Wednesday, November 30, 2011

“A Beautiful Tapestry” - Vaughan Williams' Hodie

“A beautiful tapestry” – that’s how one program annotator described the Hodie of Ralph Vaughan Williams, which The Hartford Chorale will perform four times this weekend with The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the Connecticut Children’s Chorus (details below).

We had our dress rehearsal this evening at the Belding Theater at The Bushnell. I love the Belding, with its warm wood furnishings, vibrant carpet, soaring ceiling, and beautiful acoustic. It’s a lovely place for choral and vocal music.

Here are a few pictures I took this evening just before rehearsal began. This is what it looks like from the back of the choir:

I included those bright lights on purpose in the second picture to show what it's like from the performers' perspective.

My assigned seat is about three rows further back than usual; I guess there was some shifting around to accommodate the children, who sit in our midst. I like my seat on the end of the row (claustrophobia sets in if I am in an interior seat), but I miss being closer to the percussion section. But I can see very well. Now all I have to do is concentrate to ignore the foot-tapping on the risers (TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP always just a bit behind the beat) and block out the sound of…. Oh, never mind.

After our portion of the rehearsal ended, we had a real treat; we were permitted to sit in the hall to listen to the remainder of the orchestral rehearsal (Glinka and Tchaikovsky; see below). The orchestra sounded just great, and it was a pleasure to watch Mr. Coffey having so much fun. As the Glinka came to its amazing conclusion and the sound floated away, I heard him say, “I just love this piece!” That was nice.

Come hear the concert. Come early to catch the pre-concert lecture on Vaughan Williams Hodie; Mr. Coffey and Dr. Alain Frogley, an internationally-renowned expert on the life and music of Vaughan Williams, will share the lecture duties.

Hartford Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Series
with Richard Coffey, guest conductor
Stephanie Gilbert, soprano; Eric Barry, tenor; Eric Downs, bass-baritone
Hartford Symphony Orchestra
Hartford Chorale - Richard Coffey, music director
Connecticut Children’s Chorus - Stuart Younse, artistic director
Thursday, December 1, 2011 • 7:30 p.m.
Friday, December 2, 2011 • 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 3, 2011 • 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 4, 2011 • 3:00 p.m.
Belding Theater • The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts

Mikhail Glinka: Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 1 from The Nutcracker, Op. 71
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Hodie

Ticket Information
Tickets range in price from $35.50-$70.50.
Student tickets are $10
On Saturday, December 3, $25 tickets are available for patrons age 40 and under.
To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact HSO ticket services at (860) 244-2999 or visit

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