Collegium Musicum
Collegium Musicum

The UA Collegium Musicum returns to the Arizona Senior Academy Monday evening (April 14), performing a secular cantata by Bach and various polychoral motets and madrigals of the Venetian masters.

Director Brent Rogers will be making his final appearance with the ensemble as he completes his doctoral requirements in choral conducting. Rogers has chosen pieces that showcase the development of the polychoral style in the Renaissance as well as a unique work of the Baroque master, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Among Bach’s many cantatas, only a small handful use secular subjects. His “Tonet ihr Pauken” (BWV 214) – written to honor the birthday of Maria Josepha, Queen of Poland – opens with a striking chorus punctuated by timpani, trumpets, winds and strings. Internal movements feature different soloists and obbligato instruments, and the chorus returns for the final movement.

The program, which begins at 7:30 p.m., also includes selections by Adriano Willaert, Andrea Gabrieli, Giovanni Gabrieli and Giovanni’s pupil, Heinrich Schutz. These composers cultivated antiphonal writing for divided choirs to exploit the acoustical characteristics of the San Marco Basilica in Venice, where multiple choir lofts were separated by considerable distances. The impressive sonority was commonly supplemented by instruments performing with the choirs. Schutz transported the Venetian style to Germany where he became the leading composer of his day.

The Collegium Musicum is a vocal ensemble of university students and community members specializing in choral music of the Renaissance and Baroque. The group is led by a rotation of university doctoral candidates in choral conducting.

Submitted by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer

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Choral Ensemble Presents Bach Cantata, Venetian Works: April 2014