Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents Two February Events Showcasing the St. Bart’s Organ, the Largest Pipe Organ in New York City

• JOHN ZORN: CANDLEMAS EVE AND THE HERMETIC ORGAN, FEBRUARY 1, 2017

• JASON ROBERTS: LIVE IMPROVISED ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT TO BUSTER KEATON’S THE GENERAL, FEBRUARY 17, 2017

To jolt New Yorkers out of their winter doldrums, the Great Music at St. Bart’s concert series presents two events in February showcasing the famed St. Bart’s pipe organ, the largest in New York City, that will literally shake the rafters. On February 1, in St. Bartholomew’s magnificent Romanesque-style church, iconic New York composer John Zorn performs The Hermetic Organ Office Nr. 15 (2017), a new chapter in his epic organ improvisation, praised by Lou Reed as one of “culmination and conquest,” and his new work Candlemas Eve. And on February 17, St. Bart’s presents the third annual screening of a silent film classic to live organ accompaniment by St. Bart’s Associate Organist Jason Roberts – this year, The General, the comedy masterpiece by Buster Keaton.

WATCH: A video about the St. Bart’s organ on Vimeo.

Tickets may be purchased online at this website, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

The 2016-17 season of Great Music at St. Bart’s continues the new programmatic focus initiated last year by MMPAF Artistic Director William K. Trafka (Director of Music and Organist of St. Bart’s): to embrace a wider range of music in programs that shine in St. Bart’s spaces. The spring 2017 season also features programs of chamber music in the Chapel that showcase modern and new repertoire, performed by acclaimed ensembles ECCO East Coast Chamber Orchestra (A Thousand Cranes by Christopher Theofanidis, NY premiere), and Apple Hill String Quartet (Presences by John Harbison, world premiere). Among the programs presented in the magnificent sanctuary are two vastly different interpretations of the St. John Passion: Bach’s, performed by The English Concert Players and the Choir of New College, Oxford, conducted by Robert Quinney, and Arvo Pärt’s, performed by Trafka leading the St. Bartholomew’s Choir; and Orff’s Carmina Burana performed by the Dalton Chorale.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at 8:30 pm in the Church
JOHN ZORN: CANDLEMAS EVE AND THE HERMETIC ORGAN

Barry Crawford, flute
Isabel Gleicher, flute
Al Lipowski, vibraharp
Sae Hashimoto, vibraharp assistant
John Zorn, organ

Modern music icon John Zorn returns to St. Bart’s with a performance of The Hermetic Organ Office Nr. 15 (2017), a new chapter in his epic organ improvisation, praised by Lou Reed as one of “culmination and conquest.” His 2016 work Candlemas Eve for two flutes and vibraharp will be offered on the eve of the church’s feast day of Candlemas.

John Zorn performed The Hermetic Organ Office Nr. 14 last year at St. Bart’s and has released a recording of that performance on his Tzadik website, www.tzadik.com (Cat. #8340): “Recorded at midnight on the eve of Halloween on the largest organ in New York City, Zorn approaches this performance as ritual, creating a mysterious mood of contrasts, colors, bells, drones, counterpoint and simultaneity.”

“The one word virtually everyone can agree on in any discussion of the work of composer John Zorn is ‘prolific,’ in the strictest sense of the definition,” says Thom Jurek in allmusic.com. “Though he didn’t begin making records until 1980, the recordings under his own name number well over 100, and the sheer number of works he has performed on, composed, or produced easily doubles that number. Though now an internationally renowned musician and the founder and owner of the wildly successful and equally prolific Tzadik imprint, Zorn is a cornerstone of New York’s fabled and influential downtown scene. In addition, he has played with musicians of every stripe. He is … a quintessential mirror of 21st century culture.”

WATCH: John Zorn’s talks about his approach to The Hermetic Organ on YouTube
Tickets: $25, $15 for Students and Seniors


Friday, February 17, 2017, at 7:30 pm in the Church
JASON ROBERTS ACCOMPANIES THE GENERAL

Jason Roberts, organ

St. Bart’s Associate Director of Music and Organist Jason Roberts improvises organ accompaniment to The General, the great 1927 action-packed comedy adventure from Buster Keaton inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862.

