Before there were orchestras, there were choirs. And on Saturday, October 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 3, at 4 p.m., music lovers will have the opportunity to travel back in time to “The Golden Age” of choral music when 22 members of Pasadena Master Chorale (PMC) perform a cappella selections from the Renaissance at Altadena Community Church in Altadena.
“The Golden Age is a celebration of the height of choral music,” says Artistic Director Jeffrey Bernstein. “The Renaissance was an era hundreds of years before the rise of the modern orchestra, when human voices reigned supreme and the choir stood alone at the apex of western music. Programming this concert was really fun, because I basically assembled a list of my favorite Renaissance pieces.”
Included on the program are what Bernstein describes as “exquisite selections from some of the most beautiful mass settings.” These include the Pange Lingua Mass of Josquin and the Pope Marcellus Mass of Palestrina, as well as works by Byrd, Tallis, Weelkes and Monteverdi.
“Orchestras would come,” Bernstein continues. “But at the dawn of the Renaissance, great composers wrote glorious masses that were meant to be sung in remarkably resonant sacred settings. And, when it comes to resonance and great acoustics, we’ve found the perfect venue, as our audiences know – Altadena Community Church.”
For PMC Board President Carol Peterson, the concert will provide an invaluable, unique opportunity – to undergo a personal ‘renaissance.’ “I’m truly looking forward to being a member of the audience,” says Peterson, a soprano member of PMC. “I’ll leave my worries at home, close my eyes, open my imagination and lose myself in an incredible experience – hearing gorgeous live music exactly the way it was meant to be heard.”
Tickets for “The Golden Age” are reasonably priced at $20 and may be purchased by visiting the Pasadena Master Chorale’s website, www.pasadenamasterchorale.org, through any Chorale member, or at the door. Complete details on concerts, ticket prices and venue locations can be found on the website as well. Recorded information is available by phone at 626.208.0009.
Altadena Community Church is located at 943 East Altadena Drive in Altadena.