The Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra presents its spring concerts of timeless masterpieces at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (May 16) and 2 p.m. Sunday.
“This program connects the beauty and immortality of life expressed through the music of Morten Lauridsen with the exuberance and celebration of spring through Mozart’s ‘Requiem,’ a potent combination,” said chorister David Bess.
The 70-voice auditioned SMC performs with a 24-piece orchestra of local and regional players, conducted by InConcert Sierra artistic director Ken Hardin.
“This concert represents two of the most often-performed works in the choral and orchestra repertoire — Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ and Morten Lauridsen’s ‘Lux Aeterna.’ In programming, I liked the idea of juxtaposing two very different perspectives regarding the sense of what a requiem should be based largely on different time periods with very different social frameworks. I removed the solo-movements of the requiem in order to make it possible to have both requiems in one program,” Hardin said.
As the “Lux Aeterna” doesn’t quite fill an entire half of the program, Hardin included Morten Lauridsen’s gorgeous “Nocturnes,” which is a set of four pieces (“Sa Nuit de’te,” “Soneto de la Noche,” “Sure on this Shining Night” and “Voice le Soir”) written to express the theme of night.
“One of my favorites is the ‘Soneto De La Noche,’ which uses the poetry of Pablo Neruda and the music of Lauridsen to figuratively make one’s heart stop upon realizing the timelessness of silence (eternal rest),” said Bess.
Hardin notes, “‘Sure on this Shining Night’ is the best-selling short piece in the choral catalog. So in this concert, you are truly hearing the most popular and most performed choral literature out there today.
“It will be a jaw-dropping experience to hear the ‘Requiem’ in the intimate and brilliant acoustic of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In programing this concert, the music chosen is one wave of beauty cascading after another, providing a breathless yet exhilarating experience for all,” Hardin added.
The Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra’s spring concerts are dedicated to the memory of John Zwerver, former chorale member and InConcert Sierra board and advisory member. Sponsors for the concerts are New Moon Café, Yuba River Wealth Management, Joan and Lance Goddard in memory of John Zwerver, Gerri Griswold, Kathy Chastain and Gary Shannon.
Tickets for the performances are $26 for general admission, $13 for youth 5-17 and are available online at http://inconcertsierra.org, at BriarPatch Co-op, Nevada County Box Office at Miners Foundry or at the door.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is located at 12889 Osborne Hill Road in Grass Valley.
For information, go to http://inconcertsierra.org.