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This summer marks the 52nd annual Summer Sing Program. Each summer, the New York Choral Society produces a Summer Sings series that features the most popular masterworks of the choral literature. Taking place every Wednesday at 7:30pm from tonight, July 25th – August 29th at Symphony Space in the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, six prominent choral conductors from the New York area will lead audience members to sing through these popular works. Scores are provided by the New York Choral Society.
The 2012 series features monumental works including three of the most recognized pieces in the repertoire; the Mozart Requiem on July 25th and the Bach Mass in B minor on August 8th and Mendelssohn’s Elijah on August 29th.
Individual Sings tickets are $15. For ticket information, call (212) 864-5400 or visit www.symphonuspace.org or www.nychoral.org. The box office is located at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway @ 95th Street, New York.
Wednesday, July 25
Mozart Requiem and Britten Rejoice in the Lamb, Phillip Cheah, Conductor
Mozart’s Requiem is one of the most popular and beloved works in the choral repertoire. Composed in the last year of Mozart’s life, the Requiem contains all the power for which the composer is famous in its vision of the finality of death. His musical legacy—and particularly his Requiem—has brought outstanding beauty and richness to Western culture as few other composers have. Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb is a chaotic, brilliant and festive catalog of the variety of ways in which all living things worship and praise God.
Phillip Cheah is Music Director of the Central City Chorus and of Guildsingers, a medieval music consort of voices. As a champion of contemporary music, he cofounded C4 Choral/Composer/Conductor Collective, an ensemble dedicated to the performance and promotion of music written in the last quarter century.
Wednesday, August 1
Haydn Paukenmesse and Poulenc Gloria, Clara Longstreth, Conductor
Paukenmesse is one of the most popular of Haydn’s fourteen settings of the mass. It has been long thought to express an antiwar sentiment even though there is no clear indication from Haydn that this was his intention. Calling it antiwar in nature is debatable, because most of the mass is of a lyrically joyful nature. In his Gloria, Poulenc uses a colorful musical palette to express a wide range of emotions, from lyrical serenity to unashamed glee. Clara Longstreth is music director and founder of the critically acclaimed New Amsterdam Singers.
Wednesday, August 8
Bach Mass in B minor, Malcolm Merriweather, Conductor
The Bach Mass in B minor was pronounced “the greatest artwork of all times and all people” by the nineteenth-century editor Hans George Nageli. Today, it is widely hailed as a monumental work of the late baroque period and is performed frequently in the world’s leading concert halls.
Malcolm Merriweather holds the Bruno Walter Assistant Conductor chair with the New York Choral Society and is conductor of the New York Choral Society Chamber Singers. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, and in the summer of 2011 was a fellow at the Tanglewood Festival.
Wednesday, August 15
Brahms Requiem, David Hayes, Conductor
Brahms, A German Requiem demands excessive quantities of passion and drama, angst and sweetness, and power and intimacy. In a letter to Brahms, Clara Schumann wrote, “It is a truly tremendous piece of art which moves the entire being in a way little else does.”
David Hayes is music director of both the critically acclaimed professional vocal ensemble The Philadelphia Singers and of The Philadelphia Singers Chorale. Both have been named resident choruses of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He will be the New York Choral Society’s guest conductor for their spring concert on April 25, 2013, in Carnegie Hall.
Wednesday, August 22
Haydn Lord Nelson Mass and Brahms Nanie, PatRick Gardner, Conductor
The Lord Nelson Mass is one of Haydn’s six late masses and is one of his greatest compositions. The original name Missa in Angustiis or Mass for Troubled Times became known as the Lord Nelson Mass after Nelson’s fleet defeated the French on or perhaps near the day of the first performance. Brahms Nanie is a lamentation on the inevitability of death. The first sentence, Auch das Schone muss Sterben, is translated as “Even the beautiful must die.”
Now in his 22nd season as music director of the Riverside Choral Society, PatRick Gardner is also director of choral activities at Rutgers University, where he conducts the Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir and the Rutgers Glee Club.
Wednesday, August 29
Mendelssohn Elijah, Julian Wachner, Conductor
Mendelssohn’s Elijah was created in the spirit of his baroque predecessors Bach and Handel, whose music he loved. Mendelssohn had the original German libretto translated into English, and the oratorio was premiered in the English version. The melodrama, easy appeal, and stirring choruses have made this work a particular favorite of choral societies.
The conductor and composer Julian Wachner is music director of the Grammy Award–winning Washington Chorus. In 2010, he was named the inaugural Director of Music and the Arts for Trinity
Wall Street, the historic Episcopal parish in Lower Manhattan. He regularly appears on the world’s leading stages, including engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera, Boston Pops Orchestra, and Spoleto Festival USA. He will be the guest conductor for the New York Choral Society’s concert in Carnegie Hall on December 18, 2012.
The New York Choral Society (NYCS), founded in 1958, has become known by audiences and critics for the quality of its performances and the diversity of its repertoire, which encompasses well- known choral masterworks as well as many compositions rarely heard in concert halls. The NYCS has presented eleven world premieres and has commissioned works by Paul Alan Levi, Morton Gould, Stephen Paulus, and Robert De Cormier.
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