Before they celebrate their actual 40th anniversary with a special concert, Chanticleer will present Bay Area performances of their anniversary tour repertoire, a program called Then and There, Here and Now that brings together repertoire spanning their history, and includes a brand new work by Matthew Aucoin. Music Director William Fred Scott says they’ve included some rarely sung works in the line-up.
Scott says, in addition to their core repertoire, they wanted to include works that might have over wise been overlooked. “We started having little lunches with subscribers, or supporters, or just old friends of Chanticleer. I always said to them, what are the pieces that we have done over the years that you most loved, what would you like to hear again?” Because they have made a point of commissioning new works, they had many to choose from. “There’s a piece by Allen Shearer called Nude Descending a Staircase, And you’d be amazed at the people that thought it was just adorable, and couldn’t we please have that piece about the nude lady on the staircase again? And I thought, yes, of course we can! … When I first heard it, I thought this sounds like kind of a new version of a Tudor madrigal. And so, all of a sudden, the pieces began to converse with each other, and with some older pieces. So the whole program began to be a conversation between the old and the new. The right here and the right now with the back then and the back there.” Coming up near the end of June, they’ll celebrate the choir’s actual birthday on the 27th with a celebratory concert at Mission Dolores (not the Basilica), where in 1978, the first concert in the city took place. As it was then, the repertoire will be entirely made up of early music. “The original concert was not long – ours is 15 works. Come in, smile, have a glass of champagne, and listen to some Renaissance music, I think sung as beautifully as it can be sung anywhere.”