Lovers of choral music can look forward to two opportunities to enjoy the harmonies of Moncton’s Choeur Louisbourg Choir this week at the Sackville Festival of Early Music (SFEM). The choir, accompanied by the festival orchestra, will perform works by composers of the Baroque era, including England’s Henry Purcell and two Italian masters, Giacomo Carissimi and Antonio Vivaldi.
The first concert, starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, will take place in the historic Middle Sackville Baptist Church at 14 Church Street, which, as the oldest Baptist congregation in Canada, is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year.
“The acoustics of this church are excellent, and especially well suited to the tonal quality of choral performances,” says SFEM artistic director Réjean Poirier. “We are very grateful to the church for providing such a splendid location, especially in this important anniversary year.”
The second presentation of this program will occur on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 3 p.m. in the Church of St. Anselme, 1014 Amirault Street, Dieppe.
Choeur Louisbourg, New Brunswick’s sole professional choral group, gave its inaugural concert at St. Anselme’s on Oct. 15, 2006. Since then the 16 choristers, under the direction of conductor Monique Richard, have perfected vocal stylings particularly suited to the music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, often in collaboration with accompanists playing period instruments. Far from limiting themselves to this repertoire, however, they also enjoy presenting contemporary works that invite exploration of new styles and new esthetic standards.
Since 2007 they have performed annually as the resident choir of the Sackville Festival of Early Music. In 2012, to honour the 250th anniversary of the founding of Sackville, the choir commissioned composer Matthew Lane, a graduate of Mount Allison University’s department of music, to compose Three Sonnets, a musical setting for texts by the poet Marc Vaillancourt. This work received its premiere performances in Dieppe and Sackville at last year’s SFEM.
Further information about the SFEM can be found on-line at http://sackvilleearlymusic.ca .