Tickets Available Now! Film-Concert Series with ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™’ and the RI Philharmonic Orchestra, Feb. 16, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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Audiences experience the second chapter of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra performing John Williams’ film score live to picture

Sat., Feb. 16, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., at the Providence Performing Arts Center

 Tickets available at PPACRI.org

The Harry Potter Film Concert Series returns to The Providence Performing Arts Center with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert, the second film in the Harry Potter series. On February 16, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra will perform John Williams’ unforgettable score live from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while the entire film plays in high-definition on a 40-foot screen

CineConcerts and Warner Bros. Consumer Products announced the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, a new global concert tour celebrating the Harry Potter films, in 2016.  Since the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert in June 2016, more than half a million fans have enjoyed this magical experience from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, which is scheduled to include over six-hundred performances across more than 38 countries worldwide through 2018.

Buy Tickets

Tickets for the second chapter of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, February 16, 2019, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., are available via PPACRI.org, (401)421-ARTS (2787) or at the Providence Performing Arts Center Box Office, 220 Weybosset Street, Providence, RI 02903. 

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, cars fly, trees fight back and a mysterious house-elf comes to warn Harry Potter at the start of his second year at Hogwarts. Adventure and danger await when bloody writing on a wall announces: The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. To save Hogwarts will require all of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s magical abilities and courage. Earning a Grammy nomination for the score, the incredible music composed by John Williams became an instant classic, conjuring beautiful and soaring motifs continuing the adventures of Harry Potter on his magical journey.

Justin Freer, President of CineConcerts and Producer/Conductor of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series explains, “The Harry Potter film series is a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. It is with great pleasure that we bring fans for the first time ever an opportunity to experience the award-winning music scores played live by a symphony orchestra, all while the beloved film is simultaneously projected onto the big screen. This is truly an unforgettable event.”

Brady Beaubien of CineConcerts and Concert Producer for the Harry Potter Film Concert Series added, “Harry Potter is synonymous with excitement around the world and we hope that by performing this incredible music with the full movie, audiences will enjoy returning to the Wizarding World.”

For more information on the Harry Potter Film Concert Series,  visit www.harrypotterinconcert.com.

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THE PROVIDENCE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER is celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Loew’s Theatre Building throughout its EPIC 2018/2019 Season. It was a momentous day when the Loew’s Theatre Building, now known as the Providence Performing Arts Center, opened on October 6, 1928. The Theatre, designed by Rapp & Rapp, has always been a visual marvel, and has astounded visitors with its beauty and grandeur. For nine decades, the Loew’s Theatre Building has not only survived, but ultimately flourished, while undergoing various name changes, storm damage, and ongoing architectural restoration. The Providence Performing Arts Center presents a full roster of touring Broadway theatricals and contemporary engagements. PPAC has been the theatre of choice in launching eighteen National Tours, including MISS SAIGON, CATS, and THE BAND’S VIST this Season. PPAC is a 3100-seat, world class venue located in the heart of Providence’s arts and entertainment district; it is the second largest theatre of its kind in the country.  PPAC is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; it has also been ranked by Pollstar as one of the Top Venues in the world.

RHODE ISLAND PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA & MUSIC SCHOOL is the only professional orchestra in the country to designate officially music education and performance as equal priorities. The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra’s 74th season kicked off on Sept. 22 with a new artistic leader and conductor, Bramwell Tovey. The Orchestra offers a variety of conductors, soloists and repertoire. In addition to a Summer Pops series, the Orchestra features eight Saturday classical concerts and four Friday Rush Hour concerts at The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts in Providence. The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School is committed to engaging the people of Southern New England as lifelong music listeners, teachers, learners, creators and performers.

CineConcerts is one of the leading producers of live music experiences performed with visual media. Founded by producer/conductor Justin Freer and producer/writer Brady Beaubien, CineConcerts has engaged millions of people worldwide in concert presentations that redefine the evolution of live experience. Recent and current live concert experiences include Gladiator, The Godfather, It’s a Wonderful Life, DreamWorks Animation In Concert, Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage 50th Anniversary Concert Tour, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Rudy in Concert.

Justin Freer has quickly become one of the most sought-after conductors of film music with a long list of full symphonic live to projection projects.  He has appeared with some of the world’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. From full-length movie screenings with live orchestra to music-interactive sporting event experiences to original 3D-environment holiday programming, CineConcerts is at the forefront of live entertainment.

WARNER BROS. CONSUMER PRODUCTS (WBCP), a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world.  WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera. The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes groundbreaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi (opening 2018). With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

 

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Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School awarded $150,000 grant from The Champlin Foundation

Grant funds improvements to the Carter Center in East Providence,
the Music School’s primary teaching facility and home to 11 other nonprofits,

Helps expand access to quality community-based music education
and performance in the region

The Champlin Foundation has awarded the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School with a $150,000 grant to help improve the organization’s primary learning facility, the Carter Center for Music Education & Performance on Waterman Avenue in East Providence. In September, the Carter Center celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The Carter Center’s initial construction was funded with significant support from The Champlin Foundation. This new investment, combined with commitments totaling more than $500,000 from Rhode Island’s 2014 Creative and Cultural Economy Bond and other donors, will support the purchase of new pianos, improvements to rehearsal, performance and teaching spaces, and upgrades to sound, lighting, acoustics and technology.

Since opening in 2008, the Carter Center has dramatically expanded access to quality music education and performance in Rhode Island and the region. Music School enrollments have more than doubled to approximately 1,500. Over one-third of students receive generous financial aid to ensure that all programs are affordable. Eleven other nonprofit partners including the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus, Providence Singers, Narragansett Bay Community Orchestra and American Band also use the center. Over 3,000 people teach, make and learn music together in the facility each week. The Philharmonic also manages education and community programs from its offices at the center that reach 22,000 children throughout the region annually–most of which are free to participants.

“The Champlin Foundation is pleased to provide grant funding to the RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School to help this community nonprofit advance its vital mission to enrich and transform Rhode Island and our region through great music performance and education. The Champlin Foundation grants are awarded on a competitive basis and our grant to the RI Philharmonic is a reflection of our confidence in the organization’s ability to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders in significant ways.”

–Nina Stack
Executive Director,  The Champlin Foundation

The Carter Center is one of the finest and most successful facilities of its kind in the United States. The programs offered within it are exceptional for their quality, scope and accessibility. The Philharmonic intends to build on this success through the current round of renovations. They have also partnered with The United Theater and Knickerbocker Music Center to open a Westerly branch of the Music School in 2020. Champlin is a supporter of that project as well.

“On behalf of the RI Philharmonic, I want to thank The Champlin Foundation for such a generous gift. This grant ensures that the Carter Center will continue to be one of the best community music facilities on the East Coast. We are also grateful for their support in Westerly. Donor support is critical to our ability to provide high quality programs with exceptional teaching artists to children and adults that are affordable and accessible to all.”

–David Beauchesne
Executive Director, RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School

About The Champlin Foundation
Since 1932, The Champlin Foundation has awarded more than $550 million to fund capital projects and equipment for Rhode Island non-profit organizations. These investments have fostered better medical care, improved education, expanded access to social services, conservation of open spaces, preservation of historic buildings, enrichment of the arts, advancement of animal welfare and more. Quietly and steadfastly, The Champlin Foundation helps those who do good do more–to the benefit of all.

About the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School
The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School is committed to engaging the people of Southern New England as lifelong music listeners, teachers, learners, creators and performers. It is the largest combined professional orchestra and community music school in the United States, and the only professional orchestra in the country to officially designate music education and performance as equal priorities. In addition to the Philharmonic Orchestra’s Classical, Pops, education concerts and in-school performances, the Philharmonic Music School offers music education programs and performance opportunities to people of all ages, incomes and ability levels. It is currently the only comprehensive, non-profit community music school in Rhode Island and engages approximately 1,500 students statewide on a weekly basis and an additional 22,000 students through periodic partnerships, residencies, education concerts and in-school performances.

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1944.The Music School was founded in 1988.The two merged in 2001, marking the first successful merger of its type. The Philharmonic Orchestra performs at The VETS in Providence. In 2008, the organization opened the Carter Center for Music Education & Performance to house its offices and the main branch of its growing music school. The Carter Center is the first and only facility in Rhode Island dedicated solely to music education and performance. The Center has dramatically increased the Philharmonic’s ability to provide high quality, comprehensive and accessible music education to thousands of students through scholarship and community partnership arrangements. The School’s students come from virtually every community in the state, as well as nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut. Eleven nonprofits use the Carter Center weekly to provide music education and community-based music-making opportunities.

 

After-School Strings Program in Pawtucket gets ready for its annual Holiday concert

 Current and past musicians at Agnes E. Little School
practice
 for their upcoming community concert 

PREPARING FOR THE BIG SHOW: Strings students at Pawtucket’s Agnes E. Little Elementary School, who participate in the ongoing effort between the RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School and the Victoria Alviti Music Foundation, prepare for their upcoming concert. 

Now in its third year, 40 strings students at Pawtucket’s Agnes E. Little Elementary School, S. Bend St., Pawtucket, perform their first concert of the season for friends, family and the community on Dec. 7 at 5:15. The sixth graders, who were part of the inaugural year of the program in 2015, return to their former school to participate in the performance.

Their music education program, called Victoria’s Dream Project, is a joint venture between the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School and the Agnes Little Elementary School. In its third year of providing intensive after-school strings instruction for children in grades 3–5, the program is part of a larger ongoing effort by the RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School and the Victoria Alviti Music Foundation to combine music education and after-school care for Southern New England students, as well as provide a pathway to RI Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Come meet the dedicated educators, students, parents, and RI Philharmonic Music School and Agnes E. Little School staff and faculty who participate in this exciting community program.

About Victoria Alviti Music Foundation: The Foundation funds music education programs that offer opportunities for active participation in music. The programs impact the lives of nearly 2,000 students each year through partnerships with schools across Southern New England. victoriaalviti.org

About the Victoria Alviti: A vibrant, larger-than-life 22-year-old, Victoria lived for music quite literally. Weeks before she passed away, she shared her vision to create a foundation committed to keeping music programs in schools. She wanted students to learn the value and beauty of music – and for teachers to have the tools to teach them. She felt that when creativity has the means to thrive, the world can be a more positive, more harmonious place. It was her belief that every student should have the opportunity to experience the positive benefits music can bring.

 

Celebrate the season with MESSIAH on Saturday, Dec. 15, at The VETS

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The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Providence Singers take a bow following their 2016 performance of Handel’s Messiah.

Christine Noel conducts the RI Philharmonic Orchestra, Providence Singers and 4 Soloists

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Providence Singers usher in the holiday season with the perennial favorite, Handel’s Messiah, featuring the Hallelujah Chorus, For Unto Us a Child Is Born, I Know That My Redeemer Liveth and other favorites. Christine Noel, Artistic Director of the Providence Singers, conducts the Orchestra, Singers and soloists—soprano Sonja DuToit Tengblad, mezzo-soprano Margaret Lias, tenor Marc Molomot and baritone Nicholas Laroche, who is a Woonsocket native. The concert is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, at The VETS.

“The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Providence Singers are delighted to bring you a fresh and inspiring presentation of Handel’s Messiah. For 12 seasons, we have enjoyed sharing the stage with the Orchestra and talented soloists to bring to the community this glorious work.”

–Christine Noel
Artistic Director of the Providence Singers and Conductor

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org or from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence–in person or by phone 401.248.7000 (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. -4:30 p.m., closed Thanksgiving Day and the day following). On concert day, tickets are available at The VETS Box Office 3 p.m.-showtime. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Questions can be emailed to boxoffice@riphil.org.

