As I wrote the above headline, a chill went up my spine as I realized how few readers today are probably aware of the idea of a “double feature,” the opportunity to see two consecutive films for the price of a single ticket for entry to a movie theater. However, the scare quotes denote not only anachronism but also the fact that there will not be a two-for-the-price-of-one policy for the concerts that will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. Nevertheless, the timing will be such that one can attend the first concert in the late afternoon, take a break for dinner, and come back for the second.
The afternoon offering will be the second concert in the ninth season of the New Esterházy Quartet of violinists Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss (alternating as leader), violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen. The title of the program will be At the Opera II, meaning that it will follow up on the At the Opera program presented this past March, at which the quartet played arrangements of selections from two operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Abduction from the Seraglio (K. 384) and The Marriage of Figaro (K. 492). This time the opera will be Don Giovanni but in two different versions, the more familiar K. 527 version by Mozart, first performed in Prague in October of 1787, and a slightly earlier (and much lighter) version, Don Giovanni Tenorio, composed by Giuseppe Gazzaniga and first performed in Venice in February of 1787, probably as a contribution to the wild celebrations held in conjunction with the pre-Lenten carnival. Skeen has prepared his own arrangement of Gazzaniga’s work, while the Mozart performances will be of period arrangements. [added 11/24, 2:50 p.m.: Because Martin has not yet fully recovered from his wrist injury, the violist for this concert will be David Wilson.]
The San Francisco performance of this program will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 28. The venue will be St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, located at 1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street. Admission will be $25 with reduced prices for students with proper identification ($10) and seniors, the disabled, and members of the San Francisco Early Music Society ($20). Tickets may be purchased online in advance (with a service fee) through a Brown Paper Tickets event page. Further information is available by calling 415-520-0611.
In the evening Clerestory will be first out of the gate with a Christmas holiday concert (even if the Christmas shopping season now seems to begin immediately after Halloween). The all-male a cappella ensemble of voices ranging from countertenor to bass has prepared a program entitled Holiday Lights that will focus entirely on music from the British Isles. This will feature new works by Jonathan Dove and Bob Chilcott, as well as more traditional British Christmas songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells, and John Rutter. The program will also include medieval, Renaissance, and contemporary carols. The program will run just over an hour with no intermission.
The San Francisco performance of Holiday Lights will begin at 8 p.m., also on Saturday, November 28, and again at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors. They may be purchased in advance through an Eventbrite event page.