As Gary Giddins wrote in Slate.com, “The General belongs to at least three movie genres: comedy, historical, and chase. Most of it is constructed around a pursuit as relentless as any Bourne blowout, involving a Confederate locomotive, called the General, hijacked by Union spies. … Keaton’s authenticity and comedic understatement make The General a surprisingly modern experience. The storytelling and the gags are free of sentimentality and knockabout clichés. The four-minute battle scene is simply one of the most gripping, and occasionally hilarious, ever filmed.”

Over the past two years, Jason Roberts has improvised the organ accompaniment to St. Bart’s screenings of The Wind starring Lillian Gish and the Buster Keaton classic Steamboat Bill, Jr. St. Bart’s Associate Director of Music, Organist, and the Director of the Boy and Girl Choristers since 2014, Jason is a sought-after recitalist in the U.S. and an avid improviser. He won first prize at the AGO National Competition in Organ Improvisation in 2008 and was a finalist at the St. Alban’s International Organ Competition in 2011 (Improvisation). He holds degrees from Rice University, Yale University and the Manhattan School of Music.

READ: Critic Roger Ebert’s review of “Great Movie” The General
Tickets: $20, $10 for Students and Seniors


Tickets may be purchased online at this website, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s, the concert series produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, for the past six years has presented music in St. Bartholomew’s Church, a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of New York located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The magnificent 1918 Romanesque-style church features a portal designed by Stanford White and a grand Byzantine-style interior – and two of New York’s unlikely but outstanding concert spaces: the 150-seat chapel, an intimate and acoustically brilliant space that is perfectly suited for contemporary chamber music, and the majestic 1,000-seat sanctuary – outfitted with comfortable chairs enabling flexible seating – whose Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ is the largest in New York City and one of the finest examples of the American Classic Organ in the U.S.

Welcome to Our 2016 – 2017 Season

The new season for 2016-2017 has just been announced, and we’ve got quite an exciting line up as well as a new, updated look for the website.   To explore the concerts and events, click here.

To read the press release for this season, click here.

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents – Andy Akiho and the Sebastians

Monday, April 25, 2016, at 7:30 pm in the Chapel

ANDY AKIHO & THE SEBASTIANS

with:
Kristin Lee, violin
Ian David Rosenbaum, percussion
Amphion String Quartet

andy_akiho_and_sebastians

Andy Akiho, photo by Aestheticize Media; The Sebastians

Music by the dynamic young composer Andy Akiho, which has been praised as “mold-breaking” and “vital,” mixes with a series of Baroque masterpieces in this program performed by some of the finest young chamber musicians and ensembles on the New York music scene: violinist Kristin Lee, percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum, the Amphion String Quartet, and “leading young early-music ensemble” The Sebastians. Akiho himself also performs, on steel pan. The concert, presented by the Great Music at St. Bart’s series (produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation), takes place in the St. Bart’s Chapel, a wonderfully intimate space ideally suited for contemporary chamber music.

The Sebastians’ segments of the program, early-Baroque works – chamber pieces by Purcell , Schmelzer, and Graupner; and Biber’s exciting Battalia (Battle) for string ensemble – and one of the era’s most popular masterpieces, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, both echo and contrast with the keen sense of line and syncopated counterpoint in Akiho’s LIgNEouS for string quartet and marimba and Deciduous for violin and steel pan, which will be performed by Kristin Lee, for whom the work was written, and Akiho.

