Washington Master Chorale will open its 2013-2014 season by exploring the power and transcendent beauty of lesser-known choral masterpieces.
We will open with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ powerful choral anthem O Clap Your Hands, a resounding treat for lovers of the grand English choral tradition. We contrast that with his restrained and introspective Mass in G minor, written in direct response to the revival of Renaissance polyphony in England. The work, while unmistakably modern, is imbued with ancient modality, atmosphere, and grace.
The second half of the program will focus on choral settings from Psalms and Proverbs, beginning with Charles Ives’ pioneering masterpiece Psalm 90. Far ahead of its time,Psalm 90 is a tour-de-force for the chorus, and profoundly beautiful. Paired with it will be excerpts from Heitor Villa-Lobos’s rarely performed work Bendita Sabedoria (Blessed Wisdom) written in 1958 for the opening of the new World Heritage Centre, UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Like the Mass in G minor, Bendita Sabedoria represents an intimate and fascinating combination of modern and Renaissance idioms.
The program will close with the grandeur and uplift of Lord, Thou Has Been Our Refuge, Vaughan Willams’ own magnificent setting of Psalm 90 for organ, trumpet, and chorus.
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