Our Fall Concert...
Tuesday, December 11 at 8:00pm
Faith Presbyterian Church
(corner of John Knox and Meridian roads)
John Rutter, educated in English schools with a strong choral tradition steeped in Anglican church music, has become a stand-by for choruses of all calibers. His compositional career has embraced large and small-scale choral works, orchestral and instrumental pieces, a piano concerto, two children’s operas, and music for television. He co-edited four volumes in the Carols of Choirs series with Sir David Willcocks, and has edited two volumes in the new Oxford Choral Classics series, “Opera Choruses,” and “European Sacred Music.” He is renowned for his choral conducting especially with his professional choir the Cambridge Singers (founded in 1981). He formed his own recording label to promote excellent choral music. He earned music degrees from Clare College of Cambridge University and was elected an honorary fellow of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, in 1980.
Choral settings of the Gloria appear most frequently in the context of the Mass -- as the hymn following the Kyrie in the Roman Rite -- but Rutter wrote what has become his best-known composition as a freestanding concert work, scored for chorus, brass, percussion and organ. Its premiere, in May 1974, marked the occasion of his first apprearance in the US. The Voices of Mel Olson commissioned the work, and the composer conducted the performance by that chorale in Omaha.
Rutter divides the Gloria into three movements, adapting one of the many Gregorian chants to which the text was originally sung to his unmistakingly forthright sound. He begins with a rousing instrumental prelude from the brass and percussion. Stacked-up harmonies and rhythms lay out the material that reappears as commentary between the chorus’s chant-like lines of praise and “call for peace” on pax.
The slower middle movement -- the longest -- takes an introspective turn, with extended instrumental passages (first organ alone, playing filigreed figures, and later accompanied by a mournful brass choir). After a triumphal passage recognizing the “king of heaven,” the music subsides and darkens to describe “the sins of the world.” Vigorous rhythms reintroduce the brightness of the opening for the final movement, but now characterized by more profound syncopations – this is joy that evokes a physical response. Rutter livens the music further by alternately writing call-and-response and contrapuntal textures for the chorus. The first movement’s chant theme returns for a final triumphant statement, punctuated by pealing fanfares bound to leave the performers and audience breathless.
or by calling (850) 942-1893.
All 3 Concerts!
Fall, Spring, Summer
Many thanks to the fine photographers whose work appears on this site...
- Ray Colletti
- Rebecca Levings
- Claire Timm
- Cynthia Valencic
...and many more!