Last night in Berkeley we began our four concert run of "For thy soul's salvation" a really remarkable program of music written for England's monarchs from Henry VII through Charles I. Lots of bloody and fascinating history there - gorgeous music written while people's heads were being chopped off. Matt Oltman studied at the University of York and has a particular passion for English music; he's been really looking forward to this program which he spent a lot of time researching.

Lately our early music has been Italian, Spanish and Mexican. In this program we go back to the Renaissance and English music and try to recreate the particular atmosphere of those times. Like incense in Westminster Abbey, the smell of marijuana hung heavily in the air at First Congregational Church. Seriously. It's Berkeley. We don't know where it was coming from.

Anyway, there is lots of really stunning music in this program, notably in the first half the 13 part canon Credo in Deum by Wyklynson. The 13 voices are the 12 apostles and Jesus (sung by Matt.) The 39 measures encompass a range of 13 notes. We're going to try to let you hear it - so come back next week!

We repeat the program tonight in Sacramento (not Friday night as the Sacto Bee would have it)
then in San Jose on Friday night and San Francisco on Saturday night (the last concert of this season - except for China in 10 days.)