Friday, May 15, 2009

"In Sure and Certain Hope"

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 exciting 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 and 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)

The centerpiece of the program is Nicholas White's In Sure and Certain Hope, in a new version accompanied by organ and solo cello. Nick has generously given me permission to share his program note for this moving and evocative work:

“The phrase, ‘in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life’ comes from the Burial Office in the Book of Common Prayer. The words of the Burial Office, while sorrowfully memorializing the loss of a loved one, are also filled with celebration and optimism for a new beginning. My piece, In Sure and Certain Hope, was written in 2005 and was originally scored for choir and string ensemble. Although the bulk of the musical material was newly composed, the work also drew upon existing compositions written during the last decade, reworking those pieces to incorporate them into this larger scale offering. The text is framed by the Requiem aeternam text from the Missa pro defunctis. On Saturday we will hear the first performance of the latest version of this piece, a version for choir, organ and cello. In a sense, this could be considered a ‘de-orchestration’ of the original, although for me the piece takes on a new life with the additional tonal palette of the organ, while preserving the original string color with the solo cello.”

Last fall, in Joyful Noise’s annual “Music for a Great Space” program (read about it HERE), we sang parts of the earlier composition to which Nick alludes. This is very beautiful music and a pleasure to sing; it’s skillfully composed and styled intuitively for the voice. Nick also has a real affinity for language and sets his chosen texts with sensitivity and care. I am looking forward to this performance!

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

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