Saturday, February 7, 2015

March 2014

The Temple Square Chorale concerts were March 21 and 22. We shared the concert with the Orchestra at Temple Square. The first half of the program was the orchestra performing Edward Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme, op. 36 ("Enigma").
After a brief intermission the Chorale joined the orchestra. The first song we sang was Mack Wilberg's Requiem aeternam Mvmt. I from Requiem. Next on the program was the bulk of our study, Ralph Vaughan Williams' Dona nobis pacem. Having sung with choirs for over 20 years, I was pleased that we were able to study a work I had not sung before. Williams' setting reminds me of his opera Riders to the Sea. I could hear the same imagery of the rough ocean waves. His word painting is unparalleled. Especially the Beat! Beat! Drums! Movement. The setting of this Walt Whitman text has the chorus sounding like the drums and bugels. "So strong you thump O terrible drums, so loud you bugles blow." This YouTube recording is not us but the Eastman-Rochester Chorus.
We closed the concert with Mack Wilberg's, Let Peace Then Still the Strife.From the program notes by Dr. Luke Howard,
"In it's original function as an addendum to Vaughan William's cantata, Wilberg's "Let Peace Then Still the Strife" has significant musical and textual ties to that work. David Warner's lyrics interpret the biblical "balm of Gilead" mentioned in the Dona nobis pacem as a balm of memory, reminding us that the cherished influence of departed loved ones lives on in our memories and that in time we will again join with them."
The next Sunday morning, the Chorale was invited to sing on its second broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word.
Songs included:
O God, Our Help in Ages Past
Brother James' Air
Requiem aeternam, from Wilberg's Requiem
Let Peace Then Still the Strife
I particularly love the text of Let Peace Then Still the Strife by David Warner,
"Sweep into every soul,
Make music of our tears,
Turn all our songs to joy and thanksgiving!"

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