International Orange Chorale of San Francisco presents: Prewar to Postmodern; Music for the Mass(es)
Date: November 6, 2010
Location: California, USA
Choir type: Community Choirs
INTERNATIONAL ORANGE CHORALE OF SAN FRANCISCO
PRESENTS FIRST EVER COMPLETE A CAPPELLA PERFORMANCE OF MILTON
BABBITT’S MUSIC FOR THE MASS
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 7:30 P.M.
San Francisco – The International Orange Chorale of San Francisco (IOCSF) presents the first ever complete a cappella performance of Milton Babbitt’s Music for the Mass on Saturday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco.
This stunning and unique composition from early in Babbitt’s career is especially notable for what sets it apart from his later atonal and less accessible works, namely the emergence of beautiful melodies from within the chromatic and contrapuntal structure.
IOCSF rounds out the program of 20th and 21st century music with works by Irving Fine,
Robert Moran, Morten Lauridsen, and Craig Hella Johnson and three world premieres of works by local composers commissioned by IOCSF.
The International Orange Chorale of San Francisco is devoted to performing both established repertoire and newly commissioned works by promising composers. Since its inception, IOCSF has performed world premieres of fourteen choral works and regional premieres of three works.
Admission is free, although donations are welcome. For more information, please visit
About Milton Babbitt’s Music for the Mass
Originally composed in 1941, Milton Babbitt’s Music for the Mass was recently published by Harold Rosenbaum at G. Schirmer, Inc. The mass was written in response to the Roth Quartet’s inability to play Babbitt’s string trio for a concert of faculty compositions at Princeton, where Babbitt was on the faculty in the newly-formed music “section.” In the composer’s own words: “I decided to write a work that would relieve Professor Welch of some of the stigma of having a composer of such a piece in his new ‘section.’ So I wrote this Mass, and it won a Bearns Prize, as awarded by Columbia University, whose music department was chaired by the then notorious musical reactionary Daniel Gregory Mason.”
Although Babbitt is most famous for his work in serial organization and musical electronics, his early Music for the Mass composition showcases his mastery of compositional techniques, such as extreme chromaticism (perhaps foreshadowing his expansion of Schoenberg’s twelve-tone system), rigorous counterpoint, and the emergence of beautiful melodies from within the chromatic and contrapuntal structure. It is notable that the traditional Credo is absent from the mass. When asked about this by Harold Rosenbaum, Babbitt responded, “My boy, I don’t believe in Credos.” The work was premiered in Princeton with string accompaniment to assist the chorus in the more difficult movements. The International Orange Chorale is thrilled to present the first performance of Babbitt’s masterpiece as he originally intended, seventy years after its composition.
About the International Orange Chorale of San Francisco
The International Orange Chorale of San Francisco (IOCSF), led by Artistic Director Zane Fiala, was founded in 2003 by Jeremy Faust and Elaine Robertson. Named after the color of the Golden Gate Bridge, the International Orange Chorale is an auditioned volunteer-based chamber choir devoted to performing established repertoire of all periods, with particular attention to contemporary music including newly commissioned works by promising composers. Since its inception, IOCSF has performed world premieres of fourteen choral works and has also presented regional premieres of three works including Thomas Ades’ Fayrfax Carol and the 2008 revision of Jake Heggie’s Faith Disquiet. IOCSF has collaborated with Frederica von Stade, Zheng Cao, Jake Heggie, and Nicolle
Foland, appeared as part of the Noontime Concert Series at Old St. Mary’s Church in San Francisco, performed in collaboration with the Yale Glee Club at Grace Cathedral, and participated in the Haiti Earthquake Relief Concert at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. Since its inception, the group has been committed to performing free concerts featuring challenging and imaginative choral a cappella programming.
About Zane Fiala, Artistic Director, International Orange Chorale of San Francisco
Zane Fiala has been the Artistic Director for the International Orange Chorale since 2009 and is also an avid composer, arranger, pianist and teacher. During his time with IOCSF, Mr. Fiala has collaborated with Jake Heggie, Frederica von Stade, Joseph Gregorio, and Robin Estrada and has worked with guest clinicians including Joseph Jennings, Ian Robertson, Magen Solomon, and Vance George. His work with the ensemble has led to the premieres of eight compositions including his own, “Es la mañana llena.” Mr. Fiala received his M.A. in Choral Conducting from San Francisco State University and his B.A. in Jazz Studies from Columbia College Chicago. In addition to his passion for choral music, Mr. Fiala is also equally avid about food and wine. He currently holds a position at
Incanto Restaurant and Wine Bar as Assistant Wine Director and Manager and runs the artisan beer program there.