A Chanticleer Christmas at the Carmel Mission

Not surprisingly, since “Chanticleer” was the rooster in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” the choir with the same moniker is no different — bright and colorful. A sense of awe and wonder took over the audience as the choir entered the Carmel Mission Basilica from the rear of the sanctuary. All the lights had been turned off as the choir entered bearing candles and singing the Gregorian Chant, Christe redemptor omnium.

As the lights were turned back on and the music continued, the once hushed audience was filled with murmurs – comments on the sounds of the voices emanating from the all-male choir. One of the unique features of this choir is the presence of countertenors, a voice partly higher than a tenor and equivalent to a female contralto or soprano. Looks of confusion turned to gentle smiles amongst the audience, and the confidence of the choir took over to a sense of serene happiness. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Cantus, Choral

I Cantori – Poetry in Song!

Poetry In Song!  and what a wealth of musical poetry was presented on May 5th at the Carmel Mission Basilica by I Cantori under the direction of Dr. Sal Ferrantelli. This ambitious program of twenty vocal works encompassing 16th through 21st century composers sounded especially fine in the acoustics at the Carmel Mission. It is a gift to be introduced to the pleasures of familiar composers’ lesser-known works, and Dr. Ferrantelli’s program notes are an education in themselves. His inimitable musical shaping continues to give light to seldom-performed works. A great example from the first half of the program included two a cappella choral works by Max Bruch. While often known more for his violin concertos and his “Scottish Fantasy,” the Der fröhliche Musicus was a delightful ditty regarding music and the effects of alcohol. The second of Bruch’s selections, Weit, weit aus ferner Zeit, was a lovingly performed melancholy remembrance of first love.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Cantus, Choral, Classical Era, Romantic Era

Cantus Chamber Singers Monterey Gathers Followers


Cantus Monterey 1-28-10

There’s a new vocal ensemble in town, ladies and gentlemen, and it is called Cantus Chamber Singers Monterey. Formed in 2007, this ensemble of twelve singers has been steadily gaining momentum and audience approval through its variety of performance styles, clarity of sound and solid ensemble balance and blend.

The Cantus performance on Thursday, January 28, at Colton Hall was entitled “An American Experience.” The singers under the direction of Robert Ramon presented songs from American composers and arrangers with 19 selections from traditional, to spirituals, to folk songs, to jazz. It was a fine range of styles and, although the vast majority of the songs were on the slower side, they were performed with sensitivity and fine intent.

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Archived in these categories: Cantus, Vocal ensemble