The Park Slope Singers kick off our 25th anniversary season with a selection of works of reflecting beginnings, creation, evolution, and the nature of human achievement. The concert ranges from Franco-Flemish and Iberian Renaissance polyphony to contemporary works by Chilcott and Whitacre in an afternoon of music entitled “If We Must Marvel.”
Included in this program are Manuel Cardoso, Benjamin Britten, Josquin des Pres and Jacob Clemens non Papa. Their music sets the scene for the program – establishing the themes of creation, nature, growth and human interaction with our surroundings and environment. As the program turns into contemporary themes, so too do the composers performed.
Both Bob Chilcott’s “Five Days that Changed the World” and Eric Whitacre’s “Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine” reflect on human achievements. For Leonardo da Vinci, dreams allowed imagination to soar and even though his flying machine was never realized in his lifetime, the audience listening to Whitacre’s music will hear the machine take off and fly through suggestive harmonies and rhythms. Flight – among the other achievements – plays a role in Chilcott’s “Five Days that Changed the World,” along with other inventions and triumphs of the human spirit. Rarely have emotions and memories been so roused simply by voices in song; the soaring melodies genuinely bring to mind the feeling of flight, the joy of discovery, the wonder of exploration in the way this evocative music stimulates the mind.
Exploring these themes via a different approach is Gregory W. Brown’s “Missa Charles Darwin.” The piece as a whole has juxtaposed Darwin’s The Origin of Species with the Latin of the Catholic Mass ordinary. The Agnus Dei, excerpted for our concert, provides us with our concert title: “If we must marvel, let it be at our presumption that we understand the many complex contingencies on which existence depends.”
Perhaps no other work quite sums up the 25-year relationship of the Park Slope Singers with the community as well as each member’s personal affection for music better than “I Have Had Singing,” by Steven Sametz. The piece examines the balance of life --- sometimes a difficult and strenuous road can be made enjoyable and memorable simply by the pleasures of singing. The Park Slope Singers share that view which makes this piece very special to us as we reflect on the history of the chorus and look to continue the pleasures of singing for the next 25 years.
We will be performing two concerts of this exciting program under the direction of Timothy Parsons with Balint Varga accompanying.
January 27 @ 2pm in Park Slope, Brooklyn at St. Saviour Church (611 8th Ave).
January 28 @ 3pm in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn at Church of the Good Shepherd (7420 4th Ave). This is part of the Art on the Corner series.
Tickets for both concerts can only be purchased at the door or online via our website.
There will be a reception after each of the concerts. Please join us for snacks, drinks, and conversation.
More information about this concert, ticket sales, and the chorus is available at www.parkslopesingers.org.