WHAT St. Luke’s at Saint Thomas | Music for Remembrance

Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) will join the famed Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys under the baton of conductor John Scott to perform works spanning the Renaissance to the 20th Century

WHERE/WHEN Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 7:30 PM
Saint Thomas Church
Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street

TICKETS For tickets ($30 – $75) call 212-664-9360 or visit saintthomaschurch.org

St. Luke’s at Saint Thomas | Music for Remembrance

Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams sets powerful poetry to intensely expressive music with a refined and assured compositional skill. Williams’ texts were the Civil War poetry of Walt Whitman, a speech aiming to prevent the Crimean War by British parliamentarian John Bright, and the Bible (Book of Jeremiah). Overarching all the poetry is the ancient prayer Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace), sung at the beginning and at the end of the work by a lone soprano voice. With powerful lyricism honoring the sacrifice of all who fight for a cause while holding up their common humanity, Vaughan Williams depicts war’s tumult and futility.

Dona Nobis Pacem is paired with Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus, a work for harp and strings, which Vaughan Williams composed on commission from the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Jesse Blumberg sings the baritone solo, Fear no more the heat o’ the sun, a deeply moving setting of Shakespeare’s verse from Cymbeline (Act IV, Scene 2), composed by Gerald Finzi, Vaughan Williams’ good friend and younger English contemporary.

The concert’s other major work is the Requiem of 1605 (Officium Defunctorum), a masterpiece of the late Renaissance by Spanish composer, Tomás Luis de Victoria. With its restrained and fluent counterpoint, the Requiem is Victoria’s last and greatest work composed for the funeral of the sister of King Philip II of Spain.

Tomás Luis de Victoria Requiem of 1605*
Ralph Vaughan Williams Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus
Gerald Finzi Fear no more the heat o’ the sun
Ralph Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem

* sung a cappella

Orchestra of St. Luke’s
John Scott, conductor
The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys
Stephanie Tennill, soprano
Jesse Blumberg, baritone

About Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Now in its 37th year, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is one of America’s foremost and most versatile ensembles. Dedicated to engaging audiences throughout New York City and beyond, OSL performs approximately 70 orchestral, chamber, and educational concerts each year—including an annual chamber music series at The Morgan Library & Museum and Brooklyn Museum, an orchestra series at Carnegie Hall and summer concerts as Orchestra-in-Residence at the Caramoor International Music Festival. The Orchestra collaborates regularly with the world’s great artists, such as Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Anna Netrebko, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mark Morris Dance Group, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Elton John and many more. In March 2011, OSL opened The DiMenna Center for Classical Music—its first permanent home, and New York City’s first rehearsal and recording facility dedicated to classical music. Committed to community-building, OSL produces free concerts in each of the five boroughs, and has engaged more than one million children in its arts education programs. OSL’s stellar 70+ discography includes four acclaimed releases on its own label, St. Luke’s Collection, and four Grammy Award-winning recordings. For Orchestra of St. Luke’s calendar of events, tickets and more information, visit OSLmusic.org.

About Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys
The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys is considered by major critics the outstanding choral ensemble of the Anglican musical tradition in the United States today. Besides offering a full concert series each year, the Choir of sixteen men and three dozen boys sings at five weekly principal worship services, preparing an astounding four hundred pieces of sacred music a year.

The Men of the Choir are professional singers; the Boys attend Saint Thomas Choir School, the only church-related residential choir school in the United States, and one of only a few similar schools remaining in the world. The Choir has been directed since 2004 by John Scott, formerly Organist and Director of Music at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

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