Season XIII – Consortium Carissimi

This season has come together with Sacred Music and highlights the seasons of the Christian Year. In addition, we are adding to our roster of performance venues Sacred Heart Church in Owatanna.

November is the time for remembering Souls and celebrating Saints. Collaboration seems to be the key word to Season XIII; we will once again collaborate with guest conductor Kathy Romey whose proposal centers around Totentanz of Hugo Distler (1908-1942). First performed in 1934 in Lübeck Germany, this unusual composition for a cappella chorus and speakers was inspired by the well-known St. Mary’s Church Totentanz fresco. Distler was profoundly influenced by the Deutsche Sprüche von Leben und Tod (German Sayings of Life and Death) of Leonhard Lechner (1533-1606).

The structure and text of Distler’s work consists of 14 Choral Epigrams or Aphorisms, sung by a cappella choir. Sung in German, each one is followed first by a short recorder solo and then, a dialogue (spoken in English) between an individual, who delivers a farewell speech to life and sometimes a justification for their existence, and Death, who examines them and makes the judgment as to whether their time has come. We conclude the program with motets of Henrich Schütz (1585-1672), including the stunning Selig sind die Toten SWV 391.

Saturday, November 2, 7:30 pm – Reformation Lutheran Church, Saint Paul
Sunday, November 3, 3:00 pm – Trinity Lutheran Church, Owatonna, MN

January 2020 is the time for our annual Epiphany Concerts and will be another great collaboration with the Twin Cities Chapter of The American Guild of Organists and MPR’s Michael Barone. Vespers for Epiphany include Organ Works of Frescobaldi played on the great Noack Organ Co (Opus: 136) and Motets of composers from de Victoria to Carissimi of the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Rome. Donald Livingston will guest direct the Ensemble.

Saturday, January 4, 7:30 pm
Sunday January 5, 3:00 pm
Saint Mary’s Chapel at the St. Paul Seminary

Tickets are now on sale!

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Please check our Facebook page for updates, tidbits, and early music news & events in the Twin Cities.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the remainder of our season has been cancelled.

This season will conclude in April 2020 with an opportunity for yet another collaboration. The early Italian Baroque composer, Bonifazio Graziani (1604/5-1664) has been an important point of reference in the research and performance of forgotten music of this period. His incredible output of Sacred Music and the successful printed publications by his brother Graziano makes it possible to transcribe into modern day notation and bring to the ears in the week it was to be performed.

The four soloists and players of Consortium Carissimi will be joined by the soloists of St. Paul Reformation Lutheran (Saint Paul), St. Luke’s Episcopal (Minneapolis) and Sacred Heart (Owatonna) in performing Responsoria: Music for Holy Week.  Note special times for these performances.

Palm Sunday, April 5, 3:00 pm – Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Owatonna  
Monday, April 6, 7:30 pm – Reformation Lutheran Church, Saint Paul
Tuesday April 7, 7:30 pm – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Minneapolis

Consortium Carissimi

Consortium Carissimi was conceived of by Garrick Comeaux, Artistic Director, in 1996 while living in Rome, Italy. He founded Consortium Carissimi in 2007 as an official nonprofit, 501 (c)(3). This Minnesota-based performing ensemble has the mission of uncovering and bringing to 21st century audiences the long-forgotten Italian baroque music of the 16th and 17th centuries. It does so through live concerts, master classes, recordings and publications.

Consortium Carissimi bears the name of the famous composer whose music was known for its simple, fresh approach to text, melody and accompaniment. Much of the music that Consortium Carissimi performs has not been heard since it was first created in the 16th or 17th century—and it is only through the transcriptions of these original documents that this music may be heard today. The unique strength that Consortium Carissimi possesses is that it has in its library over 200 transcriptions of these long-forgotten works.

Currently, there are no other organizations in the United States that have transcriptions such as these. As a result of this uniqueness, Consortium Carissimi contributes to the cultural vitality of the Minnesota community in four key and distinct ways:

  • Performances: the ensemble of mixed voices and instruments performs at least three concerts annually of repertoire from the Italian-Roman sacred and secular music of the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Educational programs: Consortium Carissimi conducts master classes with educational institutions located in Minnesota and Tri-State area. Master classes include intense studies of vocal and instrumental practices of 16th and 17th century Rome.
  • Manuscript transcription and publication: Consortium Carissimi is the only organization in the United States that has in its library transcriptions of over 200 manuscripts of this time period, including the complete works of Giacomo Carissimi.
  • Recordings: Consortium Carissimi intends to extend public access to and knowledge of this musical tradition through digital recordings.

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We are pleased to announce that we have been accepted by the PayPal Giving Fund as a way to accept donations without any incurring any fees to either you, the donor or Consortium Carissimi!

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