Angeles Chorale Presents Songs of France

The second concert of its 44th Season: Travelogue: Musical Postcards from Around the World

Published : Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | 4:40 PM

Amour! Vivre! La Musique! Travelogue: Musical Postcards from Around the World continues with an eclectic musical tour of France! The Angeles Chorale’s second concert of the 44th season, Songs of France, will transport you to the most romantic place in the world without leaving Los Angeles. Close your eyes and imagine nearly 100 voices lifted together to celebrate some of France’s most famous composers. In addition to the incredible choral music you will hear, the Chorale will welcome the incomparable Dr. Jung-A Lee for a special pre-concert performance of some of the most exquisite French organ pieces ever written. Get to your seats early and join Dr. Lee and the Chorale, March 30th at 7:30 p.m. in Pasadena or March 31st at 4:00pm in Northridge, as they travel through decades of song that truly transcend time and country! “Audiences will be transported to France,” John Sutton, Artistic Director says, “people will leave this concert with the feeling of unity and love.”

Featuring one of the most famous pieces in French choral music, Francis Poulenc’s Gloria will wow audiences with its majestic orchestral opening leading to the voices of the Chorale exuberantly and masterfully uniting in one of Poulenc’s most distinctive and sacred works. The Angeles Chorale proudly welcomes soprano soloist Amanda Keenan to join them on this dynamic musical journey. Native to Southern California, Ms. Keenan’s “velvet tones” will have you on the edge of your seat as her voice soars above you, lifting your spirits on high! Poulenc was known for expressing his love of life through his music and his Gloria will leave you feeling the vibrancy with which he lived. You don’t want to miss Ms. Keenan and the Chorale as they expertly navigate this powerful and energetic work.

Included in this compelling program, are some of France’s most well-known composers from decades past to present. Sixteenth century composer Jacob Arcadelt’s Ave Maria represents one of the truest classic choral endeavors, the madrigal. With its glorious harmonies and sacred text, it will bring you joy in musical form. Also on the program, is Gabriel Fauré’s youthful Cantique de Jean Racine, which he composed at only 19 years old. Published in 1876, it is a great contrast to the more contemporary Quatre Motets, composed by Maurice Duruflé in 1960. Quatre Motets’ nod to Gregorian Chant is sure to be a spiritual and entrancing experience. Effortless and charming, the French folk song Dirait-On from Les Chansons des Roses (The Songs of Roses) will please your ear in the most delightful way. The lyric taken from a collection of 20th century poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, considers the rose’s transformation and lasting vitality. It calls upon the listeners to consider their own reflection while using a classic French melody that will leave you humming for days! A definite crowd pleaser, the intriguing and sensual Habanera or L’amour est un oiseau rebelle (Love is a rebellious bird) from George Bizet’s renowned opera Carmen, will draw you in and have you moving to the music. You may be familiar with this famous melody, but you haven’t heard it performed quite like this! This powerful aria’s style was derived from traditional Cuban dance music and its translation comes from the Spanish meaning “Dance of Havana!” Joining the Chorale once again, soloist Amanda Keenan’s rich and sultry voice will thrill and enchant you! The Chorale will also delight you with a masterful rendition of Widor’s Toccata-Gloria and a surprising, haunting version of Ysaye M. Barnwell’s Would You Harbor Me, that may lead you to ask the question, who would you harbor in times of trouble?

The Angeles Chorale is thrilled to announce a special pre-concert organ performance by organist, pianist, and harpsichordist extraordinaire Dr. Jung-A Lee. Dr. Lee has performed all over the world to critical acclaim. She currently serves as organist at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach and is on the faculty of Biola University and Vanguard University. In addition, she works as the Artist-in-Residence for Pacific Chorale and an organist for Pacific Symphony. The Angeles Chorale welcomes audience members to enjoy this special pre-concert performance approximately twenty minutes before the start of the concert. Please arrive early in order to hear this remarkable organist play this inspired performance.

Songs of France will prove to be a night you won’t soon forget. The second concert of the 44th season, Travelogue: Musical Postcards from Around the World, will encourage you to experience the joie de vivre that the French are known for! Laura Mason, Executive Director says, “This year, the Chorale is stronger than ever. The sounds you’ll hear at this concert are a breathtaking way to celebrate the captivating music of France!”

Songs of France will be performed on Saturday, March 30th, at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Pasadena (500 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena) and on Sunday, March 31st, at 4:00 p.m. at Northridge United Methodist Church (9650 Reseda Blvd., Northridge, CA. 91324).

Tickets are $30 if purchased in advance online and $35 at the door. Group and family discounts available at www.angeleschorale.org or (818) 591-1735.

About the Angeles Chorale

The Angeles Chorale is an all-volunteer, professional-level, auditioned group of 100 Angelenos from all walks of life, aged 21 to over 70, brought together by their shared passion for great choral music. Their mission is to engage, enrich and inspire audiences, singers, and their diverse community by performing great choral music with a passionate commitment to excellence, and to increase access to and appreciation of choral music in greater Los Angeles. Recent Angeles Chorale performance highlights include A John Williams Celebration with the LA Phil at Disney Hall, and Barbra Streisand’s Back to Brooklyn concert at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2014 the Chorale was featured with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl in An Evening of Chinese Splendor and in 2015 the Angeles Chorale performed in Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy at the Microsoft Theater. In December 2015 the Angeles Chorale released An American Christmas, recorded live in concert and featuring works by Morten Lauridsen, Alfred Burt, and Randol Alan Bass. In 2018, the Chorale was featured in live concert performances of Final Fantasy XIV at the Dolby Theatre and at the Microsoft Theater for The Music of Miyzaki.

About Artistic Director John Sutton

The Chorale’s 2018-2019 concert season marks the ninth under Artistic Director Dr. John Sutton. John’s artistic vision for the Angeles Chorale rests on a foundation of choral excellence in performing music of diverse expressions and styles including major works for choir and orchestra, shorter works from the classical choral canon, works by contemporary choral composers, and folk, gospel, world and pop music. He is a Professor at Azusa Pacific University in the College of the Arts, where he serves as the Director of Choral Activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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