Date(s) & Time(s)::
June 1, 2013 at 8:00 PM until 9:30 PM
Location: Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, 308 Main St, Johnson City (across from Post Office)
This year’s Spring Concert by the Downtown Singers & Orchestra features an excitingly different Requiem written by Welsh composer Dr. Karl Jenkins. Premiered in 2005, this avant-garde work juxtaposes traditional Latin liturgical requiem mass (“rest”) text with five Japanese haiku (death poem) movements; at times the Latin text is sung below the haiku Japanese text. The unique orchestration makes extensive use of the shakuhachi, an end-blown Chinese/Japanese flute made from bamboo, plus harp, brass and percussion that will catch listeners off guard as the music transitions between haunting serenades, wistful interludes and pounding rhythmic sections reminiscent of the Carmina Burana. The performance will also include Brahms’ Nänie (German form of Latin nenia, meaning “a funeral song”). Composed in 1881 as a remembrance of his deceased friend Anselm Feuerbach, it sets to music the poem of the same name by Friedrich Schiller, which is a lamentation of the inevitability of death (the first phrase “Auch das Schöne muß sterben” translates to “Even the beautiful must die”). Rounding out the program is the stirring hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, a melody from Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music arranged for full orchestra by famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir Music Director Mack Wilberg. Marisa Crabb conducts this entire program as a tribute to her late husband and Downtown Singers co-founder/Artistic Director Alan Crabb, reprising his earlier performances of the Wilberg and Brahms works but with different orchestration, and, for the Nänie, different language, culminating with the Jenkins piece that boldly moves the group in a new musical direction.
In addition to the full Binghamton Downtown Singers chorus, this presentation boasts a 50 piece orchestra and features noted shakuhachi virtuoso Dr. Nora Suggs, soprano Brenda Dawe and introduces Collin Pickett as treble soloist.
Funding is provided in part by a project grant from the Broome County Arts Council’s United Cultural Fund. This program is made possible with public funds administered by the Chenango Arts Council, and is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with support from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature.