- Monterey Symphony: A Whale of a Concert!
- Benjamin Grosvenor in Miami
- Joyful Atavism: Benjamin Grosvenor in Recital
- Ensemble Monterey Presents: Schubert
- San Francisco Symphony — Crouching Tigers, Gentle Dragons
- Duo Papillion — Music for Piano Four Hands
- Aptos Keyboard Series — Pianist Daria Kiseleva
- Camerata Singers at First Presbyterian in Monterey
- Organist Paul Carmona at St. Dunstan’s
- YMMC Winter Concert at Sunset Center
- Symphonic Fire: The Santa Cruz Symphony
- Catalyst Quartet
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Music Director Cyril Deaconoff
As the second conductor to continue I Cantori di Carmel since Sal Farentelli’s retirement, Cyril Deaconoff provided choral delights of the season as well as a West Coast premiere of his own composition. Ringing through the Carmel Mission Basilica the forty plus singers of this long standing local chorus opened from the back of the Mission with “Serenisima une Noche” by 17thcentury composer Fray Geronimo Gonzalez. The gentleness of “a most serene night” carried beautifully, and then as the chorus processed to the risers, the style changed into a joyful dance section. Enduring favorites of the season followed starting with the highly rhythmic setting of “Here We Come A-caroling” as arranged by Josh Sparkman. A decidedly different arrangement by Dan Forrest of the 1868 carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Lewis Redner featured soprano sax, violin and piano. The plaintive and haunting saxophone melody deftly wove in and out of the choral strains evoking a scene of long ago. Another favorite of choral groups in this season is the lively “Riu, Riu, Chiu” given a leisurely pace to really appreciate the warning call of the kingfisher to help protect the Virgin and Child. Another season favorite, Thomas Morley’s “Lirum, Lirum” continued the idea of seeking the Christ Child. The title refers to the imitative sound of a lute. Read full story
On December 2, I Cantori di Carmel’s WELCOME to new Music Director Tom Lehmkuhl provided a splendidly eclectic evening in the chilly but warm, lovely acoustic of the Carmel Mission. Lehmkuhl’s background, before becoming the Director of Choral Music at Carmel Middle and High School, served him well in programming choices. As the program cover had “Welcome” in four languages, so his personal languages include French and street Hindi. Read full story
As expected it was a amazing sendoff! The Carmel Mission was packed to the gills, and into many six-seat-capacity pews were squeezed one or two additional music lovers — this was the largest audience I can ever remember seeing at the Mission. It was the first of two “Farewell Concerts” celebrating Sal Ferrantelli’s 36 years with I Cantori, and, sadly to say, marking his retirement from the group. Ferrantelli has nurtured and developed I Cantori over the last three and a half decades into a professional ensemble that has consistently presented performances on the highest artistic level of choral music that spanned many centuries. It has also often included his own compositions written for I Cantori.
I Cantori’s Director, Sal Ferrantelli, always proves to us that he is a fine musician with the highest standards and a loving respect for the music he performs. This is not to imply that his programming is overly academic or overly reverent, although you can be sure he would not conduct a Christmas concert wearing a floppy Santa hat and have the chorus shuffling up the aisle during the opening processional humming “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” What we heard Saturday evening at the Carmel Mission was a serious concert with some masterpieces, but also containing some works that were less serious and actually quite a lot of fun.
I was more than a little nervous as I headed to the Carmel Mission Sunday evening to hear I Cantori di Carmel’s concert “A Winter Tapestry.” This was not due to any misgivings about the performers, as Sal Ferrantelli always puts on a good show. No, my fears were about what the climate might be like inside the historic structure on as frigid a night as I can remember in Carmel. Fortunately, the temperature inside the venerable old building was quite pleasant, and the audience was able to enjoy one of Ferrantelli’s best programs to date in complete comfort.