Leonard Bernstein is celebrated as the composer of masterworks such as West Side Story, Candide, and Mass. Standing easily next to these works is his Chichester Psalms, composed in 1965 for a festival at Chichester Cathedral. Cantabile’s performance of this work will feature the reduced orchestration arrangement for Organ, Harp, and Percussion. Bernstein set six of the psalms in the three movements of the Chichester Psalms. Also on the program will be other settings of the same psalms that Bernstein used. This concert is sure to be full of variety and fascinating comparisons based around one of the United States’ most celebrated composers.
With this concert, Groundhog Day will have just passed, and with it the debate about when Winter will finally come to an end. Winter’s Passing will try to musically illustrate the transition from Winter to the often more highly regarded season, Spring. The centerpiece of this program is Morten Lauridsen’s Mid-Winter Songs, a cycle of five pieces that highlight our phenomenal pianist, Stella Pradeau. Other featured composers include John Rutter and Paul Hindemith. Come reflect on the season that has passed, and think on the season that is to come.
This year, the United States goes through a ritual that for some is a time of hope and expectation, and for others a time of despair and stress. For all, it is an important moment to better understand the issues facing our time and country. With this ritual, the Presidential election, as a backdrop, we offer you a moment to step back and experience selections from our choral music history as a country. The repertoire will span our country’s choral heritage, and includes William Billings’ 1770 patriotic anthem Chester, choral music composed from and inspired by Native North American traditions, and arrangements of numerous folk songs and spirituals that highlight the cultural diversity of our country’s population. We hope you’ll join us for a musical break from the debate and intense rhetoric of the election season to enjoy a snapshot of the United States’ choral heritage.
Among Boulder’s numerous choral ensembles, the Cantabile Singers have always occupied an interesting niche. Cantabile is a community choir, but on a smaller scale than the Boulder Chorale and more akin to that ensemble’s chamber subgroup. Its singers are polished and experienced, and there is a continual push for quality both in performance and repertoire.
Cantabile presents Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 1936 cantata Dona Nobis Pacem for chorus and orchestra. Written between the two World Wars, with texts from three poems by Walt Whitman, the Bible, and the Catholic Mass, Dona Nobis Pacem is a powerful and moving plea for peace.
‘Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
And none shall make them afraid, neither shall the sword go through their land.
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Open to me the gates of righteousness, I will go into them.
Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled; and let them hear, and say, it is the truth.
And it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues.
And they shall come and see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and they shall declare my glory among the nations.
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, so shall your seed and your name remain for ever.’
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men.