Monday, February 23, 2015

Cappella SF Sings Susa and Conte

On a Friday night earlier this month, I was slowed by horizontal rain & a toppled tree at Van Ness & Geary but arrived at the SF Conservatory of Music just in time for Cappella SF's concert of choral works by Conrad Susa & David Conte. The 24-member chorus were clearly rigorously rehearsed by conductor Ragnar Bohlin. They sounded precise & had a transparent, narrow sound. Intonation was clean, & the cut-offs at the ends of words were exact. Though the works were settings of secular texts, the entire performance felt reverential & devotional.

Pianist Keisuke Nakagoshi provided a colorful accompaniment to Susa's Six Joyce Songs, playing fluid runs & trills. Conte's rhythmic Invocation and Dance was accompanied by piano four hands & 2 percussionists on a variety of xylophones.

Mr. Conte made friendly introductory remarks before the performance & received a warm ovation from the audience at the end. The intermissionless program ran about an hour and was followed by a crowded reception. I had a glass of wine, was introduced to a woman operatically named Carmen, & learned that Cappella SF had already recorded this music for a CD which is yet to be released.

§ Music by Conrad Susa and David Conte
Cappella SF
Ragnar Bohlin, conductor

Conrad Susa: Six Joyce Songs, Volume II (1984)
    Keisuke Nakagoshi, piano

David Conte: A Whitman Triptych
    Rita Lilly, soprano
    Jonathan Thomas, tenor
    Matthew Peterson, baritone

Conrad Susa: Landscapes and Silly Songs (1987; revised 2010)

David Conte: Invocation and Dance (1986; revised 1989)
    Keisuke Nakagoshi & Kevin Korth, pianists
    Artie Storch & Stan Muncy, percussionists

David Conte: The Composer (2002)

SFCM Concert Hall
Friday, 06 February, 2015 | 08:00 PM

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