Friday, May 15, 2009

“A Dazzling Array of Anglican Choral Music”

On Saturday afternoon, I’ll be performing in a concert with Gaudeamus and Chorus Angelicus, the adult and children’s choirs of Joyful Noise. This marvelous program, titled “In Sure and Certain Hope,” will feature beautiful music from the 16th, 20th and 21st centuries, offering what Joyful Noise Artistic Director Nicholas White calls “a dazzling array of Anglican choral music at its finest.” The concert will be offered on Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 4:00pm, at Trinity Church, 220 Prospect Street, in Torrington, Connecticut.

Here’s what’s on the program:

Ne Irascaris, Domine - William Byrd
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis for Treble Voices - Nicholas White
Lo! The Full Final Sacrifice - Gerald Finzi
Evening Hymn - H. Balfour Gardiner
In Sure and Certain Hope - Nicholas White (Connecticut Premiere)

In an earlier post I wrote about the major work on the program, Nicholas White’s In Sure and Certain Hope (read that post HERE). We’ll be singing another of Nick’s compositions, his Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for Treble Voices. Here’s Nick’s program note, which is reproduced here with his permission:

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis was written for the boy choristers of Washington National Cathedral (Douglas Major, Organist and Choirmaster), where I was Assistant Organist and Choirmaster from 1994-1998. Originally intended for use during the daily round of choral evensong services, it has become popular as a concert piece, and has received performances across the United States, England, Japan and Australia. Although freely-composed, the Nunc Dimittis incorporates the chorale melody Wer nur den lieben Gott laesst walten (If thou but suffer God to guide thee) into the organ part.”

The Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis is richly melodic, with lush harmonies that ring out sweetly but never cloyingly. There's some magical writing for the two voices in this lilting music; the two parts often sing in unison, then blossom forth with the most ravishing divisi. The Washington Times called it “a joyously contemporary reflection.” I call it luscious.

Don’t miss this important concert in the lovely sanctuary of Torrington’s Trinity Church. Tickets are still available from Joyful Noise; call 860-496-8841, email or visit

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