A Bed of Stars:
Music for a Summer Night
Saturday, May 11, 2019
320 Charlton Avenue West
Let time stand still, and join us in the musical equivalent of a night spent gazing up at the stars. Jonathan Dove’s The Passing of the Year is the centrepiece of a concert that includes music by Barber, Lauridsen, Mealor and Whitacre. Musicata is joined by pianist Paul Naphtali for a night of serenity and deep joy!
Tickets available online or at the door.
The Passing of the Year – Jonathan Dove
Jonathan Dove is an English composer best known for his operas, though his prolific repertoire also includes choral, orchestral and chamber music. The Passing of the Year uses two choirs to convey complex antiphonal rhythms and layered textures that illustrate the changing seasons. Dove explains the work this way:
The seven poems that I have set in The Passing of the Year make up three ‘movements’. The first looks forward to summer, beginning with a line from [William] Blake (‘O Earth, O Earth return!’). ‘The narrow bud’ comes from Blake’s “To Autumn”, but is a description of summer. The rapid questions of [Emily Dickinson’s ] ‘Answer July’ suggest the quickening senses, the excitement of everything bursting into life, and summer’s triumphant arrival.
The second section follows the passing of summer. It begins in sultry heat, with a song from the opening scene of [George Peel’s play], David and Bethsabe (‘Hot sun, cool fire’): a girl bathing in a spring feels the power and danger of her beauty. The section ends with the sense of mortality the autumn brings. ‘Adieu! Farewell earth’s bliss’ from [Thomas Nashe’s play], Summer’s Last Will and Testament, heralds the death of summer.
The cycle ends in winter, on New Year’s Eve, with a passage from Tennyson’s “In Memoriam”.
Sure on This Shining Night – Morton Lauridsen
Morton Lauridsen’s setting of the poem “Sure on this Shining Night” began life as part of a cycle of three short choral works under the heading Nocturnes that was commissioned by the American Choral Director’s Association. It was premiered in 2005 at their national convention. Lauridsen serves on the composition faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, and was the composer-in-residence for many years of the Los Angeles Master Chorale.