BIBER Battalia à 10 for strings (1673)
AKIHO LIgNEouS for marimba and string quartet (2010)
SCHMELZER Sonata for three violins in D Major (c. 1660-1670)
PURCELL Fantasia upon a Ground for three violins in D Major (c. 1680)
GRAUPNER Presto from Canon for two violins, cello, and continuo
AKIHO Deciduous for violin and steel pan (2014)
BACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (1721)

Watch Kristin Lee and Andy Akiho perform Deciduous in the video clip below:

Andy Akiho, whose work has been described as “mold-breaking,” “alert and alive,” “dramatic,” and “vital” by The New York Times, is an eclectic composer and performer of contemporary classical music. Recent engagements include commissioned premieres by the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW. Akiho’s debut CD, No One To Know One, on innova Recordings, features compositions that pose intricate rhythms and exotic timbres around his primary instrument, the steel pan. www.andyakiho.com  Twitter

Named the recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Korean-American violinist Kristin Lee has been praised by The Strad for her “mastery of tone.” A violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique, Ms. Lee enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and 
educator. www.violinistkristinlee.com  Twitter

Praised for his “excellent” and “precisely attuned” performances by The New York Times, percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum made his Kennedy Center debut in 2009 and later that year garnered a special prize created for him at the Salzburg International Marimba Competition. Mr. Rosenbaum joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program in 2012 as only the second percussionist they have selected in their history. www.iandavidrosenbaum.com  Twitter

Hailed for its “gripping intensity” and “suspenseful and virtuoso playing” (San Francisco Classical Voice), the Amphion String Quartet (Katie Hyun and David Southorn, violin; Wei-Yang Andy Lin, viola; Mihai Marica, cello) is a winner of the 2011 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition and joined the roster of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two Program in fall 2013. Through CMS, the ensemble made its Alice Tully Hall debut in March 2014, about which The New York Times praised “the focused, forceful young Amphion String Quartet” for its “sharply detailed performances.” www.amphionquartet.com  Twitter

The Sebastians are a dynamic musical ensemble specializing in music of the Baroque and Classical eras. Lauded as “everywhere sharp-edged and engaging” (The New York Times), the Sebastians have also been praised for their “well-thought-out articulation and phrasing” (Early Music Review) and “elegant string playing… immaculate in tuning and balance” (Early Music Today). Winners of the Audience Prize at the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition, the Sebastians were also finalists in the 2011 York International Early Music Competition and the 2011 Early Music America/Naxos
Recording Competition. www.sebastians.org

Tickets: $35, $15 for Students and Seniors

Tickets may be purchased online at on the event page, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s is produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) corporation established to cultivate, promote, sponsor and develop the understanding and love of the performing arts as presented at St. Bartholomew’s Church, a treasured masterpiece of architecture on the east side of Manhattan’s midtown. The corporation sponsors performances of music, dance, drama, and other performing arts as well as the exhibition of works in the film and fine arts genres.

Click here for full press release on these concerts.

Press Contact:
Jennifer Wada Communications
718-855-7101
jennifer@wadacommunications.com

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents – The Apple Hill String Quartet

Sunday, March 13, 2016, at 2:30 pm in the Chapel
THE APPLE HILL STRING QUARTET – Music of Purcell, Glass, Haas

Apple Hill String Quartet (Elise Kruder, Colleen Jennings, violin; Mike Kelley, viola; Rupert Thompson, cello)

apple_hill_string_quartet_2016

The Apple Hill String Quartet performs its sixth annual performance on the Great Music at St. Bart’s series, a program in the intimate St. Bart’s Chapel: an arrangement of Purcell’s Three Fantasias (1680); Philip Glass’s String Quartet #4 “Buczak,” written in 1987 in remembrance of the artist Brian Buczak; and Pavel Haas’s String Quartet No. 2, “From the Monkey Mountains,” Op. 7 – a 1925 work that continues the Czech heritage of Haas’s teachers Dvořák and Janáček and evokes the Moravian highlands of its subtitle, with four movements titled “Landscape,” “Coach, Coachman and Horse,” “The Moon and I,” and “Wild Night.”

