Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Funding the Monteverdi Vespers in Concert and Liturgy

The 1610 Monteverdi Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, a landmark in the Western musical canon, poses many interesting musicological and liturgical questions. Unfortunately, like other important works, the piece is usually just confined to the concert hall rather than being situated in its original liturgical context.
A Kickstarter campaign by Mr. Brian Bartoldus (Doctoral Candidate in Choral Conducting at Yale, and recently-appointed Director of Music Ministry at the College of Mt. St. Mary's) and his DC-area ensemble Third Practice recently came to my attention. Why am I bringing it to your attention? Mr. Bartoldus explains: 
The third of our presentations will be within the context of an EF Vespers and Benediction – as we won't be charging tickets, we're using alternate means of funding. We've launched a Kickstarter campaign to offset the majority of the costs, which would encourage my Board to continue to perform in Catholic venues and in the context of Catholic liturgies in the future. [This] is a great opportunity for the [Washington DC area] community to hear this wonderful piece in its intended liturgical setting.
Third Practice has commissioned Baltimore composer Joshua Bornfield to write a setting of the Litany of the Saints, to be presented in place of Monteverdi's Sonata sopra Sancta Maria. We hope that, by performing such fresh music within the context of Monteverdi's 400-year-old masterwork, we can awaken the cutting-edge spirit of the Vespers and translate its joys and intrigues for modern listeners in a new and powerful way. 
Patronage by religious donors towards projects like this can go a long way in restoring the important presence of the Faith within modern culture in the same way that Church patronage has long done so.   

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