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CONCORA presents a program of lush choral music on Sunday, February 11 in the visually stunning Chapel at Trinity College in Hartford. Tickets are selling quickly for this popular annual program; don't wait to reserve your seats! And don't miss out on our contest to win tickets to hear CONCORA sing Mozart in April; look for details below.
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Masses Ancient and Modern
Sunday, February 11, 2018 4:00PM
Trinity College Chapel 300 Summit Street  Hartford CT
 
Gregorian chant: Missa Orbis factor
William Byrd: Mass for Four Voices
Frank Martin: Mass for Double Choir

 
Reserve tickets soon, as seating is limited.
Order tickets online now at CONCORA's secure ticket site
Or contact the CONCORA office: contact@concora.org or 860-293-0567

Snow date: Monday, February 12, 2018, 7:30pm, at Trinity College Chapel
Doors are opened and seating begins 45 minutes before the start of the concert.
A Note from Artistic Director Chris Shepard
How Ancient Chant Infuses Modern Settings
In recent years, composers have been drawn to the sinuous shape and clean palette of Gregorian chant. Modernist composers in the early twentieth century mined the repertoire in their desire to hearken back to a pre-Romantic idiom; in the wake of Modernism in the last several decades, the melodic simplicity and aesthetic purity of Gregorian chant have gained new currency.
Even when the chants are not quoted directly, they are “spiritually present” in the Holy Minimalism of Arvo Pärt, John Tavener, Henryk Górecki and Alan Hovhaness. The modal flavor and stepwise motion of chant can even be found in the choral writing of contemporary favorites such as Eric Whitacre and James MacMillan, composers whose music CONCORA has performed in recent seasons.
Frank Martin's musical language marries the austerity of medieval church modes with the glimpses of surprising beauty provided by those unexpected triadic harmonies, which one musicologist has called “gliding tonalities.” Though musically sophisticated, Martin’s setting of the Mass for two choirs is a viscerally expressive work, with many sudden shifts of affect related to new sections of text. The result spans an almost encyclopaedic scope of music history, from the early church all the way to the jazz age.
Chris recommends this recording by the Dale Warland Singers of the "Gloria" movement of Martin's Mass for Double Choir.
We asked some CONCORA singers to share their thoughts as they prepare this program for you:
Ethan Nash, bass: Wonderful to experience this music from a new perspective 
I sang the Martin Mass for Double Choir with the New Amsterdam Singers in 2000, but at the time I was masquerading as a Tenor 1, so being a bass in choir 2 is a different experience! Like Chris, I find the opening of the Martin "Gloria" to be simply stunning music. I always enjoy singing multiple settings of the same text as it gives me the chance to experience the lyrics in different ways.  
Scott Reeves, countertenor: Byrd's alto parts are not for the faint of heart! 
Each time I sing one of the Byrd masses, I remember what composer and conductor Gerre Hancock said to me about this music: "It seems that the fewer vocal parts Byrd wrote for, the more he made it sound like there were more parts." When I, as a countertenor, sing Byrd (or Tallis) I look at those passages when the altos are singing low F or E-flat. At those moments there is a fair chance that the altos are singing the lowest notes in the piece, but they had best be on the lookout, because they will be singing the highest notes about ten measures later! Singing the Martin mass this time out, I am struck by the occasional Byzantine filigree of various passages juxtaposed to the massive "wall of sound" of polychoral music written for great cathedrals like St. Mark's, Venice or St. Paul's, London.
Tom Brand, tenor: Singing Gregorian chant reminds of of timeless truths
Singing Gregorian chant in a reverberant venue like the Trinity College Chapel is like swimming in the ocean at dusk – it's a cathartic, primal, transcendent experience, which reminds us that music, nature, and the sacred are timeless truths that ebb and flow in perfect peace despite the many conflicts and complexities of the modern world.
Reserve TIckets now for Masses Ancient and Modern
Enter a beastly contest to win tickets to hear CONCORA sing the Mozart Requiem on April 29!
What IS this fantastic beast?
And what's it doing in the promo for "Masses Ancient and Modern" at Trinity College on February 11?

Next week, we'll share the answers to those questions in this newsletter and on our website with the other essays we've posted about the metalwork imagery associated with the 2017-2018 Masterworks Season.

In the meantime... Any guesses?
Reply to this email if you know what this is, and where it may be seen, and what it means! From among all the reasonably correct answers we receive by midnight on Monday, February 5, we will draw one entry at random to receive a pair of tickets to CONCORA's performance of the Mozart Requiem on Sunday, April 29 at 4:00PM at Saint James's Episcopal Church in West Hartford. And if you can discover how it is connected to a specific architectural feature in Trinity College Chapel, you'll also win a pair of tickets to CONCORA's 2018 Summer Festival concert. (Festival dates and repertoire will be announced very soon; stay tuned!)
Coming up in the next issue of this newsletter

A recording of CONCORA in concert at Trinity College Chapel -- so beautiful!

Travel and parking information for "Masses Ancient and Modern" at Trinity College Chapel on February 11. 

All the answers about the extraordinary creature featured in the promotional images shown above for "Masses Ancient and Modern" PLUS interesting information about the design and architecture of Trinity College Chapel, including the fantastical wooden carvings that enrich the sanctuary.
Tickets are on sale now for the remaining concerts in CONCORA's Masterworks Season
Bach
Saint Matthew Passion

Sunday, March 25, 2018, 4:00PM
Immanuel Congregational Church
Hartford, CT
Mozart
Requiem

Sunday, April 29, 2018, 4:00PM
St James's Episcopal Church
West Hartford, CT
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CONCORA’s season is made possible by the generosity of the American Savings Foundation, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, the Andrew J. Sloper Music Fund, the Saunders Foundation, The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation, the Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Connecticut DECD Office of the Arts, The William and Alice Mortensen Foundation, the City of New Britain Commission on the Arts, and the Robert C. Vance Foundation, as well as many other foundations and individuals.