Colorado Chorale performs Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna and Corigliano's Fern Hill
Date: October 1, 2009
Location: Colorado, USA
Choir type: Community Choirs
Saturday, October 3rd- 7:30 pm
Bethany Lutheran- 4500 East Hampden Ave, Cherry Hills Village CO 80113
Sunday, October 4th- 3:00 pm
Augustana Lutheran- 5000 East Alameda Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80246
Adults $18 and Student/Senior $10
To order tickets call us at 303-446-9207
or visit our website at coloradochorale.org
The Colorado Chorale will join with the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra to present acclaimed works of four contemporary American composers, Russell Peck, John Corigliano, Morten Lauridsen, and Gwyneth Walker.
According to Russell Peck, his father “listened to Mozart on the radio, practiced barbershop quartet singing in the basement, and also did radio chorus work with the Detroit Symphony.” Along with Mozart and barbershop, Peck cited Motown as a major influence during his early years. These varied influences come through in his compositions which feature fun and fascinating rhythms and elements that resemble modern pop. His work also employs classical forms and modernharmonies enjoyed by symphony audiences of all ages. Don’t Tread On Me is an orchestral work based on Peck’s quartet, Don’t Tread On Me Or On My String Quartet. Peck’s website writes of the orchestral version, “although it begins in a Mozartian vein, Don’t Tread On Me quickly gets rugged with unequivocal rock influence, and is given a special energy by feroce string crossings.” This rollicking and energetic piece has brought smiles to audiences around the world.
Currently teaching at Juilliard School of Music and holding the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at Lehman College, City University of New York, John Corigliano has won a Pulitzer Prize, several Grammies, the Grawemeyer Award, and an Academy Award. When asked early in his career to set Dylan Thomas’ (1914-1953) poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” to music, Corigliano chose the poem “Fern Hill” instead. The poetry seemed to speak directly to Corigliano. He subsequently revised the 1960 setting of “Fern Hill” several times, eventually including it in A Dylan Thomas Trilogy which includes “Poem in October” and “Poem on His Birthday”. The music and the poem speak liltingly of the simplicity and joy of childhood. Building in subtle drama, it reaches the realization, almost bitterly, of the fleeting quality of time and innocence. The text, the rhythms, and the sonorous and dissonant harmonies envelop the listener.
In 2007, Morten Lauridsen received the national Medal of Arts “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide.” He has been a member of the faculty of USC for more than 30 years and was Composer-in-Residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1994-2001. Written in 1997, Lux Aeterna, eternal light, was composed for and is dedicated to the Los Angeles Master Chorale and its conductor, Paul Salamunovich. The work is in five movements with text from sacred Latin sources, each containing references to light. Opening with a chant, the work then swells and subsides with lush and unexpected harmonies as it weaves some repeated melody fragments throughout the movements. Lauridsen beautifully portrays the purity and inspiration and healing power of light as the work swirls, rises, falls, and dances, sometimes weightless, always full of energy.
Gwyneth Walker left her faculty position at Oberlin College Conservatory in 1982 to pursue her career as a full time composer. Now living on a dairy farm in Vermont, Gwyneth’s work encompasses concertos for professional soloists and orchestra and folk song settings for school choruses. Influences such as rock, jazz, blues and American folk music color her music in which she expresses her love for life. “The Water is Wide” is one of three parts of River Songs, a piece about rivers and water. This selection features the waves of water in a gentle, peaceful rhythm and melody, with ripples and currents of strings unfolding throughout.
Our concert begins with the music of Russell Peck who said, “In the creative process I don’t imagine pure sound; I imagine myself seated in the audience at the actual premiere. Recording is wonderful for many purposes and makes an abstraction of the sound, which has certain advantages. Yet for me nothing compares with hearing and seeing orchestra musicians on stage making music live with all its drama and immediacy….I say,’you haven’t lived until you’ve heard them live.’” Please join the Colorado Chorale and Musica Sacra with their artistic directors Dr. Frank Eychaner and Dr. Catherine Sailer for an exhilirating and inspiring evening and thank you for sharing the music with us.