What does that word imply? As a concept, how encompassing can it be?
When last we gathered in May for an all-Bruckner immersion, the unusual pairing of chorus with wind symphony and the lush harmonies of Anton Bruckner’s Mass in E Minor seemed fresh to our ears, though most of the music on that program was composed 150 years ago or more. Older music, yes, but newly-heard by us that day.
As the programs for the GMChorale’s 2019-2020 season took shape, the idea of “newness” emerged as a theme, not only in performing newly-composed music, but in taking newly-considered approaches to established classics, and in offering lesser-known though beautiful music so that it may, like the Bruckner, be once more newly-heard.
The GMChorale’s concert on November 10 features the first Middletown performance of New Every Morning, a multi-movement work by Connecticut composer Peter Niedmann that was commissioned earlier this year by the First Congregational Church in Cheshire. A joyful, evocative setting of texts by two great English churchmen-poets and excerpts from two Psalms, this music weaves a rich textual and musical tapestry that is by turns comforting, celebratory, and uplifting. To frame this brand-new music, the Chorale will sing a selection of fresh choral settings that evoke ancient traditions from around the world and across the centuries, from Renaissance Italy to Appalachia and beyond.
When we think of music by Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Schubert, our minds immediately turn back the clock of time. Newness in this centuries-old music? Impossible! Yet in these timeless works we can find new inspiration, and on April 20 the GMChorale will offer fresh interpretations of several well-known masterworks for chorus and strings. We will welcome the young voices of the Elm City Girls’ Choir and the Saecula Singers, along with some of the finest string players in the region, to join the Chorale as they bring new life to these beloved classics. The orchestra will also take a solo turn in instrumental music by Handel and Mozart, as well as the ethereal Intermezzo from Mascagni’s opera Cavelleria Rusticana.
Now in its third season, Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of the GMChorale, will perform Soirée Musicales, in several venues across the state. The concert showcases the versatility of this ensemble in performances of accompanied and a cappella choral music, and recalls the elegance of musical gatherings in earlier days with chamber music that was meant to be sung and enjoyed in more intimate and informal social gatherings.
As our organization continues to be intentional in how we engage our singers, supporters, and audience members, “Singing for a Lifetime” continues to take on new meaning for all involved. Our inspiration is drawn from the same sense of renewal and expectation we feel at sunrise, when we are made “new every morning.”
We are grateful for your continued support, and for joining with us in the spirit of music, collaboration, and community.