Earth, our home and country: songs of celebration and remembrance
THE EARTH AND I
Oct. 28, 2018 at 5 PM
Dec. 20, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Dec. 23, 2018 at 5 PM
PARIS TO LONDON
Mar. 3, 2019 at 5 PM
END OF THE WAR TO END ALL WARS
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 National Presbyterian Church
October 28, 2018 at 5 PM
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.
A pre-concert lecture with Artistic Director Thomas Colohan is planned.
American pianist, Thomas Pandolfi, is an exciting virtuoso who, with each passing season, is becoming more and more sought after by audiences worldwide, and showered with superlatives by critics for his passionate artistry and amazing technique. His remarkably warm and communicative tone uniquely “sings,” projecting the poetry and emotion of whatever he plays—Thomas truly touches the hearts of all who hear him. His virtuosity is breathtaking, and his sense of phrasing and command of style are marvelously convincing.
Hailed as “a lyric soprano of ravishing quality” by the Boston Globe, Laura Choi Stuart has appeared on the mainstage with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Annapolis Opera, Lake George Opera, the In Series, and Opera North in roles including Musetta, Adina, Gilda, Pamina, and Frasquita. Highlights of the upcoming season include a return to the Washington National Cathedral as Soprano Soloist for Handel Messiah, B Minor Mass and solo cantata 82a Ich habe genug with Washington Bach Consort, Bach Magnificat and Bruckner Te Deum with Choralis, and Laura’s Washington National Opera debut in the American Opera Initiative 20-minute operas in January.
Stephen Key is on the faculty at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. Now an oboist, Stephen began his musical studies on piano at the age of four with his mother, another music teacher, in Oklahoma. He moved to the Washington D.C. area at thirteen and began taking the oboe very seriously as principal oboe of the American Youth Philharmonic, the D.C. Youth Orchestra, and as a Youth Fellow with the National Symphony Orchestra. At fifteen, he had his first of many solo and chamber performances at the Kennedy Center.
Spencer Adamson’s recent performances include leading roles in local opera houses, including Tonio in Pagliacci, and Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana. He is regularly heard ministering to the congregation of Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church in Baltimore, MD where he performs sacred and contemporary works during radio-broadcast worship services. Mr. Adamson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College, and graduate work at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Birth Dance! Christmas with the Chorale
The Church of the Epiphany
December 20, 2018 at 7:30 PM
December 23, 2018 at 5 PM
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.
Paris to London
The National Presbyterian Church
March 3, 2019 5 PM
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 Requiem, Op. 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.