spirituality. “Beautifully finished but richly emotional” BOSTON GLOBE; “Seamless ensemble, seductive phrasing”LOS ANGELES TIMES. Distributed by Harmonia Mundi, USA, the choir’s catalog of more than 50 recordings showcases their extensive repertoire, encompassing both masterworks and rarely performed musical treasures from Gregorian chant to the 21st century. “Lovely, pure and radiant”GRAMOPHONE; “Rapturous a capella passages” CHICAGO TRIBUNE.
Highlights of the choir’s career include three invitational tours of Russia, opening the 900th anniversary of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy, live radio and television broadcasts with the BBC, film soundtracks, the tree-lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Plaza, and performances in some of the finest concert halls throughout Europe and the United States.
The choir’s collaborative ventures have included ten Holiday Tours with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, sixteen-city US tour of Mozart’s Requiem with Philippe Entremont and the Munich Symphony Orchestra (Columbia Artists, CAMI, LLC), performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in Russia, and world premiere concerts and recordings with Grammy Award-winning artistMark O’Connor.
Gloriæ Dei Cantores makes its home at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA (churchofthetransfiguration.org).
“Evokes vast and serene magical spaces ” BOSTON GLOBE
“That rara avis — a world-class concert choir” WASHINGTON POST
“Beautiful, affecting music” CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Expert renditions of Gregorian chant” NEW YORK TIMES
“Perfectly captures the exultation in every note” FANFARE
“Richly rewarding, generously programmed – a real treat” CLASSICSTODAY.COM
“They sing with absolute fluency and authority” GRAMOPHONE
-Photos of Gloriæ Dei Cantores Available Upon Request-
Photo: Steve J. Sherman