Music and Poetry of Spring reflected in The Chamber Singers of Algoma Spring Concert

Spring 2024 is continuing to amaze, inspire and remind us of the many textures the season brings with it.  A choral concert this Sunday afternoon, April 28th will discern the many textures of spring, through music and poetry woven through lyrics.

The Chamber Singers of Algoma, under the direction of Patty Gartshore, accompanied by pianist Lisa Parlee, will present their Spring 2024 concert at 3:00 pm in Precious Blood Cathedral.  The programme features music based on texts relating to Spring.

‘Parlez Moi’ is a poem written with eloquence lifting the environment as its message. The music builds to a stunning conclusion with the words: “Speak to me of the earth. Tell me its story so that I may become its guardian.” Words and music by francophone France Levasseur-Ouimet, and arranged by Allan Bevan.

‘Io Son La Primavera’ (I Am Spring) with words by Italian poet Torquato Tasso and music by American composer William Hawley sprinkles hope. “I am Spring who gladly returns to you with my beautiful, embellished mantle. To dress the countryside in greenery and flowers and to arouse in your hearts new loves.”

One of Canadian composer Healey Willan’s most famous compositions is ‘Rise Up My Love My Fair One And Come Away’. The text is taken from the ‘Song of Solomon’. “For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear upon the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come”

The programme also includes a French Canadian folk song arranged by Patty Gartshore. ‘A La Xlaire Fontaine’ is a wistful song about unrequited love.

‘Brigg Fair’ is a Folk-song from Lincolshire. It is a love song with a happy ending and will feature Tenor Stephen Gagnon-Ruscio as the soloist.

‘The Blue Bird’ with text by Mary Coleridge, music by C V Stanford, will include Soloist, Soprano Juliana Regan. Both musically and in the text, the composition captures an evocative image of a blue bird, soaring through the sky, reflected in the blue lake.

‘Sure On This Shining Night’ elevates a poem by James Agee with music by renowned American choral composer, Marten Lauridsen. “High summer holds the earth, Hearts all whole. Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder”.

‘The Tree Of Song’ evokes imagery of one resting beneath a tree as the quiet evening is serenaded by rustling leaves, the music of the tree. Text by Charles Bennett, music by British composer Bob Chilcott.

‘My Vistula, Grey Vistula’ is a traditional folk song arranged in a more modern, contemplative style by Henryk Gorecki, one of Poland’s most famous composers. It is an ode to the beautiful Vistula River which runs through Poland. “My Vistula, grey Vistula, Where are you flowing so quietly? I have gathered my water from the Polish countryside.”

‘La Nuit En Mer’ (At Night on the Sea) by Dutch composer Henk Badings has created an impressionistic sound dynamic evocative of the rocking boat, the turbulence of the sea and the beauty of the stars at night. The poet Theodore Botrel paints a picture of fishermen, rejoicing in a good catch and a good night’s sleep on their schooners in anticipation of their triumphant return home.

There are more enchanting pieces of music in the Spring 2024 Chamber Singers of Algoma concert programme. Tickets are available at Savoy’s Jewelers and at the door. $20.00 each ~ Students $5.00.

Come and immerse yourself in choral textures of Spring in the sanctuary of Precious Blood Cathedral. Sunday April 28th at 3:00 pm.

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