Since its founding in 2007 at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in Nelson, New Hampshire, the quartet has earned praise around the world for its performances of traditional and new repertoire. Central to the mission of Apple Hill is “Playing for Peace,” an innovative outreach program that focuses on social change and conflict resolution through music. As resident musicians at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, the Quartet is featured in the summer concert series held every Tuesday night at the Center in Nelson, N.H. These concerts attract hundreds of visitors and have become a mainstay of the Monadnock area summer music offerings. Watch the quartet perform a segment from Geoffrey Hudson’s The Quartet Project in a video clip on the St. Bart’s event page.

Click here for full press release on these concerts.

Press Contact:
Jennifer Wada Communications
718-855-7101
jennifer@wadacommunications.com

Great Music at St. Bart’s – Apple Hill String Quartet, March 13, 2016.
Click here to learn more.

Tickets: $25, $15 for Students and Seniors
Tickets may be purchased online at www.mmpaf.org, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s is produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) corporation established to cultivate, promote, sponsor and develop the understanding and love of the performing arts as presented at St. Bartholomew’s Church, a treasured masterpiece of architecture on the east side of Manhattan’s midtown. The corporation sponsors performances of music, dance, drama, and other performing arts as well as the exhibition of works in the film and fine arts genres.

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents

THIRD SOUND – A NEW ENSEMBLE MAKES ITS U.S. DEBUT WITH A PROGRAM OF NEW AMERICAN & CUBAN MUSIC – January 12
CONCORDIA CHOIR – February 23

Third-Sound-photo-by-Tristan-Cook-1

Third Sound in Havana, photo by Tristan Cook. Click on photo for hi-res.

The U.S. debut of Third Sound, a “supergroup” of young New York musicians, performing new American and Cuban music, and a performance by the renowned Concordia Choir from Moorhead, Minnesota, are the first events of 2016 from Great Music at St. Bart’s, presented by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016, at 7:30 pm in the Chapel

THIRD SOUND – U.S. Debut
Third Sound is a new collective of virtuoso performers drawn from New York City’s finest chamber musicians: Sooyun Kim, flute; Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet; Karen Kim, violin; Michael Nicolas, cello; and Orion Weiss, piano; composer Patrick Castillo is the artistic director. Having just made its debut as part of the delegation from the American Composers Forum invited to participate in the Festival de Música Contemporánea (Contemporary Music Festival) in Havana, Cuba, this New York ensemble will present its first performance in the U.S. in the St. Bart’s chapel, an acoustically brilliant space perfectly suited for contemporary chamber music.

“Third Sound is already one of the country’s best contemporary music ensembles,” says composer Michael Harrison, who also took part in the Havana residency. “For their debut concert at the Havana Contemporary Music Festival they selected an incredibly diverse range of ten works by leading American composers. Everything was executed with the kind of passion and precision that one only hears from the most experienced ensembles. Working with Third Sound is a composer’s dream!”

Drawing on its Havana program, which was the first live concert in that festival’s history featuring American performers in a program of exclusively contemporary American music (read about it, and hear selections from the concert, in Anastasia Tsioulcas’s story for NPR Music, “Hear a New Music Journey, from the U.S. to Havana“), Third Sound will perform American works along with music by Cuban composers Wilma Alba Cal, Juan Piñera, and others to be announced, acquired during the ensemble’s Havana visit. All the works on the program were written within the past 15 years, and eight of them will receive their New York or U.S. premiere performances:

CINDY COX Wave for piano trio (first movement) (2009) (New York premiere)
KAI-YOUNG CHAN Mieko for flute and electronics (2014) (New York premiere)
AMADEUS REGUCERA Inexpressible (v. 2) for flute, violin, and cello (2013, rev. 2015) (U.S. premiere)
JUAN PIÑERA Work for clarinet, violin, and piano to be announced (U.S. premiere)
INGRID ARAUCO Fantasy Quartet for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2001) (New York premiere)
WILMA ALBA CAL Homenaje a Piazzolla for clarinet and piano (second movement) (U.S. premiere)
CHRISTOPHER WENDELL JONES A Crowd of Twisted Things for violin and piano (2011) (New York premiere)
JEREMY GILL Paean, Epitaph, and DIthyramb for flute, cello, and piano (2008) (New York premiere)
JENNIFER HIGDON Smash for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2006)

The program, which will be recorded for commercial release later in 2016, is the first of two American/Cuban programs that Third Sound will present this season, the second to take place in May.

