2017 – 2018 CONCERT SEASON
In keeping with our commitment to present diverse repertoire, including well-known choral masterworks, great compositions that are rarely heard in concert halls, and newer, culturally significant choral works along with prestigious guest appearances, NYCHORAL is pleased to announce its exciting 2017-2018 season.
"Roads Less Traveled"
Mirjam’s Siegesgesang, D. 942 - Chorus & Soprano
Der 23. Psalm, D. 706 - Women’s Chorus
Widerspruch, D. 865 (Op. 105, No. 1) - Men’s Chorus
Randall Thompson - Frostiana
Saturday, November 18, 2017 8:00 PM
St. Francis Xavier Church, 46 W. 16th St., NYC
David Hayes, Conductor
Gabriella Reyes de Ramirez, Soprano
Zalman Kelber, Piano
Gabriella Reyes de Ramírez and Zalman Kelber appear by kind permission of The Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
The dynamic marriage of poetry and music is explored by two important and popular composers, Franz Schubert and Randall Thompson, in "Roads Less Traveled," a program designed to delight choral music enthusiasts and poetry lovers alike.
In Franz Grillparzer's poem Mirjam's Siegesgesang, Miriam, sister to Moses and Aaron, sings a triumphal song that describes the parting of the Red Sea and the swallowing up of Pharaoh's army. Schubert tells the story through virtuosic writing for soprano soloist, mixed chorus and piano accompaniment. For Der 23. Psalm Schubert turned to Moses Mendelssohn, grandfather of composer Felix Mendelssohn, for the translation from Hebrew to German of the text of the 23rd Psalm (The Lord is my Shepherd). For women’s chorus and just about 5 minutes long, the piece is a delicate, ethereal gem; the music of angels. Widerspruch (Contradiction), for men’s chorus, sets the poetry of J. G. Seidl. Schubert employs the popular romantic device of using descriptions of nature to reflect human emotions. Franz Liszt said Schubert was “the most poetic musician who ever lived.”
Randall Thompson is possibly the most frequently performed choral composer of the twentieth century. For Frostiana Thompson selected seven poems by the great American poet Robert Frost. The pairing of Frost and Thompson is magical. There is a deceptive simplicity in Frost’s poetry and Thompson composed seven exquisitely crafted movements that perfectly reflect the meaning and cadence of the poetry. Frost preferred not to have his poetry set to music, but at the conclusion of the premiere performance he is reported to have leapt to his feet, applauding and shouting “Sing it again!” To read Frost’s poems for Frostiana go to: passiveechoes.com/files/Frostiana_Lyrics.pdf
Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Nicola Luisotti, Conductor
Nadine Sierra, Soprano - 2017 Richard Tucker Award Winner
NYCHORAL has appeared at the Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala annually since 1993, with many of the performances broadcast on PBS. The Tucker Award is conferred annually on an American singer who has reached a high level of artistic achievement and who is on the threshold of a major international career. This year we join 2017 Richard Tucker Award winner Nadine Sierra. At only 28 years old she has already appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Paris Opera, Berlin Staatsoper and Zürich Opera, as well as the Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart festivals. NYCHORAL is honored to have performed at the Gala with many of the brightest stars of the opera world including Reneé Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Stephen Costello, Joyce DiDonato, Isabelle Leonard, Angela Meade, Michael Fabiano, Jamie Barton and many more.
Andrea Bocelli – US Tour
Wednesday & Thursday, December 13 & 14, 2017
Madison Square Garden
Eugene Kohn, Conductor
NYCHORAL has regularly appeared with superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli since 2000. Our first performance with Bocelli was broadcast live from Liberty State Park on PBS. The Italian classical crossover singer, recording artist and singer-songwriter has recorded fourteen solo studio albums (of both pop and classical music), three greatest hits albums and nine complete operas, selling over 80 million records worldwide. Bocelli brings classical music to the top of international pop charts and continues to delight sell-out audiences around the world.
"Where Even the Sea Sings"
Charles Villiers Stanford - Songs of the Fleet, Op. 117
Frank Ticheli - Symphony No. 3,“The Shore” (East Coast Premiere)
Sunday, February 11, 2018 2:00 PM
David Hayes, Conductor
Jarrett Ott, Baritone
The majesty and power of the sea inspire this performance of a rare gem for baritone soloist and chorus, and the East Coast Premiere of a compelling and evocative work by an important American composer.
Charles Stanford’s song cycle, Songs of the Fleet, is a group of five ‘songs,’ some of which are brisk and saltily stirring while others are somewhat darker in tone. Stanford deploys all his harmonic inventiveness in depicting the fleet ‘waking’ with the sunrise, ready to set sail, and the ships motionless again at dusk. The last song is suffused with pathos and is a memorial to those who gave their lives for their country beyond the sea. Jarrett Ott, our baritone soloist for this performance, says “The strength, breathtaking beauty and character of Stanford’s folk-like melodies invoke the bustling and often grueling nature of life at sea. I am incredibly excited to bring this to life, especially with NYCHORAL.” To hear Jarrett Ott in recital go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFqcox9QtRw
Frank Ticheli, the American composer of Symphony No. 3,“The Shore,” is Professor of Composition at the University of Southern California. When Ticheli received the commission for a major work for chorus and orchestra from the Pacific Chorale he turned to his colleague, poet David St. John. The four poems that make up the piece are linked in two ways: 1) by their settings—all in places where land and water meet, and 2) by the main character—tracing his life from boyhood through young adulthood, to old age. Ticheli says the poetry inspired a rich palette of musical moods evoked by the sea: playfulness, awe, terror, beauty, mystery, and, ultimately, calmness and tranquility. To read David St. John’s poem The Shore go to: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47514
Johann Sebastian Bach – Mass in B Minor (BWV 232)
Tuesday, May 8, 2018 8:00 PM
David Hayes, Conductor
Sarah Shafer, Soprano
Abigail Fisher, Soprano
James Reese, Tenor (Carnegie Hall debut)
Lee Poulis, Baritone
NYCHORAL is proud to present this epic masterpiece that has influenced generations of composers and continues to elate and inspire all who experience its transformative power and beauty.
When one considers the monumental artistic achievements of Western civilization, Bach’s Mass in B minor stands as a giant. Completed in 1749, a year before his death, the Mass in B Minor, along with the Art of the Fugue, is considered the culmination of a very prolific and successful career. The Mass in B Minor was never performed in its entirety during Bach’s lifetime. The first documented complete performance took place in 1859, over 100 years after his death. Since the Mass in B Minor is compiled mainly from recycled movements from cantatas written over a thirty-five-year period, it gave Bach the opportunity to revise and refine a lifetime of work one last time. The renowned conductor and Bach expert, John Eliot Gardiner, says that “the music is full of vigor and life with a spiritual and joyous side. It celebrates the fundamental sanctity of life, an awareness of the divine and a transcendent dimension as a fact of human existence.”
It might be considered Bach’s musical last will and testament.