2018-2019 SEASON

Earth, our home and country: songs of celebration and remembrance

The Earth and I
Oct. 28, 2018 at 5 PM
Birth Dance!
Dec. 20, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Dec. 23, 2018 at 5 PM

Paris to London
Mar. 3, 2019 at 5 PM

In addition to our standard season, the Chorale will be joining the New Orchestra of Washington (NOW) and Music Viva (NY) in two concerts commemorating the end of World War I.  The concerts will feature works by Vaughan Williams, Ravel, Holst, Radiohead, and a new work by American composer, Joseph Turrin on texts by WWI poets. Learn more November 10, 2018 at 5 PM (Washington, DC)
November 11, 2018 at 5 PM (NYC)

The Earth and I

The Earth and I

The National Presbyterian Church
October 28, 2018 at 5 PM

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In the fall of 2013, the Washington Master Chorale released its first recording, “The Earth and I: New American Choral Music,” an exploration of humankind’s relationship with nature which drew its inspiration from a trio of “word paintings” by acclaimed composer Lori Laitman from texts by Emily Dickinson.  On the fifth anniversary of that release, we reprise the themes and much of the content of “The Earth and I” to perform works by contemporary North American (Effinger, Finney, Chatman, Laitman, Lauridsen, Mechem) and classical Spanish (Casals, De Falla, Granados, Morera) composers. The program selections mine fertile ground: from works that contemplate the cosmos, the elements, aging and spirituality, to one that considers the fate of a fly. New additions to the choral canon, from composers Allison McIntosh (“The True Knowledge”) and Wendy Griffiths (“Stroking the Swan,” “The Fly,” and “The Noise of Water”), will receive world and local premieres, respectively.  The centerpiece of the concert is a performance of Spanish composer and pianist Enrique Granados’s rarely-heard, Neo-romantic masterpiece, “Cant de les estrelles” (“Song of the stars”), inspired by the poetry of German Heinrich Heine.  Composed for chorus and organ accompanying a virtuosic piano part, the piece was premiered to much acclaim on March 11, 1911 with the composer himself at the keyboard.  It was instantly lauded as one of Granados’s finest compositions and unlike his other, more nationalistic works.  In spite of its auspicious beginning, however, the piece languished for close to 100 years, mired in squabbles between the publisher and extended family who maintained the rights after Granados’s sudden and tragic death in 1916 when the passenger ferry he and his wife were aboard was torpedoed by a German U-boat.  Granados had a profound influence on two other Spanish composers represented on today’s program, Pablo Casals and Manuel de Falla.

And finally, lest you think that songs about nature and humankind are inherently serious and philosophical, Artistic Director Thomas Colohan has written two delightful nonsense pieces (“The Cat and the Fiddle” and “There was a Young Woman”) for your (and our) amusement.

Spencer Adamson, baritone

A pre-concert lecture with Artistic Director Thomas Colohan is planned.

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Birth Dance! Christmas with the Chorale

Birth Dance!

The Church of the Epiphany
December 20, 2018 at 7:30 PM
December 23, 2018 at 5 PM

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The Washington Master Chorale celebrates the holiday season with two performances of Czech American composer Václav Nelhýbel’s Estampie Natalis (“Birth Dance”) amongst new and old favorites, including Gustav Holst’s “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” J. David Moore’s “Annua Gaudia,” Peter Warlock’s “Bethlehem Down,” James MacMillan’s “O Radiant Dawn,” and Joseph Turrin’s “Magnificat.”

A mix of time-honored carols, hymns and anthems and a spirited audience sing-along with Maestro Colohan will put you in a holiday mood.

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Paris to London

Paris to London

The National Presbyterian Church
March 3, 2019 5 PM

Featuring special guests, The Children’s Chorus of Washington
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The Washington Master Chorale’s 2018/2019 season closes with a journey between two of the capitals of western art music. From Paris, excerpts Maurice Duruflé’s monumental Requiem and works by many of his contemporaries and successors including Gabriel Fauré, Lili Boulanger, and Francis Poulenc. After intermission the Chorale presents Ralph Vaughan Williams’ In Windsor Forest (with music taken from his opera Sir John In Love, based on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor) and music by Philip Wilby and John Clements. The Washington Master Chorale will be joined by the Children’s Chorus of Washington for this program.

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Washington Master Chorale
P.O. Box 53479
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 596-8934

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Photos, audio, and video by Arts Laureate.
Concert images by Diane Kresh.
Website design by Elizabeth Fulford.