“This is a crack ensemble, the like of which may not exist in our own city”
Boston Musical Intelligencer
15 November 2009
(Harrison, La Koro Sutro)
From the archives
The 38th Concert Season of the Providence Singers
The 2008-09 season will be a busy year full of music and musical projects in fascinating variety. The Singers will collaborate again with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in performances of Dominick Argento’s Jonah and the Whale — and then record the work as the Singers’ second professionally produced recording.
After last season’s enthusiastic reception, the Singers and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra will join forces again for Handel’s Messiah. March marks some important anniversaries — Abe Lincoln, Felix Mendelssohn, Edgar Allan Poe, Georg Frideric Handel — and the fifth season of the Junior Providence Singers. In April, the Singers will perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy as guests of the Rhode Island Philharmonic.
We conclude our season with the music of Tarik O’Regan and others, joined by Aurea, an innovative ensemble that integrates music with the spoken word. The centerpiece of the concert is O’Regan’s Ecstasies Above, a setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Israfel,” for SATB chorus, two SATB solo quartets, and string quartet.
Dominick Argento: Jonah and the Whale
Rich, witty, full of alliteration, and wonderfully inventive, Dominick Argento’s Jonah and the Whale delights and instructs listeners of all ages with its clear lesson: Face woe with fortitude, and joy will follow. The Singers will give two performances, collaborating with FirstWorks Providence and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.
8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, 2008, at Blessed Sacrament Church, Providence
2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008, at Blessed Sacrament Church, Providence
About the concert
Georg Frideric Handel: Messiah
Andrew Clark leads the Providence Singers, soloists, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in Handel’s quintessential oratorio – a new musical holiday tradition for Providence. “It’s probably the most popular piece in the choral literature, yet conductor Andrew Clark and his Providence Singers managed to make Handel’s Messiah sound fresh,” said Channing Gray of the Providence Journal after last season’s performance.
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008, at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Providence
Anniversaries: Great composers, poets and presidents
Together again for their 200th birthdays: Abraham Lincoln, Felix Mendelssohn and Edgar Allan Poe, with festive music from Georg Frideric Handel, 250 years after his death. Among the birthday tributes: Charles Ives’ Lincoln the Great Commoner and Elie Siegmeister’s Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight. The Junior Providence Singers join us to celebrate their own fifth season.
8 p.m. Saturday, March 28, 2009, Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, Providence
3 p.m. Sunday, March 29, 2009, at St. Mary’s Church, Bristol
More About the Concert
Beethoven: Choral Fantasy
Francisco Noya conducts the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Providence Singers, and pianist Fabio Bidini in a performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, the composer’s first complete effort to marry choral and instrumental forces. The Choral Fantasy is considered a precursor to the final movement of Symphony No. 9, which Beethoven completed 16 years later. Also on the program: Osvaldo Golijov’s Last Round and Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 (the Rhenish).
8 p.m. Saturday, April 18, 2009, Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Providence
Ecstasies Above: A Collaboration with Aurea
The 30-year-old British composer Tarik O’Regan blends Renaissance and other early music influences with fresh 21st-century ideas. The innovative chamber ensemble Aurea join the Singers for a concert that features O’Regan’s Ecstasies Above, a setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Israfel,” for SATB chorus, two SATB vocal quartets and string quartet. Also on the program: music by William Byrd, Arvo Pärt, Olivier Messiaen and others.
8 p.m. Saturday, June 6, 2009, at St. Joseph’s Church, Providence
3 p.m. Sunday, June 7, 2009, at Immaculate Conception Church, Cranston
More About the Concert