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Beethoven’s oratorio ‘Christ on the Mount of Olives’: Beethoven2020 Project

Date & Time: Saturday August 15, 8 p.m.
Venue: Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco
Tickets: Visit SFRV website here.

Program

Christus am Ölberge (in English, Christ on the Mount of Olives), Op. 85, is an oratorio by Ludwig van Beethoven portraying the emotional turmoil of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane prior to his crucifixion. It was begun in the fall of 1802, soon after his completion of the Heiligenstadt Testament, as indicated by evidence in the Wielhorsky sketchbook. The libretto in German is by the poet Franz Xaver Huber, editor of the Wiener Zeitung, with whom Beethoven worked closely. It was written in a very short period; Beethoven spoke of having written it in “a few weeks”, although he later claimed that the piece required no more than 14 days to complete. The piece premiered in the United States in 1809; it was Beethoven’s first success in the United States.

San Francisco Renaissance Voices

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San Francisco Renaissance Voices made our debut in 2004 with a “standing room only” performance of Victoria’s Requiem and quickly became a favorite of San Francisco Bay Area Early Music audiences.

We have consistently earned praise for our “gossamer sound … a sound something akin to spiritual levitation” as well as recognition for our imaginative programming and christened the Bay Area’s”hipper than thou” Early Music ensemble by San Francisco Classical Voice and in 2010 SFWeekly chose us as “Best Classical Music” for their Best of San Francisco edition. We are the San Francisco Bay Area’s professional mixed-voice ensemble dedicated to performing and exploring the a cappella choral music of the Renaissance particularly lesser-known and rarely-performed works, as well as exploring music from this period outside of the traditional European canon.

Our Opera Early & Ancient San Francisco mini-series seeks to present to our audiences operatic and related works from the Medieval through Baroque periods and has included such works as our “technicolor” production of Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum (“Hildegard’s little-performed musical mantra rang out anew” – Los Angeles Times) and the west coast premiere of William Boyce’s Solomon (“The performance was often exciting and even eye-opening … a performance other groups struggle to achieve on record” – San Francisco Classical Voice). Join us soon for one of our exciting concerts!

 

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