Christmas Concert '98
THE UNKNOWN REGION
We welcomed our new Conductor and Music
Stephen Michael Smith, for his
first concert with
We hope you joined us on
December 5, 1998 @ 8PM to celebrate the season at
The First Presbyterian Church of
118 West Main Street, Freehold
We were joined by three accomplished soloists:
Christopher Pfund, Tenor and Brace Negron, Bass
The Chorale was accompanied by orchestra
program was enjoyed by all!
UNKNOWN REGION - R.
TUUS, Op. 60
- Henryk Gorecki
- African Lullaby
Hark the Herald Angels Sing Mendelssohn
Love Came Down at Christmas John Rutter
In the Bleak Midwinter Harold
Saw Three Ships Traditional
IN D MAJOR, BWV 243 - J.S. Bach
WE WISH YOU
A MERRY CHRISTMAS - arr. Warrell
Sunday, March 14, 1999 @ 3PM
Afternoon at the Opera
Was an afternoon not to be missed! We hope you were
with us at the
First Presbyterian Church,
255 Harding Rd, Red Bank, NJ
for our exciting musical presentation.
We were accompanied by an ensemble of brass, percussion, and organ.
A lovely reception was enjoyed by all in Webster Hall directly following the
The program included:
||MESSA DI GLORIA,
by GIACOMO PUCCINI
FAVORITE OPERA CHORUSES!
||DIDO AND AENEAS
DIDO'S LAMENT & FINAL
TROVATORE by VERDI
TRAVIATA by VERDI
Our guest soloist was Máire O'Brien.
Máire O'Brien hails from Dublin and has been cited as one of the outstanding
young opera singers of her generation. The New York district winner in the
Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1996, she won the Olga
Koussevitsky Competition, and made her Weill Hall debut in Manhattan the
following year. She holds first prize from the international opera
competition in Sanremo, Italy, which resulted in a televised concert at the
Teatro Alfieri in Turin. She also won third prize in the Iris Adami
Corredetti competition in Padua, Italy.
Ms. O'Brien is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the Young Artists
Program at the Juilliard Opera Center. She has participated in the Aspen
Music Festival where she was the first singer to win two concerto
competitions. She was chosen to perform the lead role in the American stage
premier of Powder her Face by British composer, Thomas Adès, with The
Brooklyn Philharmonic under the baton of Robert Spano. She has appeared with
the National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland), Spoleto USA Festival, and CoOpera.
With Voices Uplifted
SHREWSBURY CHORALE PREMIERES
RECENTLY RECONSTRUCTED WORKS WRITTEN OVER FOUR HUNDRED YEARS AGO FOR ST.
MARK'S IN VENICE
Works premiered included masterpiece by
famed Venetian composer Giovanni Gabrieli.
The Chorale's New York area premiere performance of these works was held
on Saturday, May 22, 1999, at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian
Church, 118 West Main Street, Freehold. We performed works by Giovanni
Gabrieli Gioseffo Zarlino, Giovanni Bassano and Giovanni Croce, written for services at the
Basilica di San Marco in Venice. Also featured was a work by Jacob Obrecht.
But first we traveled to Boston! We performed with the Schola
Cantorum of Harvard Divinity School and the Coro di Camera of the First and Second Church
in Boston on May 16th @ 3 PM for the Boston Premiere.
The concert was held at the First and Second Church in Boston which is
located at 66 Marlborough St., Boston.
Brenda Lynne Leach and
Stephen Michael Smith Conducting
Both programs also included:
Mass in G Minor
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Chansons des Rose
A musical setting of poems
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Please see below for complete
CHORALE TO PREMIERE RECENTLY RECONSTRUCTED WORKS WRITTEN OVER FOUR HUNDRED YEARS AGO FOR
ST. MARK'S IN VENICE
Works to be premiered include masterpiece by
famed Venetian composer Giovanni Gabrieli.
The Shrewsbury Chorale will premiere choral
works, written for St. Mark's in Venice, believed not to have been performed since their
original composition and performance in the 1500s. The manuscripts, recorded in the
sixteenth century by the famed Venetian publisher, Petrucci, have lain lost in Italian
archives until their recent reconstruction. This premiere performance will be presented
Saturday, May 22, 1999, at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 118 West Main Street,
Freehold, N.J. and will be the third concert of the Chorale's 1998-99 season under the
baton of Music Director, Stephen Michael Smith.
The works to be premiered include "O
quam suavis est" (1597) by Giovanni Gabrieli and "Misereris omnium Domine"
(1566) by Gioseffo Zarlino, Gabrieli's predecessor, and were written specifically for
services at the world famous Basilica di San Marco in Venice. Also featured will be
"Missa Fortuna desperata" (1503) by Jacob Obrecht, "Dic nobis Maria"
(1598) by Giovanni Bassano, and "Audi Domine hymnum et orationnem" (1601) by
Giovanni Croce. Of the five composers featured Obrecht was the only one to never hold a
post at St. Marks. His inclusion in the Petrucci manuscripts indicates his works were held
in high esteem at that time, would have been known to the musicians at St. Mark's, and
were most likely performed in services at the basilica. The splendor and grandeur of the
music written for St. Mark's was not only a reflection of the importance of the basilica
as the spiritual center of the then powerful state of Venice, but also its focus as the
city's cultural and political heart. Music for services reflected a liturgy unique to St.
Mark's and incorporated a wide variety of musical styles befitting the unique architecture
of the basilica as well as the elaborate ceremonial rites required for major feast days
and visiting political dignitaries. Up to now very little has been known about the way the
music for these occasions was actually brought to life in performance.
After years of research, musicologist
Randolph Mickelson has found and assembled documents which have enabled him to reconstruct
this music as it was performed in the sixteenth century. Under the guidance of Mr.
Mickelson, The Shrewsbury Chorale and Music Director, Stephen Michael Smith, have prepared
the premiere performances of these works. Mr. Mickelson's other reconstructions include
Rossini's L'Assedio di Corinto at La Scala in Milan, Italy and the Metropolitan Opera in
New York, Handel's Semele at Carnegie Hall with Marilyn Horne, Kathleen Battle, Rockwell
Blake, and Samuel Ramey, and L'Orfeo of Claudio Monteverdi which inaugurated the new
Megalon concert hall in Athens, Greece.
Also on the program will be Ralph Vaughan
Williams' a cappella work for double chorus, "Mass in G Minor." Written in 1922,
by one of our century's most important composers, the Mass exemplifies the simple, yet
transcendent, style associated with this English master.
Completing the program will be Morten
Lauridsen's song cycle "Les Chansons des Roses" (1993), a musical setting of
poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. Lauridsen's own comments about his inspiration in using
Rilke's poems clearly reflect his own compositional choices in these settings,
"...[Rilke's] poems on roses struck me as especially charming, filled with gorgeous
lyricism, deftly crafted and elegant in their imagery. These exquisite poems are primarily
light, joyous and playful, and the musical settings are designed to enhance these
characteristics and capture their delicate beauty and sensuousness." Morten
Laurdisen, a native of the Pacific Northwest, is Chairman of the Composition Department at
USC's School of Music in Los Angeles and is Composer-in-Residence of the Los Angeles