Sunday, November 08, 2015

International Orange Chorale

Another fine upcoming concert from IOC. The concerts are free; donations gratefully accepted.

From their press release:

All Souls Episcopal Parish, 2220 Cedar Street, Berkeley
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2015, 7:30 P.M.
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2015, 7:30 P.M.

The concert features the world premiere of “Missa Brevis” by the eminent Swedish composer Fredrik Sixten, as well as sacred works by Jeremy Faust, Edvard Grieg, Georg Grün, Herbert Howells, Joshua Stoddard, Jon Washburn, and IOCSF’s inaugural Composer-in-Residence Nicholas Weininger. Several selections will feature our guest artist, baritone soloist Krassen Karagiozov, a resident principal artist at Opera San Jose. IOCSF’s fall program is headlined by Fredrik Sixten’s epic “Missa Brevis,” the most ambitious commissioned work the choir has yet undertaken. Sixten sets the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei texts in Latin interspersed with excerpts from the Psalms in English. His shimmering, brilliantly tonal yet dramatically adventurous music conveys the full range of deep emotions expressed in the Mass texts, from anguish to exaltation and from terror to serenity. Accompanying the Missa Brevis on the program is a selection of sacred settings illustrating the variety of styles and approaches that continue to make this ancient musical genre new. Jeremy Faust’s “Adam lay i-bowndyn” is a bright chorale on a Middle English paraphrase of Genesis 3, while Edvard Grieg’s “Fire Psalmer” (Four Psalms) set Swedish folk melodies in a sensitive Romantic style. “Veni,” by the Austrian composer Georg Grün, uses driving polyrhythms to convey the urgency of the sentiment “Veni creator spiritus” (Come, Holy Spirit). Two different translations of the German hymn “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” are featured: Jon Washburn takes the traditional “Lo, how a Rose” translation and hymn tune and creates a serenely flowing, languidly extended 5/4 variation on the theme, while Herbert Howells sets the alternate “A spotless Rose” version as a richly textured yet simple 20th century anthem. Josh Stoddard, a tenor in IOCSF, contributes his spare and thoughtful setting of Psalm 23, highlighting that text’s contrast of unease and assurance. The Grieg and Howells will feature baritone solos from guest artist Krassen Karagiozov. This season also marks the beginning of IOCSF’s annual Composer-in-Residence program. The 2015-2016 Composer-in-Residence is Nicholas Weininger, who has sung with IOCSF since 2007 and who has had several previous works premiered by IOCSF. For this season Weininger has composed “De profundis (A Song of Ascents)”, setting selected verses from Psalm 130 in English, Latin, and Hebrew, and combining the intricate counterpoint of a Renaissance motet with a modern cadential and tone-painting sensibility. “IOCSF is honored and delighted to premiere Fredrik Sixten’s extraordinary work,” said Zane Fiala, Artistic Director of IOCSF. “Having performed several of Sixten’s pieces before, we jumped at the chance to commission him for this season and could not be more pleased with the result. His Missa Brevis exemplifies the best of modern sacred music.”

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