Chorus pro Musica Presents "Poets & Psalms" featuring Britten, Ives & Bernstein October 28 in Boston

Concert will take place at Boston's historic Old South Church in Copley Square
Chorus pro Musica, photo by Eric Antoniou
Chorus pro Musica, photo by Eric Antoniou
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Oct. 17, 2012 - PRLog -- Boston, MA--Chorus pro Musica, under the direction of Dr. Betsy Burleigh, will present "Poets & Psalms" at Boston's Old South Church (645 Boylston Street, Boston) on Sunday, October 28 at 3:30 PM.

"Poets & Psalms" will include Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, Charles Ives' Psalm 90, Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Daniel Gawthrop's Night, Sleep, Death and the Stars.  This concert will be highlighted by organist Bálint Karosi.

Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb (Op. 30) is a festival cantata for four soloists, chorus and organ composed in 1943 and based on the poem Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart (1722-1771). The poem, written while Smart was in an insane asylum, is a highly idiosyncratic and ecstatic praise and worship of God by all created beings and things, each in its own way.  The cantata was commissioned by the Reverend Canon Walter Hussey for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the consecration of St Matthew's Church, in Northampton.

A perfect example of 20th Century music, Ives's Psalm 90 is a joy to listen to.  Charles Ives was quoted saying to his wife that Psalm 90 was "the only one of his works that satisfied him."  Ives completed Psalm 90 in 1924.

When composing Psalm 90, Ives used a variety of musical techniques to express the biblical text. From homophony to polyphony, unison to 22 part voicing (within two and a half octaves) and instrumentation including organ, bells and choir, Ives Psalm 90 is a remarkable work of art.  Throughout the entire piece, a low octave C is continuously played, perhaps, to symbolize God's continual presence.  The body of the piece is made of dissonant harmonies during lines like "for we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled" and "for all our days are passed aukvi away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told."  However the remaining four minutes revel in C Major with distant bells ringing in the background.

Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms was commissioned for the 1965 Southern Cathedrals' Festival at Chichester Cathedral by the cathedral's organist, John Birch, and the Dean, Walter Hussey.  However, the world premiere took place in the Philharmonic Hall, New York on July 15, 1965 with the composer conducting, followed by the performance in the Chichester Festival on July 31, conducted by John Birch.

Chichester Psalms was Bernstein's first composition after his Third Symphony (Kaddish). They are his two most overtly Jewish works. While both works have a chorus singing texts in Hebrew, the Kaddish Symphony has been described as a work often at the edge of despair, while Chichester Psalms is affirmative and at times serene.

Daniel Gawthrop's Night, Sleep, Death and the Stars features the poetry of Walt Whitman and is written for full chorus and harp.  Here is a bit of Whitman's text: “this is thy hour o soul, thy free flight into the wordless, away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done, thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best, night, sleep, death and the stars.”

Concert tickets for all performances at Old South Church are $25, $35 and $45 and for the performance at Jordan Hall concert (May 31) they are $27, $42 and $57 with discounts available on selected seats for groups, students, seniors and WGBH members.  Reserved seats may be selected and tickets purchased at, or by phone (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) at 800-658-4CPM (800-658-4276).  For wheelchair-accessible seats, call 617-267-7442.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012, 3:30 P.M.
Old South Church
645 Boylston Street, Boston
Poets & Psalms
Britten:  Rejoice in the Lamb
Ives: Psalm 90
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
Gawthrop: Night, Sleep, Death and the Stars
Tickets:  $25, $35 and $45;, or 800-658-4CPM (800-658-4276)

Friday, December 21, 2012, 8:00 P.M.  
Old South Church
645 Boylston Street, Boston
A Victorian Christmas, with the Spirit of Charles Dickens
Traditional Holiday Carols
Readings from Dickens Christmas
Tickets:  $25, $35 and $45;, or 800-658-4CPM (800-658-4276)

Sunday, March 10, 2013, 3:00 P.M.
Old South Church
645 Boylston Street, Boston
Four Weddings & A Funeral:  Music of Mourning & Celebration
Bach:  Jesu, mein Freude
Pinkham: Wedding Cantata
Whitacre: 5 Hebrew Love Songs
Mealor: Ubi caritas
Tickets:  $25, $35 and $45;, or 800-658-4CPM (800-658-4276)

Friday, May 31, 2013, 8:00 P.M.  
Jordan Hall
30 Gainsborough Street, Boston
Mozart C Minor Mass and commission by Peter Child
Tickets:  $27, $42 and $57;, or 800-658-4CPM (800-658-4276)
Tags:Choral Music, Concert, Classical Music, Music
Industry:Music, Entertainment
Location:Boston - Massachusetts - United States
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