Saturday, April 26, 2014, 8:00 PM
Monday, April 28, 2014, 7:30 PM
Temple Emanuel - Greene Street Campus
713 N Greene St, Greensboro (Map)
Shalom. It’s a beautiful and multi-faceted word with many meanings: Peace. Prosperity. Health. Welfare. Completeness. Harmony. Hello and Goodbye. This multiplicity of meaning is mirrored in the diverse influence of Jewish literary, cultural, religious and musical traditions on choral music. We invite you to join us as Bel Canto weaves these many threads into a concert transcending time, place and genre. The concert includes music by Jewish and non-Jewish composers alike, from Mendelssohn to Bernstein, and features a broad range of styles and content, ranging from sacred and classical to secular and contemporary.
Thank you for sponsoring Shalom:
Brief Program Notes:
The influence of sacred Hebrew texts such as the Torah and Talmud, and other Jewish prayers is easy to see throughout the choral repertoire, and will be the focus of the first half of the program. This concert will feature two Psalm settings, “I Will Lift Mine Eyes” a lovely contemporary setting by Jake Ruenstad of Psalm 121 , and “Richte mich Gott” (“Judge me O God, Psalm 43) by Felix Mendelssohn, who was Jewish by birth, which shows the German Romantic composer’s genius for choral writing. A Niggun, a mystical, wordless, religious song, will precede two settings from Song of Songs: “Hark, My Love” (Song of Songs verses 8-10, 14, 16-17) by Judith Shatin and “I am the Rose of Sharon” (Song of Songs 2:1-7) by Ivo Anognini. Closing the first half will be works whose sources are prayers or recitations: “Kiddush” by Kurt Weill, “Prayer Before Sleep” by Sid Robinovitch, and “Hashkiveinu” by Leonard Bernstein. The first is a recitation before Shabbat and the second and third are petitionary prayers to be able to lie down in peace at night and to return to life the following day.
The second half opens with the joyous traditional folk song “Hava Nagila” in a boisterous arrangement by Stacy Garrop. Eric Whitacres’ Five Hebrew Love Songs, is a set of five brief songs based on poems written by the composer’s wife, Hila Pitmann, who was born and raised in Jerusalem. The poems are delicate, intimate love poems, beautiful in and of themselves, and absolutely exquisite when set to Whitacre’s music. Arrangements of early Yiddish music theater pieces, such as “Abi Gezint” (“As Long As You’re Healthy”), “Bai Mir Bisti Sheyn” (“To Me You’re Beautiful”), and Johnny Mercer’s “And the Angels Sing”, exemplify the influence of Klezmer on choral music. Works by two of America’s most beloved composers (both of whom are also Jewish) will conclude the concert: Aaron Copland’s “The Promise of Living” from The Tenderland and “Make Our Garden Grow” from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.