2022-2023 Season Preview
Saturday, December 3 @ 4:00PM, Christ Church, Sanctuary
Sunday, December 4 @ 2:30PM and 5:00PM, Christ Church, Sanctuary
Benjamin Britten: Saint Nicolas, Op. 42,
is a cantata with music by Benjamin Britten on a text by Eric Crozier, completed in 1948. It covers the legendary life of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, Lycia, in a dramatic sequence of events. The composer wrote the work for the centenary of Lancing College in Sussex, with the resources of the institution in mind. It is scored for mixed choir, tenor soloist, four boys singers, strings, piano duet, organ and percussion. The only professionals required are the tenor soloist, a string quintet to lead the other strings, and the percussionists. Saint Nicolas is Britten's first work for amateur musicians, and it includes congregational hymns.
Gerald Finzi: Magnificat op. 36 (1952, orch.1956)
This is one of the most extended of Finzi’s shorter choral works, and was written for the choir of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, the composer’s first overseas commission. It was intended for a Christmas Vespers service, rather than for standard liturgical use, concluding with an Amen not a Gloria, and the composer planned an orchestral version from the onset. It is typical of Finzi’s lyrical approach with a great deal of contrapuntal writing. There is also great drama in the work, with the scattering of the proud, and the shewing of strength being particularly forceful. The solo parts are generally brief but telling, and there is a section for semi-chorus. The final Amen is similar in nature to the great conclusion Finzi wrote for Lo, the full, final sacrifice.
Saturday, February 25 @ 4:00PM, Greenwich High School, PAC
Carl Orff: Carmina Burana
A cantata composed in 1935 and 1936 by Carl Orff, based on 24 poems from the medieval collection Carmina Burana. Its full Latin title is Carmina Burana: Cantiones profanae cantoribus et choris cantandae comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis ("Songs of Beuern: Secular songs for singers and choruses to be sung together with instruments and magical images"). It was first performed by the Oper Frankfurt on 8 June 1937. It is part of Trionfi, a musical triptych that also includes Catulli Carmina and Trionfo di Afrodite. The first and last sections of the piece are called "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi" ("Fortune, Empress of the World") and start with "O Fortuna".
Saturday, April 22 @ 4:00PM, Greenwich High School, PAC
An extended setting for vocal soloists, choir and orchestra of the 20 stanzas of the Stabat Mater sequence. Dvořák sketched the composition in 1876 and completed it in 1877. It has been characterized as a sacred cantata and as an oratorio, and consists of ten movements of which only the first and the last are thematically connected. Its total performance time is around 85 minutes. The work was first performed in Prague in 1880.