MATTHEW GREER , ART I S T I C D I R ECTOR
SATURDAYMAY 17 5pm
Immanuel Presbyterian Church114 Carlisle Blvd SE
SUNDAYMAY 18 3pm
St. Johns United Methodist Church2626 Arizona NE
A mixed bag. A hodgepodge.A potpourri. A mashup.
We take a break from the tyranny of thematic programming, and present an eclectic assortment
of music from as many differentstyles as we can fit on one concert.
Featuring music of Morten Lauridsen, Matthew Harris, Franz Biebl (by
audience request), Eric Whitacre, P.D.Q. Bach, and others.
Tickets: $5 Student, $10 Senior, $15 Regular At the door or: www.quintessence-abq.com Phone: 1-505-672-TUNE (8863) E-mail: email@example.com Free childcare is provided.
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Quintessence is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization
QUINTESSENCE: CHORAL ARTISTS OF THE SOUTHWEST
ABOUT THE MUSIC
As with many choruses, the programming for Quintessence tends to be thematic. A survey of recent seasons finds concerts about food, love, death, and everything in between.
We pride ourselves on being able to perform music from a variety of times and places, and I like to think our audience likes hearing an eclectic program that is unified by a single thematic idea. But its hard. Im here to tell you. It can easily result in the Artistic Director pestering friends and colleagues with desperate emails that say something like Do you know of a nice 18th century French piece about flowers? Or, I need a great concert opener. Has to use the word chartreuse. Any ideas?
And so, it was lovely to think about planning a concert for which the theme need not be any more complicated than Songs Composed on the Planet Earth. The only criteria for this music is that I love it and want to do it with this superb choir.
Our concert begins with Americana: three arrangements of American hymns by Alice Parker, an arrangement of an American folk song by Carol Barnett, and an arrangement of a Stephen Foster song by Andr Bellefeuille.
Camille Saint-Sans Calme des nuits is a gorgeous a cappella chorus that the composer wrote in 1862 and dedicated to Charles Gounod. Ive just always wanted to do it, and never had the excuse.
Franz Biebls sublime Ave Maria was the piece selected for this concert by our audience in an online vote (although we still wonder how many of our younger fans voted for it because they mistook the composer for Justin Bieber). Undeniably one of the best-loved pieces of choral music of that last quarter century, the piece was written by a relatively obscure Bavarian composer, discovered by the director of the Cornell Glee Club in 1970, and made famous by Chanticleer. Were happy it won; it is so satisfying to sing.
Matthew Harris is a marvelous contemporary American composer who has written extensively for choirs. His group called Three Plums sets three familiar William Carlos Williams poems for a cappella chorus. The first, So Much Depends, has the chorus chanting bits of text like mantras. This Is Just to Say is a mundane apology, and the composer somehow manages to find both the poignancy and the sweetness in it. And finally, The Great Figure is a musical depiction of a fire truck racing through city streets. We shall count ourselves lucky to arrive together at the double bar, unscathed. (Three Plums hasnt yet been published, and were very grateful to Matthew Harris for allowing us to perform the set.)
One of the other pieces was up for vote in our online poll were Brahms great Liebeslieder Waltzes, for chorus and piano four hands. Because that didnt win, weve instead programmed a few of PDQ Bachs Liebeslieder Polkas, for chorus and piano five hands. Nuff said.
The rest of the program is given over to unabashedly romantic fare, but all of it by contemporary American composers. Eric Whitacres The Seal Lullaby was the blonde composers attempt to write a Disney song. Bob Chilcotts arrangement of Billy Joels And So It Goes is simple and lovely. Morten Lauridsens Dirait-on is the last of a set of five pieces he wrote on French poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, and is deservedly beloved. And David Dickaus If Music Be the Food of Love allows us to cover three of our favorite themes in one title.
Next season well be back to our old tricks, beginning with a concert thats all about Shakespeare. Speaking of which, if any of you know of a not-too-difficult setting of Macbeths speech on hearing of the death of his wife, Id love to know about it. We need a rousing closer.
Three American Folk Hymns arr. Alice Parker (b. 1925) Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal Come Away to the Skies I Got Shoes Cindy American Folk Song, arr. Carol Barnett (b. 1949) Hard Times Come Again No More Stephen Foster, arr. Andre Bellefeuille
Laurel Deming, soloist
Calme des nuits, Op. 68 No. 1 Camille Saint-Sans (1835-1921) Ave Maria (1964) Franz Biebl (1906-2001)
Rebecca Craig, Julia Manganaro, Lucien Daigle, Alfredo Beltrn, soloists
Three Plums (2008) Matthew Harris (b. 1956) I. The Red Wheelbarrow II This Is Just to Say III. The Great Figure
from Liebeslieder Polkas, S. 2/4 P.D.Q. Bach (1807-1742)?
It Was a Lover and His Lass Song to Celia The Passionate Shepherd To His Love
Amy Greer and Juiling Hsu, hands one through four Julia Manganaro, fifth hand
The Seal Lullaby Eric Whitacre (b. 1970) And So It Goes Billy Joel, arr. Bob Chilcott (b. 1955)
Tyler Wilson, soloist
Dirait-on Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943) from Les chansons des roses If Music Be the Food of Love David Dickau (b. 1953)
If your cell phone rings during the performance, you will be required to come onstage and sightread Schoenberg songs.
THE SINGERS OF QUINTESSENCE
Anita Amstutz, soprano, enjoys a choralolio kind of life with a little of this and a little of that, from beekeeping to pastoring, reading, hiking with her hubby to as much music as she can squeeze in. Alto Jane Belcher teaches elementary school in Santa Fe, and when her mind is not full of kids songs and silly dance moves, she thoroughly enjoys singing beautiful music with Q. Baritone Alfredo Beltrn is honored to sing one last time with Quintessence, as he will attend the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri at Kansas City in the fall. Tenor section leader Bryan Butler works as a staff astronomer (working on solar system bodies) and software manager at the Very Large Array; he has sung or is singing with the groups Cantores Atri Mortis, Quodlibet, Polyphony, & Quintessence. Barbi Cappel, soprano, is very pleased to be singing this beautiful set of seemingly random pieces, as it speaks directly to her occasional lack of focus and love of spontaneity. Bass David Cappel does financial planning and is a lifelong musical hobbyist who hails from the home of 'The Music Man, plays trumpet & has a mean pool game (...we got trouble!). Soprano Rebecca Craig struggles with word limits; only experienced "tweeters" like my husband (Love you!) can effectively communicate the vast metaphysical nature and emotional kaleidoscope of the human experience in thirty-five words or less! Tenor Lucien Daigle is a professional video gamer and a graduate student at UNM, studying Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting...in his free time. Laurel Deming, alto, has been singing with choirs since she was two swinging on the altar rail and has enjoyed singing with Quintessence for many years- all for the love & joy of music with a glimmer of mischief. Martin Doviaks olio of activities and interests include mathematics, grammars of various languages, singing bass with as many choruses as possible, listening to great live music, getting wet, playing tennis, skiing, & running with dogs. Suzi Dressler, retired from the structure and tedium of full time employment, enjoys an eclectic existence combining music (long-time Quintessence alto, lifelong church musician), agility dog training (handler and instructor), & outings with husband and canine friends to the mountains for relaxation and renewal. Lars Fabricius-Olsen, bass, is an undergraduate physics student at UNM who enjoys choir singing and banjo playing. A proud member of Quintessence's awesome bass section, James Graham, a recovering tenor, is blessed with an incredible, loving family, starting with his beautiful mother Donna from whom he received everything except his singing voice. Soprano Liz Hartwell is a family law attorney, wife to Seth, mama to Anna (5) and Jacob (1), & can sing the entire Frozen soundtrack in her sleep. Pauleta Hendrickson, soprano section leader, is occupied with family, needlework, cooking, yoga, long walks, various musical pursuits, the quest of a library bookshelf big enough to hold, well... a library, and much prefers butter to Oleo. Trish Henning, alto section leader, studies voice with Jacqueline Zander-Wall, & has performed with various choirs in town including Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico, Quodlibet, and UNM's Concert Choir and Las Cantantes. Julia Church Hoffman believes that singing in community with others is THE best way to make the world a better place, and so she is unbelievably happy to be back singing soprano with Matt and Amy and the other amazing humans who sing with Quintessence. Bass Jonathan Ice, a recent arrival from Cedar Rapids, IA, makes a living teaching blind people how to be [successfully] blind, but also loves hiking, singing, traveling