Ciaramella: a Shepherd's Christmas 

Wednesday, Dec 6 2006

As usual, Chamber Music in Historic Sites is presenting the holiday concert of the season: Ciaramella — an award-winning mixed ensemble featuring vocals and a fascinating array of early instruments — enacts “A Shepherd’s Noël” in the Gothic splendor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church. This group of former Case Western Reserve University grad students takes its name from the Italian name for the shawm, and you’ll get to hear this rare and lovely instrument, along with sackbuts, recorders and other early woodwinds, at an homage to the Christmas season that “traces the ties between music of intense joy and the high sounds of shawms, brass, organ and voice, from the annunciation to the Epiphany and feasts bidding winter farewell.” You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to Rome’s Piazza Navona, enjoying the traditional Italian celebration in which bagpipers (zampognari) descend from the hills in the weeks before Christmas, proclaiming, through song and hymn, the Annunciation to the shepherds from the words of Luke: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Sat., Dec. 9, 4 p.m.; preceded by a preconcert talk at 3:15 p.m.; $40-$45. (213) 477-2929 or www.dacamera.org.

—Mary Beth Crain

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