Hudson Chorale, Westchester’s largest chorus, will conclude its 7th season with Requiem, featuring Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s beloved and timeless interpretation of the Christian mass for the dead in Latin, along with a selection of works that compare and contrast how composers of different musical styles, eras and cultures have used the universal language of music to express the vast range of emotions associated with death, loss and mourning.
In performances on Friday, June 2 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, June 4 at 4:00 pm at St. John the Evangelist Church, 148 Hamilton Avenue in White Plains, the 70-member chorale will be joined by a full orchestra and professional soloists, under the direction of Music Director/Conductor Ira Spaulding.
The diverse program also includes Henry Purcell’s masterful Funeral Music for Queen Mary, along with choral gems by Johannes Brahms, Antonio Lotti, and American-born William Schuman, as well as a selection of Negro Spirituals.
When Purcell was given the responsibility for the final ceremonial remembrance of Queen Mary, he included three selections excerpted from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer: Man that is Born of a Woman, In the Midst of Life we are in Death, and Thou Knowest, Lord, the Secrets of our Hearts. Somber throughout, they stand in stark contrast to the drama of the Mozart Requiem.
A secular piece with no specific religious affiliation, Brahms’ Darthulas Grabesgesang (Darthula’s Grave Song) is based the epic 1762 poem, Ossian, about a character from Irish mythology. Darthula is a woman in one of the stories who is slain in the same spot as her lover who was killed in battle. Brahms saw it fit to set the sentiments about her loss to music and created an a cappella work that is both mournful and bright.
The early 18th century composer Antonio Lotti was an aficionado of choral pieces with more than the standard four voice parts. The Chorale will perform the Crucifixus in 8 Voices extracted from a larger work, the Credo in F.
Many audience members will be introduced for the first time to choral works by American composer William Schuman. New York City born, raised and educated, this two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music composed Carols of Death, a three-part a cappella work of dramatic intensity that is based on the poetry of Walt Whitman.
Created by African slaves and originating as mostly Christian songs that often described the hardships of slavery in America, Negro Spirituals today are recognized as a distinct and uniquely America music genre. In contrast with the other musical traditions, the program includes three Negro spirituals: Soon Ah Will Be Done by William Dawson, I Want to Die Easy arranged by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw, and I Got a Robe by Moses Hogan.
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. Ticket Prices: Advance Sales – $25; Door – $30; Students – $10. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-838-3006 or online at www.HudsonChorale.org.