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 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 (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 another Spanish composer represented on today’s program,  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.

A pre-concert discussion with American pianist and Granados expert Douglas Riva and Artistic Director Thomas Colohan will take place at 4:00pm and is free and open to the public.

Learn More About Douglas Riva

Learn More About the Composers

Learn More About the Soloists

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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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Strike the harp and join the chorus for two rousing concerts of seasonal classics performed by the Washington Master Chorale, one of Washington’s premier choral ensembles.  The tuneful mix of time honored carols, hymns and anthems hail from America, England, France and Spain.  Audiences will be treated to the works of Gustav Holst (“Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” and Personent Hodie”), Ronald Center (“There is No Rose,” and “Wither’s Rocking Hymn”), James MacMillan (“O Radiant Dawn,”), J. David Moore (“Annua Gaudia,”), Joseph Flummerfelt (“What is this Lovely Fragrance”) and Joaquin Nin-Culmel (“Fum Fum Fum,” and “La virgen lava panales”).  Especially noteworthy will be the Chorale’s performance of American composer Joseph Turrin’s glorious “Magnificat.” Turrin’s “And Crimson Roses Once Again Be Fair,” set to poetry by World War I-era writers, received its world premiere in November in a concert performed by the Chorale in collaboration with the New Orchestra of Washington.
Don’t forget to do your vocal warm-ups before arriving at the Church so you can join the Chorale in the annual, carol sing-along.  Brass, percussion and the merry organ – “Birth Dance” is a concert not be missed and will put you and yours in the holiday mood.

A mix of time-honored English, French and Spanish carols, hymns and anthems accompanied by brass, percussion and the merry organ. 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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Our season closes with a musical journey between two of capitals of western art music. The journey begins in Paris with excerpts from Maurice Duruflé’s monumental RequiemOp. 9 and works by several of his contemporaries and successors including Gabriel Fauré, Lili Boulanger, and Francis Poulenc. For the second half of the program, we travel to London to present Ralph Vaughan Williams’s rousing In Windsor Forest based on Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” with music from his opera, Sir John in Love.  The concert will also include an exciting second performance of “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by Washington native son and Julliard student, Alistair Coleman. Mr. Coleman was recently appointed the Composer-in-Residence of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale and his piece, “Of Radiance and Light,” commissioned by the National Philharmonic, premiered at Strathmore Hall in November 2016. Choral masterpieces of English Cathedral tradition will round out the program.  For this performance, The Washington Master Chorale will be joined by the Children’s Chorus of Washington.

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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.