Conceived from a desire to present music as a rich and dynamic continuum, Third Sound brings together an accomplished group of musicians equally skilled in – and equally passionate about – the work of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms as that of composers ranging from Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Messiaen; Carter, Wuorinen, Adams, and Reich; to emerging composers of the early 21st century. The group’s members have appeared on the most prestigious series and stages around the world and garnered major honors, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Georg Solti Foundation Career Grant, and the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance, among many others.

Learn more:
“Hear a New Music Journey, from the U.S. to Havana,” coverage and concert excerpts, from NPR Music: http://tinyurl.com/qg9nr3t
Third Sound and the ACF delegation to Havana: http://composersforum.org/press/acf-cuba-delegation
Third Sound: Facebook and website
Blog post from composer Kati Agócs about the Havana festival: http://www.katiagocs.com/blog/

Tickets: $35, $15 for Students and Seniors

Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at 7:30 pm, in the Church

THE CONCORDIA CHOIR
The Concordia Choir
René Clausen, conductor

The renowned 72-voice Concordia Choir from Moorhead, Minnesota, makes its only New York City appearance this season with a return visit to St. Bart’s, part of a 16-city U.S. tour. The choir, led by Dr. René Clausen, will perform a diverse program of traditional and contemporary choral works drawing from, or inspired by, hymns, spirituals, and the Lutheran tradition – including works by Dr. Clausen, Stephen Paulus, Jens Klimek, David Dickau, and Bobby McFerrin; Ives, Vaughan Williams, and Copland; and Bach and Mendelssohn.

The Concordia Choir continues to affirm its reputation as one of America’s finest a cappella choirs. Since 1920, the choir has performed in nearly every major hall including Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center as well as on numerous international tours, and has performed many times on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” radio show. Recent activities include a 2010 performance and recording with the Grammy Award-winning King’s Singers and a 2011 tour of South Korea. The Concordia Choir is featured in the Emmy-winning “Concordia Christmas Concerts,” which are nationally broadcast on public television. The choir’s recordings are distributed internationally and through iTunes, and it is one of the top-selling choirs in the country.

Dr. René Clausen is the third conductor in the choir’s history, assuming the role in 1986. As a composer he has written more than 120 commissioned works. The Kansas City Chorale recording Life and Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen won two Grammy awards in 2013.

Learn more:
https://www.concordiacollege.edu/music/ensembles/choirs/the-concordia-choir/

Tickets: $30, $20 for Seniors, $10 for Students

Tickets may be purchased online at www.mmpaf.org, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s is produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) corporation established to cultivate, promote, sponsor and develop the understanding and love of the performing arts as presented at St. Bartholomew’s Church, a treasured masterpiece of architecture on the east side of Manhattan’s midtown. The corporation sponsors performances of music, dance, drama, and other performing arts as well as the exhibition of works in the film and fine arts genres.

Click here for full press release on these concerts.

Press Contact:
Jennifer Wada Communications
718-855-7101
jennifer@wadacommunications.com

A Joyous Christmas Concert Artwork by Steve Ross

Title: Theotokos (Mary and Baby) Medium: Watercolor Artist: Steve Ross

Title: Theotokos (Mary and Baby); Medium: Watercolor; Artist: Steve Ross

Of all the players during Advent, I believe the season really belongs to Mary. She said ‘Yes’ to God, with no guarantee as to how it would pan out, so I wanted to pay tribute to her courage and generosity with this painting. Many artistic interpretations of Mary render her in a submissive and passive role, with eyes downcast or meekly looking at her baby. My interpretation affords Mary much more agency and thus I have her break from demure tradition and engage the viewer boldly and directly. I also have her holding her baby in such a way as to acknowledge that the child is not just hers, but that she is consciously “offering” the child to us, the viewer.

