Thursday, November 29, 2007

Weekend Concert Calendar, 11/29/07

It's Thursday! Time to see how you should spend your weekend! In no particular order...

First and foremost, both because it's cool, and I think perhaps it has not been well advertised, the Longwood Symphony and New World Chorale will perform Janacek's Glagolitic Mass. Jordan Hall, Saturday at 8 pm. I am very sorry I am already tied up on Saturday, because this ought to be awesome. For more information on this piece, (hang on while I scan Google)...well, I can't find anything great in under a minute, so check out this review from the New York Times, and perhaps I will post a little cliff notes to this piece at a later date.

It is after Thanksgiving, and that means your holiday concert season has begun. Start things off with a bang by seeing Handel and Haydn perform Messiah at Symphony Hall! Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 3:00 pm, and Sunday at 3:00 pm.

On Friday and Sunday, the Boston Choral Ensemble is performing a concert called Madrigalia. This looks pretty cool, I must say. Friday at 8 at First Church Cambridge, and Sunday at 2 at the Church of St. John the Evangelist.

On Friday at 8 pm, the most excellent and esteemed (he's the director at the church where I sing!) Jonathan Barnhart leads the Dedham Chorale in A German Christmas. Check it out at St. Paul's Cathedral in Boston. They will perform the same program on Sunday at 3 pm in Dedham.

On Friday at 8 pm, the Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus presents "A Not Quite Winter Concerts" - music of Guerrero, Chatman, Barber, and Walker. Check it out at the Payson Park Church in Belmont.

On Saturday at 7:30, Polymnia Choral Society will perform "Midnight Mass for Christmas" by Marc-Antoine Charpentier as well as a set by Emma Lou Diemer. Charpentier is definitely one of those "greatest composers you've never heard of" people, so do make a point of trying to hear some of his music. (His struggles with the composer Lully are worth recounting at some point. Perhaps later this week...stay tuned.) That will be at the First Congregational Church in Melrose.

On Saturday at 8 pm, the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus under Kevin Leong will perform some honking big Handel works at Sanders Theater. Who doesn't love honking big Handel, especially done as well as it undoubtably will be?

On Saturday at 8 pm, Musica Sacra under Mary Beekman will perform Bach's Magnificat at First Church Congregational in Harvard Square. Handel or Bach? Your life is tough.

On Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at 4 at Old South United Methodist Church in Reading Center, the Reading Community Singers will perform a holiday concert called "Winter Wonders."

(I am already exhausted and we're not even at Sunday yet!)

On Saturday at 8 pm you can hear Beethoven's Choral Fantasy performed by the Northeastern University Choral Society at the Fenway Center.

Not quite choral, but on Saturday at 4 pm First Parish in Wayland presents Amahl and the Night Visitors. More info here.

Also not quite choral, but still worth mentioning - on Saturday at 7 pm at Longy, Robert Honeysucker, baritone, with Leslie Amper, pianist, perform American songs. More info here.

(Dear Lord, the list for Saturday is neverending!)

If you're near Brandeis on Saturday, go hear some Britten! If you're in Arlington, how about checking out a concert with Lorna Cooke deVaron? If you're in Worcester, go hear the Messiah! If you want to stay in Worcester through Sunday, you can hear more Handel (Judas Maccabaeus!)

On Sunday at 5 pm at Swedenborg Chapel in Cambridge, the Oriana Consort will perform In This Tyme of Chrystmas: Advent and Christmas choral music from the 17th, 20th, and 21st centuries, featuring works by Betinis, Buxtehude, Byrd and Vaughan Williams. Abbie Betinis is a very cool composer from MN. Also, I sing with her sister in Cappella Clausura!

On Sunday at 3 pm at First Parish UU Arlington, Cantilena is performing "Sing Me to Heaven: A Winter Concert."

I'm also going to give a shout-out to Juventas, even though they're not choral, because we like to support new music in this corner of the blogosphere. Friday, 8 pm, Boston Conservatory.

Finally, if all this is making you want to sing yourself, there will be an open sing by the Zamir Chorale on Sunday at 3 pm in Newton. Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street, Newton, MA. Scores are available, and included in the cost of admission, which is $10 ($8 stu/sen). You get to sing both Handel's Judas Maccabaeus and Berstein's Chichester Psalms. A good time! And if Judas Maccabaeus is a little too martial for you in these troubled times, there's a Messiah Sing at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Brookline - scores also provided there. (Although you'll still have to listen to the tenor singing about smashing people into little bits like pottery, so violence is hard to avoid.)

Never fear, though. If you want a quiet and peaceful end to your weekend, go to Schola Nocturna's Night Prayer at Parish of the Messiah in Newton. I promise nobody will smash anybody.

The truth is that there is even more exciting stuff than that going on this weekend, but I am just too tired to keep going, so check out the Boston Singer's Resource concert listings for some stuff I might have missed. I may have to make this a sort of "Editor's Picks" weekly thing rather than covering all your possible concert options! I'm too tired to even proof-read this entry. If somebody's made it this far, tell me if there were any typos.

Remember, your motto for concerts at Christmas should be that old chestnut by Edward Everett: "I cannot do everything, But still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." So get out there and listen to some music...because after all, the person you are doing it for is yourself!


  1. Sounds like a busy Choral season ... good to see another blog from a fellow Choral Conductor, you'd think there'd be more of us with blogs about. I'll be sure to keep checking in! You're welcome to visit my blog as well.

  2. Hi, my name is Carolyn and I sing under Dr. Jarrett in the Marsh Chapel Choir. I just moved to Boston in August... I've been following your blog for the inside scoop on musical life here. I wasn't able to make it to the Messiah sing on Sunday, and the others listed on the Boston Singers' Resource Calendar are either out of town or not the complete Messiah (the Haydn/Handel Holiday Sing). Do you know of any others in the area before the 18th?


  3. To Carolyn:

    I will do some poking around and respond in the next few days! The first place to go is to the Masterworks Chorale website, because they are putting on several soon. But there are others - I'll get back to you!

  4. To from the podium...

    Welcome! I've added you to the blogroll. I'd love to know who you're conducting, but I guess that goes against the whole "blogging anonymously" thing.

  5. Yes - it might go against the "anonymous" bloging, however, not sure if I'll keep it anonymous for too much longer - Two of the groups I conduct are the Da Camera Singers in Edmonton, Canada, and I'm the Associate conductor of the Richard Eaton Singers, also in Edmonton. You're welcome to Google them to get more info!