The Cappella Festiva Chamber Choir, under the baton of guest conductor Ronald Bemrich with James Fitzwilliam at the piano offers a concert of choral gems for the New Year, featuring inspiring music by Mendelssohn, Britten, Poulenc, Faure, Gjeilo, and Whitacre.
The repertoire will include Benjamin Britten’s A New Year Carol written in 1934. It is based on a Welsh folk song, which combines folk stories and religious ideas and is traditionally sung at the New Year. Britten has been described as a brilliant composer who interprets human feelings, moods, and thoughts, inspiring us to understand and appreciate our own nature, purpose, and destiny.
Another featured composer, Francis Poulenc was part of the legendary group of French composers known as “Les Six” in the 1920s. Breaking away from Germanic formality and French impressionism, this French group wanted to compose music with a direct and simple style. Poulenc was the most successful of the group. Three of Poulenc’s compositions will be included in Cappella’s January concert: Hodie Christus natus est; Quem vidistis pastores dicite; Laudes de St. Antoine, the latter written for men’s voices. Poulenc puts the best of himself into these beautiful works.
Cappella Festiva will also offer Mendelssohn’s and Fauré’s sacred choral music along with contemporary works by composers Eric Whitacre and Ola Gjeilo. The Gjeilo pieces will feature cello and tenor saxophone.