Artist Bio:
Steve Ross is an illustrator and artist living in New York City. His work is in many private collections and his illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist and many other magazines and publications. He is the author of two graphic novels; “Marked” based on the Gospel of Mark, and “Blinded,” based on the adventures of St. Paul of Tarsus. More of his work can be seen at www.StevenTracyRoss.com.

New York Classical Review: Austere and Timeless, MacMillan Premiere Proves Compelling at St. Bart’s

Article on New York Classical Review

James MacMillan’s “Since it Was the Day of Preparation …” received its New York premiere as an MMPAF concert event was reviewed on the website New York Classical Review.  The article is reprinted below, or click here to view it on the NYCR website.
—————

Austere and Timeless, MacMillan Premiere Proves Compelling at St. Bart’s

By George Grella
May 05, 2014 at 1:05 pm
macmillan_XXL (1)
New liturgical works like James MacMillan’s “Since it Was the Day of Preparation …”, which had its New York premiere Sunday afternoon at St. Bart’s Church, are important reminders of both the foundations of the Western classical tradition and how what amounts to two handfuls of notes continues to be an enduring source of invention for thousands of years.
MacMillan’s piece was commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria, an organization dedicated to funding the composition of sacred “choral-orchestral” work from leading contemporary composers (this is the third MacMillan piece they have contributed to). The Scottish composer sets the Gospel of John from a point after Christ’s death to the Resurrection and Christ’s three appearances. At about eighty minutes in duration, it uses the compact forces of a small chorus—whose members double as solo narrators, the disciples, and Mary Magdalene—and a quintet with the unusual instrumentation of clarinet, horn, cello, harp and theorbo.
This is a well made, involving composition, given a performance, conducted by William K. Trafka, that matched the quality of the music: refined, assured, controlled and focused, with the sensation of indescribable expressive intensity and depth just contained under the surface of the notes. The music sounds familiar, in that it is clear and easy to follow, and yet also new. There are unexpected details and an inventive use of traditional ideas that surprise and construct a rigorous internal logic.
One thing that is so refreshing about “Since it Was the Day of Preparation …”, and MacMillan’s work in general, is how his sensibility goes against the grain of contemporary Western thinking about sacred music. He is the foremost composer within the Catholic liturgical tradition (though not confined to that). He does not indulge in easy comfort and blandishments, he expresses both the difficulty and solace of faith, and while he works in tonal harmony, he challenges listeners as often as he soothes them. 
His writing is immediately captivating. The piece starts, unusually enough, with a theorbo solo (played elegantly by David Walker), but rather than make a neo-Renaissance pastiche, MacMillan creates a compelling mix of melodic phrases, harmonics, and dense, strummed chords, and traverses the instrument’s range. The effect is stimulating and grounding, hinting at the contemporary context for the work while setting it deep within the classical tradition.
After the theorbo, the first voice heard was the clear tenor of Christopher Carter, picking up the Gospel at the first sentence after, in the composer’s words, “Jesus gives up his spirit”—thus the title of the piece. The narrative switches between other singers, all of whom sang with an affecting clarity of tone and expression: bass James Whitfield, sopranos Amanda Sidebottom and Martha Sullivan, altos Eliza Bagg and Elizabeth Merrill, and tenor Christopher Ellman.
Structurally, there are solo interludes for each instrument throughout the piece, and three sections where the quintet plays as a whole and accompanies the voices. The interludes alternate with the mostly a cappella sections.
The music also alternates stylistically between austere vocals and the sensual instrumental music—particularly a dazzling clarinet solo played by Benjamin Fingland, the kind of expressive writing that has one envisioning the composer’s hand moving freely across the expanse of the blank page. In contrast, the vocal lines are disciplined and ordered by the requirements of the words.
MacMillan uses the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition of the Bible. He sets the text with a sophisticated sense of harmony, mixing together modes and triads, allowing the voices to wander expressively around a central pitch while also using dissonance to produce acute moments of tension and deeply satisfying release—all in a single line.
Another simple and powerful device MacMillan uses is to have the chorus members play hand-bells in free rhythm whenever Christ, the dignified, subtle bass-baritone Jeff Morrissey, sings. The sonic color is gorgeous, and the bells connect the music to the rituals of the Catholic Mass. The balance between the ringing metal of the bells (and the brightness of the instruments) and the woody purity of the voices works subliminally as an intellectual and spiritual argument for the sacrifices of glories of Christ and those who follow him.
There is a single moment in the piece that encapsulates the musical means, the meaning, and the sheer pleasure of the music’s sound: as Whitfield finished singing about Jesus’ burial, the quintet entered under his last syllable, first sustained on G then lowered to F. The voice and instruments came together on a ninth-chord that, in the cavernous space (unfortunately only half full), rang, briefly but intensely, with a bracing brilliance. It felt like the illumination of the sun after a long period of darkness, just as painful to the eyes, just as warm to the body.
Want to Know More?  Click Here!

