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Originally performed at the cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, our program "Laudate Dominum" features sacred music by Claudio Monteverdi, Tarquinio Merula and Giovanni Gabrieli. Monteverdi boldly decided to set Psalm 150 (“Laudate Dominum in sanctis ejus”) over a ciaccona, a raucous ground bass imported from the New World. Normally associated with sensual and lascivious dancing, the ciaccona gives a sense of joy and excitement to the call to praise God. True to form, Monteverdi reacts to the psalm’s mention of trumpets, drums, and strings with varying musical effects. To complement this well-known work, the program also features unusual motets and instrumental music by the quirky composer Tarquinio Merula. We relished the opportunity to perform this program in the massive space of St. John the Divine, where it really feels as though the angels might be listening - and playing along - from the rafters.

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