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“Love & Light” comes to Central New York – Can spring be far behind?
The Society for New Music (SNM – 42nd season) and Syracuse Vocal Ensemble (SVE – 40th season) are joining forces to present two 20th century choral masterworks with instruments. The program title “Love & Light” reflects the theme of illumination, both spiritually and artistically, in Morten Lauridsen’s 1997 “Lux Aeterna,” and the lyric sentimentality of Earl George’s “Valentines & Graffiti,” settings of some of e.e.cummings most famous poems.
The first performance of this joint effort by two of CNY’s cultural gems is in Cazenovia on Saturday March 8 at the 1st United Methodist Church on Lincklaen St. at 7:30pm, followed by a Syracuse performance Sunday March 9 at 3pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, corner Montgomery and E. Fayette.
In 2006 the National Endowment for the Arts named Lauridsen an ‘American Choral Master,’ and in 2007 the President awarded him the National Medal of Arts at the White House. Several of Lauridsen’s over 200 recordings have been nominated for a Grammy. ClassicsToday wrote: “if you love choral music, Lauridsen’s work is required listening.” This poignant requiem, filled with lush haunting melodies, was written for Lauridsen’s mother’s final illness, and has often been compared to the Brahms Requiem. The work closes with a glorious “Alleluia” — the angels joyfully summoning the soul to heaven.
Earl George was a long-time faculty member at Syracuse University, whose music was performed by such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic. His “Songs of Innocence” which will be performed on this concert, has been performed throughout the U.S. and recorded by a number of ensembles. In his “Valentines & Graffiti,” considered by experts to be one of Mr. George’s most important works, the solo clarinet binds the nine poems together, serving as a constant source of decoration. Bob Cowles, SVE artistic director and Hobart-William Smith faculty, edited the score for this performance, the first of this work in over 30 years.
Bob Cowles will conduct the chorus and chamber orchestra with soloists soprano Laura Enslin, clarinetist John Friedrichs and pianist Ida Trebicka.