OUR 2018-2019 SEASON:
November 10, 2018: Music from the Sistine Chapel
April 13: 2019: Duruflé: Requiem and Poulenc: Stabat Mater
Last year, BCS explored the cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach. Our 3-concert series presented seventeen of the master's greatest works that were composed for the great feast days of the Lutheran church calendar. This year, we turn from the music of the high Baroque to masterworks of two markedly contrasting periods: the High Italian Renaissance and the music of 20th century France.
We open our season 7:30pm Saturday evening, November 10th, 2018 at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, with an evening of a capella music in the pure, etheral style of the High Renaissance. Music from the Sistine Chapel will present works composed for the late sixteenth century Papal Court. Featured will be Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli, a work that enjoys an almost mythical reputation for having "saved" polyphony by ensuring the intelligibility of the text. Also on the concert will be large-scale motets such as Allegri's Miserere and Lotti's Crucifixus.
For over 30 years BCS has hosted a Sing-along of Handel's Messiah during the holidays, an event that draws hundreds of singers and listeners from throughout the region. Last year we added a second Sing-along of Parts 2 and 3 of Messiah during the Lenten season, and we will continue that tradition this year.
On Saturday evening, April 13th, 2019, BCS will present two of the great French choral-orchestral works of the 20th century: Maurice Duruflé's Requiem, op. 9, and Francis Poulenc's Stabat Mater, FP 148.
The Requiem, Duruflé’s longest and most substantial work, was composed in 1947 at the end of World War II. Like Faure's Requiem, the work focuses not on hell damnation, but on images of rest and peace. Throughout, Gregorian chant melodies of the Catholic Requiem form the melodic basis of the work, surrounded with gentle harmonies. Duruflé explains: “This Requiem is not an ethereal work which sings of detachment from human concerns. It reflects, in the unchanging form of Christian prayer, the anguish of man faced with the mystery of his final end.”
Poulenc's Stabat Mater, was composed in 1950 in response to the death of his friend, the artist Christian Bérard; he considered writing a Requiem for Bérard, but, after returning to the shrine of the Black Virgin of Rocamadour, he selected the medieval Stabat Mater text. Poulenc's setting, scored for soprano solo, mixed chorus, and orchestra, premiered in 1951 at the Strasbourg Festival. The Stabat Mater was well-received throughout Europe, and in the United States it won the New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best Choral Work of the year.
In addition to our main concert repertoire, BCS serves the community by caroling for civic functions and bringing music to various hospitals and nursing homes throughout the area.
The season promises to be a rich and rewarding one, and we look forward to new members who will become part of our group.