TRINITY: Three of Philadelphia’s Musical Treasures Coming Together to Perform Moran and Bruckner for the First Time Inside the Historic Landmark Cathedral Basilica

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACTS:

 

September 12, 2012
Janelle McCoy, Executive Director
Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia
215.735.9922

Edward McNally, Above The Fold PR
404.281.6419

 

 

TRINITY: Three of Philadelphia’s Musical Treasures Coming Together to Perform
Moran and Bruckner for the First Time Inside the Historic Landmark Cathedral Basilica

Mendelssohn Club Chorus, Philadelphia Boy Choir and The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia performing together in concert featuring the world premiere of Robert Moran’s expanded Trinity Requiem for full chorus

 (Philadelphia) With its majestic facade, vaulted dome, ornate main altar and impressive side chapels, the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul provides the perfect backdrop for the majestic Bruckner Mass No. 2 in E Minor and the world premiere of Robert Moran’s Angele Dei

and the newly commissioned, full-chorus version of the ethereal Trinity Requiem, which originally premiered at Trinity Church on Wall Street for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. In addition to Mendelssohn Club Chorus, this historic concert will feature two of the city’s other musical treasures, the Philadelphia Boys Choir and The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Beyond the epic visual qualities of the space, the venue for this concert provides special opportunities and challenges for any musical performance. Music created in the center of the cathedral takes a full seven seconds to disappear. This seven-second “reverb” would render a lot of music played at a quick tempo to be almost unbearable, but the same acoustics are ideally suited for the more carefully paced compositions of Bruckner and Moran, written more than 150 years apart.

Moran’s new work, Angele Dei, is based on a Catholic prayer to one’s guardian angel. It includes passages with several seconds of silence allowing time for the accumulated sounds to travel through the seven-second reverberation of the Cathedral Basilica. This is in some ways paralleled in the Bruckner Mass with its full measures of rest at some cadential points.

Mendelssohn Club Artistic Director Alan Harler had to decide what to perform when the chorus was invited to perform in this historic space. “Until 2011, there had been no public concerts in the Cathedral Basilica for over a decade. It was an exciting challenge to create an interesting program that would be compelling for a 21st century audience,” recalls Harler. “I knew the Bruckner Mass in E Minor would be an incredibly beautiful experience here because this music was composed to be heard in a large cathedral.”

When selecting a contemporary work to perform on the same program, Harler immediately thought of composer Robert Moran and his 2011 Trinity Requiem, which originally premiered at Trinity on Wall Street for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. “I asked Bob (Moran) if he would revise his Requiem for a full chorus and if he would compose a new work for Mendelssohn Club to sing in this one-of-a-kind place. “I’m extremely pleased that we will premiere the latest Moran revision on this scale, which includes a new movement, by performing it with the Philadelphia Boys Choir and The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.”

The veteran conductor has conceived a dramatic choreography for the concert that splits both choruses into multiple sections of the church above and around the audience before reuniting them for the climatic Trinity Requiem. Harler is convinced that listening to this music in this space sung by nearly 200 voices will be “a profoundly powerful experience” and even “emotionally transporting for anyone in the audience regardless of their personal spiritual perspective.”

Concert Details:

Sunday, October 21, 2012
3 pm

 

Trinity: Moran and Bruckner
with the Philadelphia Boys Choir
and The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and Paul
1723 Race St., Philadelphia, PA 19103

Special Note: The Catholic Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (1864) is one of the most architecturally significant structures in Pennsylvania. This historic house of worship is modeled after the Lombard Church of St. Charles in Rome (San Carla al Corso) and is considered one of America’s finest examples of church architecture in the Roman-Corinthian style.

 

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia

A founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia is a 33-member professional ensemble led by Dirk Brossé. The Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1964 by Marc Mostovoy, has a well-established reputation for distinguished performances of repertoire from the Baroque period through the twenty-first century.

The Orchestra’s development was motivated in part by the desire to provide performance opportunities to young professional musicians emerging from the Curtis Institute of Music and other regional training programs but also by a desire to make a substantial contribution to the cultural life of the city and surrounding region. In addition to presenting its own productions, the Orchestra started to develop an entrepreneurial approach by seeking other performance opportunities among the region’s presenter/producer community, thereby providing additional employment for its members. Maestro Mostovoy and his ensemble also championed new music, focusing on regional composers.

