Cantemus Shines a Light on Bach’s Magnificat and Works by Ola Gjeilo in “Luminous Night” Program, featuring String Quartet and Soloists
(Nov. 12, 2014) — As winter approaches, Artistic Director Jane Ring Frank and the 44 singers of the Cantemus Chamber Chorus, joined by guest soloists and a string quartet, offer “Luminous Night,” a program of intimate warmth and dramatic flourishes. The concert features J.S. Bach’s beloved, triumphant “Magnificat,” which Frank describes as “a work of pulsing energy, lyrical tenderness and stirring utterances.” Complementing Bach’s choral masterpiece are works by 20th-century composers Ola Gjeilo (pronounced Yay-lo), Z. Randall Stroope and Morten Lauridsen.
Frank uses a single word – “concision” – to explain what unifies this seemingly diverse program. “Each movement of the ‘Magnificat’ is a marvel of compositional economy and perfect expression,” Frank states, while Gjeilo is “dedicated to his own special brand of concision: economy of harmonic language and spare textual expression.” She continued, “Where the great master’s music embodies the details of a fine oil painting, Gjeilo provides a cinematic wash of color and sound – shimmering, lustrous and ultimately luminous.”
Gjeilo’s reverberating, reiterative rhythmic patterns illuminate the poetry of Charles Anthony Silvestri. “Across the Vast, Eternal Sky” centers on the legend of the Phoenix and its universal themes of spiritual growth, rebirth and renewal: “Sunlight shines on my face; this is my grace, to be restored, born again, in flame.” “Luminous Night of the Soul”delivers a heartfelt, affirmative response to St. John’s “Dark Night of the Soul.” Both of these stunning pieces, in Gjeilo’s own words, embody his “wish to feature the piano…as an equal partner to the choir, added and supported by the string quartet.”
The vocal soloists joining Cantemus are: Adriana Repetto, soprano; Thea Lobo, soprano; Carrie Cheron, mezzo soprano; James Giessler, tenor; and Matthew Wight, bass.
The Sumner Quartet string ensemble, which will join Cantemus accompanist Jeffrey Mead, includes Joshua Addison, violin; Carol Cubberley, violin; Elizabeth Stefan, viola; and Laura Messina, cello.
To complete this radiant program, Frank has chosen an eclectic mix of pieces. Stroope’s “Winter” uses affecting text by Kahlil Gibran to present a poignant view of love between two people who have known the wealth of each passing day in a long season of life spent together. From Michele Weir, who Frank calls “one of my favorite arrangers,” come three intriguing jazz carols that feature bright, intricate harmonies. And finally, “Sure on this Shining Night,” a Lauridsen composition – based on mystical text by James Agee – that has become a fan favorite since it was performed during Frank’s first concert leading Cantemus, in December 2011.
Cantemus will perform “Luminous Night” on Saturday, December 6 at 7:30 PM at Christ Church of Hamilton-Wenham, 149 Asbury Street, Hamilton; then on Sunday, December 7 at 4:00 PM at Central Congregational Church, 14 Titcomb Street, Newburyport.
Tickets are available online at www.mktix.com/ccc. You can also save $2 on advance tickets purchased at The Book Rack in Newburyport, The Book Shop of Beverly Farms, Nazir’s of Wenham, Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport, or ZUMI’S Espresso, Ipswich. Tickets at the door are $20 for adults and $17 for seniors (60 and up). Students or children 21 and under attend for free. For more details, visit www.cantemus.org, or phone 1-888-CHORUS 1.
Cantemus gratefully acknowledges funding support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Hamilton-Wenham, Newburyport, West Newbury and Georgetown Cultural Councils. This support has provided funding for free tickets to introduce music lovers to Cantemus. They are available at the Hamilton-Wenham, Newburyport, and West Newbury libraries.
Cantemus is a member of Chorus America, and of the Greater Boston Choral Consortium, a cooperative association of diverse choral groups in Boston and the surrounding areas.
FYI: Cantemus’ 45 members come from 25 communities on the North Shore, Boston, Cambridge and New Hampshire:
Amesbury: Ron Pressler. Cambridge: Artistic Director Jane Ring Frank. Danvers: Kelsey Atwater. Manchester-by-the-Sea: Isabella Bates. Beverly: Dick Church, Bill Gelwick, Scott Hufford, Paul Kelly, Ali Lipman, Pamela Morris, Jeremy Satchell, Rachel Small. Bradford: Mern Ebinger. Byfield: Doug Guy. Essex: Betsy Vicksell. Georgetown: Patty Clark. Gloucester: Ed Mowrey. Hamilton: Donna Gale, Marcy Homer, Peggy Russell. Ipswich: Gary Freeman, Bill Holloway, Anne Maguire, Hugh McCall, Stephen Miles, Sr. Pat Rolinger, Debby Twining. Lynnfield: Priscilla March, Melanie Richard. Marblehead: Debra Basile, Tanya Tupper. Melrose: Accompanist Jeffrey Mead. Newbury: Judy Fayre, Nancy Weinberg. Newburyport: Richard Blumenscheid, Claire Cayot, Gary Lubarsky. Peabody: Marjorie Short. Prides Crossing: Stephen Pletcher. Roslindale: Deborah Lemont. Salem: Aria Nevin. Shirley: Cheryl Hayden. Wenham: Jamie Cabot, Elizabeth Lebel. West Newbury: Michael Fosburg, Susan Nash. Durham, NH: Sydney van Asselt.
For more information contact:
Gary Lubarsky, Publicity