hero_Current Season

Current Season

“Art is the great democrat, calling forth genius from every sector of society.”
– John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, November 29, 1962.

In 2017, the Washington Master Chorale will commemorate a trio of centenaries: the births of composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein and President John F. Kennedy, and the entry of the United States into World War I. Through a new choral commission, concert programming and special events, the Washington Master Chorale’s season of “Remembrance” will encourage our audiences to reflect upon the man who was, arguably one of the most important composers of our times, a president whose commitment to the arts remains unparalleled and a war, so devastating, it was to be the war to end all wars.

Youthful Indulgence: Early Masses of Mozart and Martin

The Washington Master Chorale opens its 2017-2018 season with a celebration of early works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1757-1791) and Swiss composer, Frank Martin (1890-1974). While the works have in common a relative immaturity given the ages of the composers, they could not be more different stylistically. Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C major, KV 258 for chorus and chamber orchestra, one of three set in C Major he composed in November and December 1776, is lively, bright and buoyant. By contrast, Martin’s a cappella Mass for Double Chorus is a deeply personal work that the composer kept hidden for 40 years. Sober, modal, influenced by Gregorian plainsong, the Mass was composed in 1922 except the “Agnus Dei” movement which was added in 1926After its premiere in November 1963 by Franz Brunnert and the Bugenhagen Kantorei of Hamburg, Martin explained why the Mass had remained unseen and unheard for 40 years: “I considered it to be a matter between God and myself,” he wrote. “I felt then that an expression of religious feelings should remain secret and removed from public opinion.”

Also on the program, Mozart’s “Regina Coeli,” KV 276, for soloists, chorus and chamber orchestra. An antiphon in honor of the Virgin Mary, it is the last of three settings of this text by Mozart.

The National Presbyterian Church
October 29, 2017 at 5 PM

New Joy! Christmas with the Chorale

The Chorale ushers in the holiday season with the seldom performed Lauda per la Natività del Signore by Italian neo-classical composer Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) based on texts by 14th century poet and Franciscan monk Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306). A canata for soloists, instrumental ensemble and chorus, Respighi’s pastoral reading of the birth of Christ integrates modern harmonies and instrumentation with late-renaissance and early baroque idioms to produce a work that evokes both the mystery and joy of Christ’s birth. The dramatis personae consists of the Angel (soprano), the Virgin Mary (mezzo-soprano), a Shepherd (tenor), and Joseph (non-singing role), and chorus of Angels and Shepherds.

The Chorale will also perform many of its favorites of the season and audiences can look forward to singing along on time honored carols like “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Episcopal Church of the Epiphany
December 3, 2017 at 5 PM
December 21, 2017 at 7 PM

Passion and Praise: Ancient Glory in New Form

The Washington Master Chorale is among 14 arts organizations partnering with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in honoring the legacy of Leonard Bernstein (1917-2017), Leonard Bernstein at 100. The Chorale will perform Bernstein’s Missa Brevis, a 1989 work based on incidental music Bernstein composed for the 1955 Broadway production of “The Lark” starring Julie Harris. Award winning composer and rising star Joshua Fishbein has been commissioned by the Chorale to compose a new work for the occasion. A singer and pianist, Fishbein composes vocal and instrumental music. Currently, he is a Teaching Fellow and PhD candidate (A.B.D.) in Music Composition at UCLA.

Also on the program, “O Vos Omnes” an a capella piece by celebrated cellist Pablo Casals. Long time Washingtonians will remember when Casals performed in 1961 at the Kennedy White House, an unprecedented time in modern political history when art and culture took their rightful places at the vanguard of American life.

The National Presbyterian Church
March 4, 2018 5 PM