|I Cantori a few years ago . . .|
Well, tonight was the last concert: after thirty-six years directing I Cantori, not to mention many other student music ensembles at Monterey Peninsula College, Sal is retiring at age seventy-six and moving back east to be nearer his daughter, Tiffani, her husband, Armando, and their brand-new son, and Sal's first grandchild, Emilio. My understanding is that Sal's wife, Carol, so decreed, but I expect Sal might be ready for a break after three and a half decades of dedicated teaching. Maybe this will give him more time for his other love: composing. In that realm he cites as his greatest influences the Romantic composers, including Brahms and Bruckner, both of whom were featured in tonight's program.
The offerings this evening included some landmark pieces from over the years, starting with "All Ye Lovely Saints Above" by Thomas Weelkes (1576–1623), which was the first song in I Cantori's first regular concert, in 1981. Anton Bruckner's (1824–96) "Ave Maria" and three movements from Johannes Brahms's (1833–97) Ein Deutsches Requiem followed. Sal explained in the program that "as a 17-year-old, after singing this great work [the Brahms] under the direction of Robert Shaw in San Diego, it became my dream to someday perform this masterwork as a conductor. This was realized in 1987 with I Cantori."
|I took this during the Mass in C:|
the mission is such an excellent
concert hall for voices
Sal had a full house both last night and tonight, and of course he got a rousing standing ovation. What a career! Manifested with such passion and joy.
I Cantori is now looking to assist the college in selecting a new musical director (or two: Sal's shoes are big ones to fill), hoping to continue on. It will be interesting to see what happens. Transitions like this can be tough. They can also be envigorating. Time will tell. Whatever happens, Sal will be missed. It's been a huge pleasure knowing him and being in the audience for his wonderful concerts.