The Philadelphia Boys Choir

Since 1968, the Philadelphia Boys Choir has provided the finest musical education and performing experience for ensembles of its genre in the Greater Philadelphia area. The opportunities for travel and concert performances around the world enable the Choir members to build character, while carrying out the esteemed tradition of being part of America’s Ambassadors of Song.

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia

For nearly fourteen decades, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia has been devoted to sharing great choral music as a way to connect artists, audiences and communities. Mendelssohn Club Chorus one of America’s oldest choruses, continues to expand its repertoire in the 21st century by collaborating with a wide range of musical organizations, each of which is devoted to representing, or reaching out to, new audiences in innovative ways. Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia performs choral music to create a shared transcendent experience among its singers and audiences. Through the excellence of its adventurous performances, Mendelssohn Club advances the development of choral music as an art form.

For information about Mendelssohn Club’s concerts and programs, or to order tickets for the 2011-2012 season, visit www.mcchorus.org. You can also find Mendelssohn Club on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mcchorus.

 

CONCERT BACKGROUND

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)

The Austrian composer Anton Bruckner was known for his masses, motets and symphonies. The dissonances, modulations and roving harmonies of his compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism. A devout Catholic, Bruckner produced some of the most wonderful music in the 19th century sacred choral repertoire.

 

Mass No. 2 in E minor

The composer began the Mass in E minor shortly after finishing his First Symphony (1866) and the work premiered at an outdoor concert celebrating the completion of a chapel at Linz Cathedral. Bruckner was intimately familiar with old polyphonic church music, and the work combines Renaissance techniques and chant-like melodies with idioms of the late-Romantic period. His second Mass, written for a chorus accompanied by wind instruments, is both serene and exultant.

 

Robert Moran (1937 – )

In his long career dating back to the 1960s, Philadelphia resident Robert Moran has composed operas and ballets as well as numerous orchestral, vocal, chamber and dance works. Moran has written for every imaginable ensemble: ancient folk instrument from Syria, Austria, Javanese gamelan, solo instrumental work, scores for six orchestras and six choruses, multiple prepared pianos, etc. Moran has been composer-in-residence in Berlin; Buffalo, NY; and Northwestern University. His music has been recorded on the Argos, Nonesuch, and Polygram labels. He currently lives in Philadelphia, and travels frequent around the U.S., Europe, and parts of Asia and South America for premieres of his works, and to give lectures.

 

Angele Dei – 2012 World Premiere

This work, based on a Catholic prayer to one’s guardian angel, was designed specifically for the Cathedral Basilica. It consists of continuous music made up of “layers” of color and pitches produced by layered units of sound. A given unit may consist of four celli, brass, woodwinds, two choirs, harp and organ. The organization of time is not metric but indicated as number of seconds in length. Occasionally there will be several seconds of silence to allow time for the accumulated sounds to travel through the seven-second reverberation of the Cathedral Basilica. This is in some ways paralleled in the Bruckner Mass with its full measures of rest at some cadential points.

 

Trinity Requiem – 2011

Trinity Requiem was commissioned for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at the request of Robert Ridgell and the Trinity Youth Group, a chorus made of young people from the five boroughs of New York. The work is scored for treble voices, four cellos, organ and harp. Handbells are employed in the Pie Jesu. And, unusual for a requiem setting, Moran includes In Paradisum, emphasizing a desire to attain peace at last.

Moran has said he was initially reluctant to write a Requiem to be performed by a children’s choir, “but then I began to get flashbacks of numerous stories I had heard throughout my life of children who had lost their entire families from plagues, wars, endless catastrophes, vicious governments, etc. That kind of loss made sense to the children. This is what our requiem is about.”

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Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia 2012 – 2013 Season

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
7pm

BIG SING//Schubert
with the Philadelphia Master Chorale
and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Chancel Choir

 

First Baptist Church of Philadelphia
123 S. 17th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

also

Sunday, November 4, 2012
Delaware County Community College
Marple Campus (Large Auditorium)

901 S. Media Line Rd.
Media, PA 19063

Witness the transformational power of music connecting communities as Mendelssohn Club welcomes the Philadelphia Master Chorale, led by Changho Lee, and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Chancel Choir, led by Dr. Jay Fluellen, in the 3rd annual BIG SING. The concert will explore the music of the Korean and African Episcopal traditions and invite hundreds of local singers to perform Schubert’s Mass in G. Audience members who participated in the first two BIG SINGs in 2010 and 2011 have compared this very unique musical experience to being enveloped by cinematic surround sound where you literally feel the music vibrating all around you.

