“We’re closing our season with some beautiful, compelling and exciting music – the kind of music that, when you hear it, you want to hear it again immediately,” says Mr. Green, “All these pieces have to do with the different ways we share our musical heritage.”
Joining J. Ernest Green, the Chorale and the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra are soprano Jessica Hanel Satava, mezzo-soprano Madeleine Gray, tenor J Austin Bitner and bass Ethan Herschenfeld. Meet them HERE.
These concerts feature the regional premiere of Welsh composer Karl Jenkins “Gloria.” Two seasons ago, the Chorale performed his “Requiem,” and, based on the enthusiasm of the audience and their requests for more, Mr. Green put “Gloria” on this program. Much of Jenkins’ work is devoted exploring how different religious traditions perceive the Divine, or Ultimate Reality. A unifying concept of most of the world’s religions, it is usually defined a personal and loving God or as an eternal truth that governs the universe.
In this piece, the Chorale will sing the ancient Christian liturgical Gloria hymn of praise in Latin. Beside it, Jenkins places Psalm 150 sung in Hebrew by the chorus and another movement, “The Song,” that is his own adaptation of several verses of the Biblical book of Deuteronomy, Psalm 144 and the First Book of Chronicles.
Interspersed with and augmenting the beautiful music are readings from the Hindu Bhagavadgita (Song of the Divine), the closing lines of the Buddhist Diamond Sutra, which is the world’s oldest dated printed book, the Taoist Tao Te Ching (The Classic of the Way and Virtue), and from the Koran of Islam, the Opening, or ‘Al Fatiha’, that opens daily prayers. The audience will hear each in its native language and then read in English.
The Chorale will also perform Anton Bruckner’s “Te Deum,” another hymn of praise that Mr. Green describes as “big, glorious choral singing.” Bruckner, who composed symphonies, masses and motets, is one of the 19th century’s best composers of liturgical music and a favorite of many choral singers today. Written from 1881–1884, his “Te Deum” reflects his devout Roman Catholicism and is a very personal statement of faith. His own dedication states, “to God in gratitude for having safely brought me through so much anguish in Vienna.”
Rounding out the program is an orchestral work by Mr. Green’s late friend, composer Marvin Hamlisch. The music from the Oscar-winning film, “Sophie’s Choice” is poignant, moving and offers contrasting emotions to the other works on the program. It does, however, fit the concerts’ theme. According to Mr. Green, what binds all this music together is that they express emotions shared by all human beings. “Each of these pieces represents something we all have in common – an emotional and musical connection,” says Mr. Green. “We hear so much today about how different and divided we are and why we should disagree and dislike this or that group or individual. We must find ways to get back to each other as human beings. Through music like this, you can see just how connected to each other we really are.”
Want to see the creative process at work? Come Friday night for the Casual Friday performance! Mr. Green, ever the innovator, has a very special experience planned for the audience. Those in attendance will get a guided tour through the creative process of putting a concert together through an ‘open-dress rehearsal’ style performance. Mr. Green, one of the most enthusiastic and informative speakers around, will share with them his work on the music with the Chorale, orchestra and soloists. There will also be a Q&A session with Mr. Green and the performers after the concert. Before Saturday night’s performance, Mr. Green will give a talk on the music at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.
Here’s a little of Jenkins’ Gloria to tempt you to hear it LIVE!