Thursday, March 13, 2008

Weekend Concert Calendar, 3/13/08

It is supposed to rain this weekend, so dig out those umbrellas, and figure out which concert you're going to go see! Remember, bad weather can really hurt the size of an audience, so it is up to us to counteract that trend! I myself am going to THREE concerts this weekend, and I am involved in NONE of them. This is some sort of record. But it is a very, very rich choral weekend.


One of the biggest events this weekend has to be the Cantata Singers performance of Brahms' Requiem. They will be performing on Friday at 8 pm and on Sunday at 3 pm at Jordan Hall. Also on the program will be Ferruccio Busoni's Berceuse élégiaque and Kurt Weill's Concerto for Violin and Wind Instruments (in keeping with their Year of Weill.) The solo singers will be Jennifer Foster and Dana Whiteside. And Richard Dyer will be giving a pre-concert lecture at 6:45 and 1:45 (Friday and Sunday, respectively.) The Cantata Singers are one of the best choruses in Boston, and there is absolutely no doubt that this will be fantastic.

But they have big competition with The Boston Secession, which will perform "Handel in the Strand." "This concert traces the musical inheritance of Handel’s heirs – from the man himself to works by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Weill, Stravinsky and even Percy Grainger." First Church in Cambridge, 8:00 pm. More information is at their website.

More competition comes from the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium, which will present Bach's Mass in b minor on Friday at Sanders Theater at 8 pm. This is also bound to be a special performance. More information is on their website.


For Saturday, the one I'll be choosing is the Back Bay Chorale's performance of Frank Martin's Mass for Double Choir. Also on the program are pieces by Messaien and Poulenc. Shannon Salyards is the solo soprano. The Back Bay Chorale is one of my alma...choruses, or whatever the proper term is, and conductor Scott Jarrett is rising fast. Everywhere I turn I hear about people who adore his conducting and rehearsing, and these are sane, level-headed, tough-to-impress people, mind you, not given to hyperbole. He will be giving a pre-concert lecture at 7. The Martin Mass is adored by those who know it, so if you don't yet know it, I recommend you come! Emmanuel Church at 8 pm.

But the Brookline Chorus is presenting a very intriguing alternative. They are presenting J.S. Bach’s two cantatas BWV 19 and 149 and Benjamin Britten’s cantata “The Company of Heaven." Intriguing programming. This is at 8 pm at All Saints Parish in Brookline - more info at their website.

Also on Saturday, Cantemus will be putting on a concert called “Voice of Jazz: Cantemus Swings!” Come hear selections from the Great American Songbook. 7:30 pm, Pingree School, 537 Highland Street, South Hamilton - more information is at their website. They will also present this program on Sunday at 4:00 at The Governor’s Academy, 1 Elm Street, Byfield.

Yet more for Saturday - the Concord Chorus presents the Brahms Zigeunerlieder, along with Stanford and Monteverdi. 8:00 pm at Concord Academy Chapel, 166 Main Street, Concord, MA.


On Sunday, the MOST exciting performance is the Arlington-Belmont Chorale, which will perform a world premiere composed by my good friend Michael Veloso. It is called Executive Orders and is a setting of texts relating to the interment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, scored for chorus, soloists, string quartet, and electric guitar. 3 pm, First Parish UU Church in Arlington. Come and hear a piece never before heard (well, in public - one presumes they've been practicing!)

But, considering it's Palm Sunday, you may choose the Masterworks Chorale performance of Bach's St. John Passion at Harvard University. Featuring tenor Jason McStoots (Evangelist), bass-baritone Ulysses Thomas (Jesus), soprano Teresa Wakim, mezzo-soprano Deborah Rentz-Moore, tenor Charles Blandy, and baritone Sumner Thompson. This will be in Sanders Theater at 3 pm, with a 2:00 pre-concert lecture with Steve Ledbetter (and the pre-concert lecture is bound to be more interesting with the St. John Passion than practically any other piece.)

The Paul Madore Chorale will also celebrate Palm Sunday with an all-Bach program, including Easter Cantata #4 "Christ Lag in Todesbanden". This will be in the evening, 7 pm, at First Parish Church, 225 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA.

For Sunday, also see Cantemus and Cantata Singers, above.

Did I forget anything? Give me the details in the comments!

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