NOTE: BIG SING//Schubert is presented through the generous support of PNC Arts Alive.

 

Sunday, October 21, 2012
3 pm

Trinity: Moran and Bruckner
with the Philadelphia Boys Choir
and The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia

The Commission for Robert Moran SATB arrangement of the Trinity Requiem was made possible through the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Alan Harler New Ventures Fund and the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and Paul
1723 Race St., Philadelphia, PA 19103

 

Sunday, December 9, 2012
3 pm

Angels From On High
with the Mendelssohn Brass
Michael Stairs, organ

The Grand Opera House
818 North Market St.
Wilmington, DE 19801-3080

The chorus performs a beautiful program of classic carols and sacred music at the historic Grand Opera House in Wilmington. The recently restored Opera House has been a landmark for the residents of Wilmington and the surrounding region for over 140 years.

For tickets to the concert at 3 pm on Sunday, December 9 at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware, visit http://www.thegrandwilmington.org.

also

Saturday, December 15, 2012
5 pm

St. Paul’s Church of Chestnut Hill
22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave. (Chestnut Hill)
Philadelphia, PA
19119

Celebrate one of Philadelphia’s oldest holiday traditions along with the 150 voices of Mendelssohn Club amid the beauty of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the quaint charm of the Chestnut Hill shops and restaurants. Both performances of Angels From On High will featuring organist Michael Stairs and the Mendelssohn Brass.

Saturday, February 23, 2013
7:30 pm

&

Sunday, February 24, 2013
4 pm

Beethoven and Gill
with Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
Ching-Yun Hu, pianist

Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
3723 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Mendelssohn Club joins forces with Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Black Pearl conductor/founder Jeri Lynne Johnson (conducting the orchestral works) and world-renowned pianist Ching-Yun Hu to honor one of the world’s greatest composers. The centerpiece of the program is Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and the world premiere commission by composer Jeremy Gill inspired by this Beethoven masterpiece. Also featuring Beethoven’s Fidelio Overture and Symphony No. 2.

Jeremy Gill’s commission was made possible through the generous support of the Archie W. and Grace Berry Foundation.

Sunday, April 7, 2013
2:30 pm

Fall of the Berlin Wall: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
presented as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts
(PIFA)

with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Ignat Solzhenitsyn, conductor laureate

Layla Claire, soprano
Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano
Norman Reinhardt, tenor
Sam Handley, bass-baritone

Meine Wind of Change
Smirnov
Epitaph for the Victims of Repression
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125,
Choral

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

260 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102

This epic program, under the baton of conductor laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn, commemorates the mass protests at the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent demolition of the Wall and the entire Iron Curtain. This historic moment directly led to the reunification of Germany and the end of the Cold War. This concert is presented as part of PIFA 2012 and is co-produced by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in collaboration with The Center for Emerging Visual Artists and features photography by James B. Abbott.

For tickets for this concert at 2:30 pm on Sunday, April 7, please contact The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia at 215-545-5451.

Saturday, May 11, 2013
8 pm

The Creation
with Symphony in C , conducted by Maestro Rossen Milanov

Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts
Gordon Theater
Third & Pearl Streets
Camden, NJ 08102

also

Sunday, May 19, 2013
4 pm

Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
3723 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Creation, Haydn’s masterpiece, depicts and celebrates the creation of the world as based on the Book of Genesis and Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost.” This concert, conducted by Maestro Rossen Milanov will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Symphony in C.

For tickets to this concert at 8 pm on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at theRutgers-Camden Center for the Arts in Camden, NJ, visit http://symphonyinc.org

Sunday, June 2, 2013
7:30 pm

Mahler’s Symphony No. 2
with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra
Louis Scaglione, conductor

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
260 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102

A magnificent opportunity to hear Mendelssohn Club Chorus with Philadelphia’s best young instrumentalists!  The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and Mendelssohn Club join forces in Mahler’s dramatic Symphony No. 2 with Maestro Louis Scaglione conducting.

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