Saturday, May 14, 2016
7:30 pm - 9:15 pm
The Hudson Chorale concludes its 6th season on May 14, 2016 at 7:30 PM with Felix Mendelssohn’s stirring oratorio, Elijah, based on the story of the prophet in the Old Testament. Complete with noted professional soloists and a full 35-piece orchestra, this monumental work will be performed in English so that the audience can fully appreciate the composer’s interpretation of the prose. Elijah has all the markings of a box office blockbuster: a true god, a false god, a saintly prophet, an evil ruler, angels, a temptress, miracles, tragedy, feuding tribes, Mother Nature behaving badly, and even a chariot of fire in the last scene!
This is the chorus’ second concert under the baton of Ira Spaulding, who was named permanent Music Director of the Hudson Chorale after one semester as the group’s interim. Spaulding, a professor of vocal and choral music at City University of New York, brings to the Hudson Chorale a career of more than 35 years abroad as a singer, conductor, music director, and teaching artist. In 2015, Spaulding had performances in Beirut, Lebanon, Bangkok, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, and in Holland where he lived for more than 25 years.
Mendelssohn, who himself considered Elijah his greatest achievement, had this to say about its 1846 premiere: No work of mine went so admirably the first time of execution, or was received with such enthusiasm by both the musicians and the audience. Since Elijah was commissioned for the Birmingham Festival in England, Mendelssohn decided to perform its premiere in English instead of his native German. The task of translating it was given to English poet/composer William Bartholomew who worked on the translation and assisted in making modifications to the text and the score to achieve a unified result.
Mendelssohn, born in 1809, was a musical prodigy who became obsessed with oratorios at a young age. The great baroque composers Bach and Handel were his heroes, even though they produced their oratorios in the early part of the century prior to his birth. At the age of 20, Mendelssohn was instrumental in bringing about renewed interest in Bach by organizing and conducting a performance of Bach’s Matthäus Passion (St. Matthew Passion). By age 27, he had already completed his first large-scale biblical oratorio, Paulus (St. Paul), but Elijah was delayed for another 10 years due to other obligations and a search for a story and text that appealed to his sensibilities. Based on the success of that first performance and the strong appeal this masterwork still holds for today’s audiences, it was well worth the wait.
There will only be one opportunity to hear Hudson Chorale’s performance of Elijah: Saturday, May 14, 2016 at the Irvington Middle/High School, 40 North Broadway, Irvington, NY, beginning at 7:30 pm. Handicap parking is available. Following the concert, the audience is invited to an informal reception to meet and chat with the conductor, soloists, orchestra and chorus members, a long-standing Hudson Chorale tradition.
Event Location and Ticket Information
Irvington Middle/High School
40 North Broadway
Irvington, NY 10533
Handicap Accessible? Yes
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2016
Times: 7:30 pm - 9:15 pm