MMPAF’s New Partnership: Japan Society

Announcement

MMPAF, located at the crossroads of America’s most vibrant metropolis, is pleased to announce its partnership with the Japan Society.Founded in 1907, Japan Society (333 East 47th Street NY, NY) is the leading U.S. organization committed to deepening mutual understanding between the United States and Japan in a global context. Now in its second century, the Society serves audiences across the United States and abroad through innovative programs in arts and culture, public policy, business, language and education. Japan Society serves as a catalyst for the intellectual and cultural exchange that nurtures and sustains a healthy and productive relationship between the United States and Japan. Its Performing Arts Program is the leading showcase in the United States for contemporary and traditional Japanese dance, music and theater.

Since the inception of the Performing Arts Program in 1953, Japan Society has introduced more than 600 performing arts programs from Japan to an extensive American audience. In addition to its annual season of five to ten full-evening programs, ranging from the traditional arts of noh, kyogen, bunraku, and kabuki, to cutting-edge theater, dance and music, plus educational workshops, lectures and demonstrations, the Society has also been a pioneer in presenting works that are products of collaborations between Japanese and American/international artists. The Society presents established and emerging performers whose artistry strongly communicates an expression of Japanese tradition, art forms, or style. The Society also commissions new works to non-Japanese artists, produces national tours, organizes residency programs for American and Japanese artists and develops and presents educational programs.

Want to Know More? Click Here!

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MMPAF’s New Partnership: Kadmus Arts

Announcement

partner_KadmusArts2MMPAF is pleased to announce its partnership with Kadmus Arts. Where festivals, artists, fans meet.

KadmusArts.com is a site for the festival community: the organizers, the sponsors, the artists, and most importantly, the audiences. From our small studio in the Green Mountain State (Vermont) of the United States, we created the site to help artists, audiences, cultural travelers and festival colleagues find each other — all over the world. Through word-of-mouth and the participation of festivals, artists, and audiences, KadmusArts.com is now the web’s most popular portal to every kind of dance, music, and theatre festival throughout the world. This site’s goal is to make festivals more accessible and to promote the meeting of cultures, performances, and artists. As you can see on the site, everything is open — and free. Festival goers of the world unite!

The Seven Spaces of Mozart’s Requiem

UPCOMING CONCERT:
Saturday, October 27th at 7:30 PM

THE SEVEN SPACES OF MOZART’S REQUIEM

argento-Oct-2012The Argento Chamber Ensemble, under the baton of conductor Michel Galante, will perform all fragments of Mozart’s unfinished Requiem K. 626 along with composer Georg Friedrich Haas’s Seven Soundspaces (Sieben Klangraume), which link together the fragments of Mozart’s masterwork. To open the program, acclaimed flutist Paula Robison will perform Mozart’s Andante K.315 for flute and orchestra. The featured choir for the program is The College of New Jersey Chorale with vocal soloists soprano, Tharanga Goonetilleke; alto, Silvie Jensen; tenor, Steven Wilson and bass Peter Stewart.