Friday, April 17, 2009

CONCORA Presents a Sonic Spectacular!


Take one organ – or two – add chimes and antiphonal choirs, and get a Sonic Spectacular! On Sunday, May 3, CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) will present majestic and evocative music by Charles Ives, Petr Eben, Herbert Howells, Charles-Marie Widor, and others, including Franz Biebl’s astonishingly beautiful Ave Maria for double male choir.

Though I’m not singing in this performance (not all CONCORA singers perform in each concert), I’ll be in the audience to enjoy the performance “from the other side.” It was my pleasure to prepare the program notes for this concert, and my husband Dennis is singing with a contingent of male singers from The Hartford Chorale, who will perform with CONCORA in the selections for double-choir by Biebl and Widor. And of course, as a member of CONCORA’s board of directors, I will be there to support the ensemble and greet our patrons. I hope you can be there, too! Details on time, location, and tickets are below.

Here is the introduction to my essay that will appear in the printed program:

This program brings to our ears an astonishing spectrum of sonorities, from the introspective intimacy of a solo voice quietly intoning an ancient chant, to the lushness of music for unaccompanied voices, to the rich tapestry of a first-rate pipe organ, to the breathtaking and sometimes overwhelming “sonic spectacular” produced by choir and organ sounding together. Framing the program are mass settings written for three of the great religious edifices of Paris: Notre-Dame de Paris, the Église Saint-Sulpice, and the Basilique Sainte-Clotilde. It was in these three churches that the great symphonic organ tradition was born and flourished...
Please join CONCORA for what promises to be a memorable afternoon.

The complete program for CONCORA's Sonic Spectacular:Louis Vierne: “Kyrie eleison” from Messe Solennelle (Opus 16) (for choir and two organs)
James MacMillan: A New Song (1998)
Herbert Howells: Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing (1964)
Franz Biebl: Ave Maria for double male choir
Jean Langlais: Messe Solennelle (for choir and two organs)
Petr Eben: Prager Te Deum 1989*
Colin Mawby: Ave Verum Corpus
Charles Ives: Psalm 90
Howard Hanson: Psalm 8
Charles-Marie Widor: “Kyrie” from Messe Solennelle (Opus 36) (for mixed chorus, male chorus, and two organs)

CONCORA
Richard Coffey, Artistic Director
A Sonic Spectacular
Guest artists: The Men of The Hartford Chorale

David Westfall, organist • Jason Charneski, assisting organist
Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford (corner of Woodland and Farmington)
Plenty of free parking is available.
Call the CONCORA office at 860-224-7500, or purchase tickets at CONCORA’s website, http://www.concora.org/. Hope to see you there!

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