Music Across Borders: Baroque and Contemporary Eastern European Choral Works
Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 4 pm TICKETS
Trinity Church, 484 Lime Rock Rd., Lakeville, CT
Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 4pm TICKETS
Saint James Place, 352 Main St., Great Barrington, MA
This event is recommended by the Polish Cultural Institute New York.
Baroque works by Gorczycki (‘The Polish Handel’), Hiller and Meder (Poland, Latvia), Zelenka, Harant, and Černohorský (Czechia)
Contemporary works by Ešenvalds (Latvia), Łukaszewski (Poland), Lukáš (Czechia), and Courtney (US/Ukraine)
Performers: the Crescendo Chorus and Period Instrument Orchestra.
Soloists: Christina Kay & Jordan Rose Lee, sopranos; Nicholas Tamagna & Augustine Mercante, countertenors; Dan Foster, tenor; Peter Becker, bass-baritone; conducted by Christine Gevert
Crescendo’s second program of the fall 2022 season features Baroque and contemporary European Vocal music from the Baltics and Eastern Europe. The Crescendo Chorus, national and international soloists, accompanied by a period instrument orchestra with strings, natural trumpets and basso continuo will present these rarely heard festive Baroque and hauntingly beautiful choral works.
This program takes us beyond the borders of the countries we normally associate with great Baroque music: Italy, Germany and France, the home of beloved composers such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Lully. Transcending these borders, we will embark on a musical journey discovering how the Baroque style became a transnational cultural phenomenon, as composers constantly forged new connections among diverse cultural centers across borders.
The Baroque works for chorus and instruments are “Laetatus sum” and “Completorium” by ‘The Polish Handel,’ Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, “Psalm 100” by Johann Adam Hiller (Poland, Latvia), “Confiderunt in Domine” by Kryštof Harant (Czechia), and “Laudetur Jesus Christus” by Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský (Czechia). Two Baroque solo works are Jan Dismas Zelenka’s (Czechia) “Christe eleison” ZWV 29, sung by countertenor Nicholas Tamagna, who is visiting the U.S., and was recently acclaimed in the European press as a stellar singer with “a large vocal range, from brilliant highs to rock-solid low notes” in his role as Timagne in Leonardo Vinci‘s “Alessandro nell‘Indie“ at Markgräfliches Opernhaus in Bayreuth, Germany; and “Jubilate Deo omnis terra” by Johann Valentin Meder (Latvia), sung by bass-baritone Peter Becker, who has performed on stages throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America. The Baroque works will be contrasted with contemporary a cappella vocal works by an award-winning young composer, who is at the forefront of contemporary choral music: Ēriks Ešenvalds of Latvia. His work “Stars,” based on a poem by Sara Teasdale, is accompanied with seldom-heard tuned musical glasses and Tibetan bowls. Other contemporary works are sacred motets by Paweł Łukaszewski of Poland and Zdeněk Lukáš of Czechia. A tribute to the rich choral tradition of the Ukraine will be “Ukrainian Alleluia” (2007) by the American composer Craig Courtney. He describes his work as: “A musical portrayal of a quiet voice of faith, praise and hope in the midst of suffering.”
The performers are soprano Christina Kay (New York City) and Jordan Rose Lee (Norfolk, CT), countertenors Nicholas Tamagna (Oldenburg, Germany) and Augustine Mercante (Philadelphia), tenor Dan Foster (Troy, NY), and bass-baritone Peter Becker (New York City). The Crescendo Chorus, and a period instrument orchestra of brass, timpani, strings, and basso continuo will be conducted by Crescendo’s Founding Artistic Director Christine Gevert.
Performances are on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 4 pm at Trinity Church, 484 Lime Rock Rd., Lakeville, CT, and Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 4pm at Saint James Place, 352 Main St., Great Barrington, MA. Tickets are $40 general admission, $75 premium (preferential seating), and $10 for youth under 18 years. For more information and tickets: www.crescendomusic.org.
For these concerts support has been provided to Crescendo from CT Humanities (CTH), with funding pro- vided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature.