In the Beginning: American Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs

Wednesday, July 19, 8:30PM, Carmel Mission Basilica

Festival Chorale and Orchestra Musicians; Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano

 

TRADITIONAL, Slow Traveler

VIRGIL THOMSON, My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

TRADITIONAL, Not one sparrow is forgotten

CHARLES IVES, Psalm 67

CAROLINE SHAW, and the swallow

TRADITIONAL, Ain’t-a That Good News

TRADITIONAL, My Lord, What a Mornin’

TRADITIONAL, Elijah Rock

AARON COPLAND, In the Beginning

PAUL CHIHARA, Agnus Dei from Missa Carminum

VINCENT PERSICHETTI, Agnus Dei from Mass

CHARLES IVES, Psalm 90

DAVID LANG, make peace

AMY BEACH, Peace I Leave With You

STEPHEN ANDREW TAYLOR, Their Pattern Still There

RANDALL THOMPSON, Alleluia for SATB chorus

TRADITIONAL, Traveling Pilgrim

 

Copland’s In the Beginning is an imaginative interpretation of the Book of Genesis, with a song for each of the seven days. Featuring mezzo-soprano soloist Meg Bragle and full chorale, Copland’s music weaves smoothly between bright and dark keys to represent day and night. The pulse undulates beneath jagged melodies, like the rough edges of a completely new world. To mark the end of each day, the chorale sings a restorative chant. The fifth day features the chorale alone in an exquisite vocal tapestry. With increasing dissonance and overlapping melodies, anticipation mounts for the final day. On day seven, the soloist and chorale finally sing together in perfect symbiosis, and in one last glorious cry, humans are granted their souls.

Agnus Dei is a piece that is best heard with closed eyes and an open heart. Within the long vowels of Angus Dei, Persichetti captures the full spectrum of human emotion–stillness, gratitude, trepidation, anguish, heartbreak. The piece evolves within each listener, showcasing music’s power to move us.

Thompson’s work explores the unseen side of the word “Alleluia,” communicating what words cannot through musical transformation. This song breathes beauty into quiet sadness, loneliness, silence, and unspoken human experiences. In moments of ascension and crescendo, joy seemingly attempts to break through, but never quite overcomes the melancholy. The song ends with a resolute, collective acceptance: “Amen.”

 

Tags:
Andrew Megill

Director

Andrew Megill

Date

Jul 19 2023

Time

8:30 pm

Starting at

$74.00
Carmel Mission Basilica

Location

Carmel Mission Basilica
3080 Rio Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923
Website
https://carmelmission.org/

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