Exsultemus and Newton Baroque: Fischer Vespers

101% ($25,468)
May 31st, 2014
Raised $25,468 of $25,000

About The Artist


Exsultemus [ek-sul-TAY-mus] joins Boston’s leading young musicians to perform uncommon yet remarkable vocal works from the Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. Taking its name from the Latin “let us rejoice,” Exsultemus is modeled after small estate and chapel choirs and performs without conductor, requiring a close relationship between the musicians and resulting in vibrant, engaging performances. Since its founding by soprano Shannon Canavin in 2003, Exsultemus has presented nearly 50 original programs spanning eight centuries at the First Lutheran Church of Boston, where it is Ensemble-in-Residence, as well as with Cambridge Society for Early Music, Connecticut Early Music Festival, Society for Historically Informed Performance, Clark Art Institute, Wadsworth Atheneum, and Aachen...

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In 2011, the singers of Exsultemus joined the instrumental forces of Newton Baroque to present a monumental year-long concert series featuring Telemann’s Harmonische Gottesdienst.  It was so successful that in 2012 their joint initiative highlighted Vespers reconstructions from around Europe.  The most intriguing was a service by Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer, a Bohemian composer active in South Germany, whose music eloquently fused Italian and French influences. Fischer’s music was so impressive that the musicians of Exsultemus and Newton Baroque immediately decided a recording must be made—it will be the first time this beautiful music will be memorialized on recording! A top-notch ensemble has been secured to make this world-premiere recording in May 2014, and we hope that you will help us reach our goal of $25,000 to make it possible.

The music of little-known South German composer Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (1656–1746) has long been relegated to obscurity, overlooked by scholars and performers alike in favor of his more famous contemporaries such as Bach, Handel, and Telemann.  In September 2012, Boston-based ensembles Exsultemus and Newton Baroque came together to perform a reconstruction of an early 18th-century South German Vespers service featuring vocal and instrumental music by Fischer and Johann Christoph Pez (1664 –1716). We immediately knew we had discovered something truly special that needed to be shared with the world. After more than a year of planning, we are thrilled to have assembled a top-notch ensemble of musicians to bring Fischer's glorious music to the world in May 2014!

Timeless in its beauty and sophistication, the Fischer Vespers will soon be memorialized on CD for the very first time thanks to the exquisite voices of Exsultemus and the dynamic instrumentalists of Newton Baroque. One of the premier composers of his generation, Fischer was born in Bohemia and active in Baden-Baden (located in the southwest corner of modern Germany). He was well versed in both French and Italian styles, and both Bach and Handel admired Fischer's work enough to borrow from it for their own compositions. 

We invite you to allow Fischer and Pez's music to speak for itself in the accompanying video, with excerpts recorded live and in concert on June 15, 2013 as part of the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Series, and we welcome your support in any amount you can offer to reach our overall financial goal of $25,000 to make this recording financially viable. As anyone in the arts (or those with friends, family members, or colleagues in the arts) knows, it has become increasingly difficult to make a living as a professional musician. We are committed to paying our artists a competitive wage for their time and expertise, and therefore more than half of our budget is allocated to fees for our twelve singers and instrumentalists. The rest of our budget will go toward the purchase of scores and parts; five full days of rent for our recording venue; engaging a first-rate recording engineer for the recording and editing of the CD; marketing; and miscellaneous expenses. We are so very grateful to everyone who believes enough in this music and in us to invest in this ambitious project. Thank you!

And many thanks to our amazing corps of musicians, who have dedicated themselves to this project and its successful completion: 

Exsultemus (Shannon Canavin, artistic director)

Shannon Canavin & Margot Rood, soprano
Thea Lobo & Gerrod Pagenkopf, alto
Charles Blandy & Jason McStoots, tenor
Ulysses Thomas & Paul Max Tipton, bass-baritone

Newton Baroque (Andrus Madsen, director)

Susanna Ogata & Julia McKenzie, violin
Douglas Kelley, viola da gamba & violone
Andrus Madsen, organ

Donors will receive the following thank-you gifts
  • $10 - handwritten note of thanks, and our eternal gratitude!
  • $15 - above benefits, plus a CD featuring featuring past concert performances by Exsultemus and Newton Baroque.
  • $25 - above benefits, plus a copy of our live concert CD featuring the Fischer Vespers from our 2013 Boston Early Music Festival fringe concert.
  • $50 - above benefits, plus a copy of Exsultemus's CD "O Rex Orbis: The Rhymed Office of Charlemagne" *or* Andrus Madsen's CD ""Johann Pachelbel."
  • $75 - above benefits, plus a pair of tickets to a future Exsultemus or Newton Baroque concert of your choice.
  • $100 - above benefits, plus a complimentary copy of the completed Fischer Vespers CD.
  • $250 - above benefits, plus a Fischer Vespers CD signed by all the artists.
  • $500 - above benefits, plus acknowledgement in the CD booklet.
  • $1,250 - above benefits, plus dinner with a musician you choose to sponsor on the recording and directors Shannon Canavin, Exsultemus and Andrus Madsen, Newton Baroque.
  • $2,500 - above benefits, plus producer credit in the CD booklet.

Not comfortable donating online?  We accept donations via check as well.  Please mail donations to BELTÀ, 1712 E. Riverside Dr., Suite 25, Austin, TX 78741.  Be sure to mark "Exsultemus" in the memo line so that your support can be routed towards this project.