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Music & Comedy

Singen und Sagen: Music for Hope in a Time of War

The Newberry Consort and Bella Voce, two classical music groups that focus on early music, have teamed up to present music by Renaissance composer Michael Praetorius, written at the start of the Thirty Year’s War. Known as the Polyhymnia Caduceatrix et Panegyrica, this music contains some of the most elaborate vocal and instrumental writing in all of early German music, representing a level of sophistication on par with Monteverdi’s Vespers. This spectacular concert, featuring more than 30 musicians, will include voices, strings, trombones, cornetts, dulcians, continuo, and trumpets. The music is juxtaposed with readings of texts by everyday people who lived during and after the Thirty Years’ War, bringing to life Praetorius’s interpretation of Martin Luther’s instruction to “singen und sagen,” or “to sing and say” — a joyous universal musical sermon during a time of war and strife. Even now, performing this elaborate and uplifting music during times of darkness and despair remains an act of courage and optimism.


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