What better way to celebrate a missionary’s career than with another mission? David Hoose, marking his 30th anniversary as director of the Cantata Singers and Ensemble, has always been a conductor at his best in proselytization, convincing listeners to believe in a work or a composer or an idea. Fitting, then, that Friday’s Cantata Singers concert — the finale of a season celebrating Hoose’s tenure — found him, again, engaged in evangelization.
Hoose’s latest gospel is the music of Jan Dismas Zelenka, a contemporary and acquaintance of Johann Sebastian Bach, but with a thoroughly individual style that is, in historical retrospect, both curious and clairvoyant. Zelenka’s Missa votiva in E minor (ZWV 18), the anchor of Friday’s concert, was an expansive exemplar. Its scope and intricacy are not unlike Bach’s B minor Mass, but Zelenka filters everything through a brightly outlined, athletic theatricality more in line with the classical era that followed him.