“Noel went more for a sense of lyricism, making points with delicacy and paying attention to details”
Channing Gray
Providence Journal
17 December 2017
(Handel Messiah)


Listen to the Providence Singers

The following selections were recorded live in concert.

Benjamin Britten: Hymn to the Virgin

Benjamin Britten composed Hymn to the Virgin in 1930 as a 17-year-old high school student. It was performed at his memorial service December 7, 1976.
Recorded November 10, 2013:  Listen  |  More about the concert

Benjamin Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb  (“For I am under the same accusation”)

Rejoice in the Lamb takes an ominous, eerie turn. The poetry and music conjure a terrain where religious fervor brushes up against madness and they hint at the poet trying desperately to discern the real from the imagined, to make sense of traumatic events.
Recorded November 10, 2013:  Listen  |  More about the concert

Maurice Duruflé: Sanctus  (from the Requiem)

Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem is at once traditional and new: “I have sought above all to enter into the characteristic style of the Gregorian themes. Therefore, I have done my best to reconcile, as far as possible, Gregorian rhythm ... with the demands of modern meter.”
Recorded November 3, 2012:  Listen  |  More about the concert

Daniel Pinkham: Wedding Cantata  (movements three and four)

Daniel Pinkham wrote Wedding Cantata in 1956 for the marriage of his friends Lotje and Arthur Loeb. The texts from the Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) are great favorites at weddings and anniversaries. Pinkham invested them with a variety of musical contrasts and moods — sudden, serene, racing, slow, eager, contemplative, longing, intense — all in a 10-minute composition.
Recorded November 3, 2012:  Listen  |  More about the concert

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Sanctus  from the Mass in G minor

Like many of his contemporaries, Vaughan Williams was searching for — and adding to — a musical tradition that was unequivocally English and of a quality commensurate with “the imperishable glories of English prose.” He found much of his inspiration in the polyphony of Thomas Tallis, William Byrd and other composers from the 16th century. His Mass in G minor was, in fact, the first truly English setting of the Mass since the Elizabethans.
Recorded June 3, 2007:  Listen  |  More about the concert

Herbert Howells: Psalm 23  from the Requiem

In a long and productive life — his published works span seven decades, from 1908 through 1978 — Herbert Howells gave the world a striking body of inventive, harmonically complex work for orchestra, chamber ensembles, voice and instrumental soloists, including nearly 200 sacred and secular works for chorus.
Recorded June 3, 2007:  Listen  |  More about the concert

Herbert Howells: Requiem Aeternum  from the Requiem

Writing in 1936 from profound grief after the death of his only son Michael, 9, Howells achieved an emotional depth and intensity that seemed to surprise even the composer himself. Despite the entreaties of his friend Ralph Vaughan Williams, Howells withheld the Requiem from performance for more than four decades — until 1980, three years before his own death.
Recorded June 3, 2007:  Listen  |  More about the concert

Christopher Trapani: O now the drenched land wakes  (a world première)

Commissioned by the Providence Singers, Trapani composed this setting of Kenneth Patchen’s nine-line poem for a double choir in 12 voices (SATB / SSAATTBB). The Singers presented the world première in March 2007 as part of an “American Masterpieces” choral festival, funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Recorded March 4, 2007:  Listen  |  More about Christopher Trapani

Trevor Weston: Ma’at Musings  (a world première; Movement 4)

An array of 18 percussion instruments furnishes an exotic, mysterious sonic environment for powerful ancient Egyptian texts. There is wisdom from Intef and a tapestry of complaint that still rings true after four millennia. But it is Unas, the pharoah whose cosmic power and outrageous appetites frame the four-movement work, who dominates the composition.
Recorded February 27, 2005:  Listen to Movement 4  |  More about Trevor Weston | Ma’at Musings

American Traditional: Shenandoah  

Dating at least to the early 1800s and originally a sea shanty, Shenandoah has been fitted with many sets of lyrics, often of love, of nostalgia for home, of pioneers headed west, of slaves trying to reach freedom.
Recorded November 9, 2008:  Listen