The award-winning San Francisco Choral Artists explore images of nature in a program spanning five centuries of Christmas music. The performances--featuring gems from the Renaissance, masterworks by Howells, Poulenc, and Kodaly, as well as two world premieres by living composers--promise to present audiences with all the group has been hailed for: lively rhythmic renditions of beloved tunes, compelling melodies, and a choral sound that can be ethereal and atmospheric as well as powerful and lush.
These concerts also mark the 15th anniversary of the group's succesful Composer-in-Residence program. This year that title goes to local composer Mark Winges. His world premiere "Toward the Horizon," is one of three new works he is writing for the group this season. He explains: "Since I purposely use sounds instead of words in this piece, the work's "language" draws us forward, but never really presents a definitive meaning. To me this is similar to how the horizon suggests a place (emotional, intellectual or otherwise) toward which we move but at which we never quite arrive."
In addition to Winges' "Toward the Horizon" the program features a second world premiere: "The Darkling Thrush" by Composer-Not-in-Residence Eleanor Aversa. Her work is set to Thomas Hardy's poem "The Darkling Thrush" from 1901. Eleanor says: "This poem has long been a favorite of mine, and its dramatic scope seemed particularly appropriate for a choral piece. As a composer, I was most excited to reflect the contrast between the anxious speaker in a dark landscape and the bird's sudden and joyful music. After setting the entire text as is, I added a section--beginning with a tenor solo--that retells key sections of the poem, but now from the bird's point of view. For this, I used short melodies taken from field recordings of the Hermit Thrush and the Wood Thrush."
Presented by San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon Artistic Director.
$30 (discounts for students & seniors).