***At a Glance***

Handel’s Messiah
RI Philharmonic Orchestra and Providence Singers
Saturday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m.
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Christine Noel, conductor
Sonja DuToit Tengblad, soprano
Margaret Lias, mezzo-soprano
Marc Molomot, tenor
Nicholas Laroche, bass
Providence Singers

CHRISTINE NOEL HEADSHOT

CHRISTINE NOEL

About Christine Noel, Conductor and Artistic Director, Providence Singers
Christine Noel is delighted to return to the Rhode Island Philharmonic for the annual performance of Messiah with the Providence Singers. She recently conducted the Singers with the Orchestra in J.S. Bach’s Cantata 140, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Haydn’s Nelson Mass. Dr. Noel has led the Providence Singers through world premieres, commissions and, most recently, the Singers’ fourth commercial recording—Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. She has served on the music faculty and as Director of Choral Activities at Clark University, Worcester, and as Musical Director at Trinity Repertory Company. She has prepared choruses for Larry Rachleff, Robert Page and Bramwell Tovey, RI Philharmonic’s Artistic Advisor. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning Rhode Island Children’s Chorus, which has performed at conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Educators’ National Conference, and will make its debut at Carnegie Hall this season. An active guest conductor, festival clinician and adjudicator, she holds a Master of Music and a Doctorate in Musical Arts in Conducting from Boston University, where she studied with Ann Howard Jones. Her undergraduate degree is in music education from Rhode Island College, which awarded her a grant from the Ridgway F. Shinn, Jr. Study Abroad Fund, enabling her to spend a year of study at the Kodály Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary. Dr. Noel completed the superior level of Italian studies at the Università degli Studi di Firenze and served as assistant conductor and vocal coach for two Italian choirs, Animae Voces and Coro Polifonico di Caricentro di Firenze.

About the soloists

Sonja DuToit Tengblad, soprano
Commended by the Boston Globe for her “crystalline tone and graceful musicality,” soprano Sonja DuToit Tengblad is a versatile performer whose recent highlights include Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie (Abra and Ozias), Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (La Fortuna and Giunone; Grammy-nominated recording with Linn Records) and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (First Lady) with Boston Baroque. She has also appeared with the Handel and Haydn Society in Bach’s St. John Passion (soprano soloist), Purcell’s King Arthur (Cupid) and Handel’s Samson (Israelite Woman); Handel’s Acis and Galatea with the Blue Hill Bach Festival (Galatea); Knussen’s Symphony No.2 for high soprano with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and her Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center debuts, both with the New York City Chamber Orchestra. She was awarded second place in the 2014 American Prize competition’s art song and oratorio division.

Margaret Lias, mezzo-soprano
Margaret Lias has been celebrated for her “warm, arresting and rich-toned” singing. Since her Boston Symphony Hall debut in 2011 with the Handel and Haydn Society, Ms. Lias has been a frequent soloist under the baton of Harry Christophers. In 2015, Margaret received praise for her Lincoln Center solo debut singing Mozart’s Requiem. Select solo appearances in 2018 and 2019 include Boston Baroque, Handel and Haydn Society, Masterworks Chorale, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, Coro, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Bach Festival and Emmanuel Music.

 Marc Molomot, tenor
Possessed of a rare high-tenor voice and a winning stage persona that comfortably embraces both comedic and dramatic roles, Marc Molomot enjoys an international career in opera and on the concert stage. Originally known for appearances with the world’s leading early music ensembles and conductors including William Christie, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nicholas McGegan and Andrew Parrott, Mr. Molomot is now praised as “an excellent actor-singer” in repertoire of all eras. Recent and upcoming engagements of note include Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with Chicago Opera Theater and a COT co-production with Long Beach Opera, Bard Music Festival in Busoni’s Turandot, Berg’s Wozzeck with Houston Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Magnificat with Israel Camerata Jerusalem, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Britten’s Serenade with Omaha Symphony and the Berkshire Choral Festival.

Nicholas Laroche, bass
Rhode Island bass Nicholas Laroche is establishing himself as a new voice in New England. Mr. Laroche has been a featured soloist in many oratorio and opera engagements, including the Bach B-Minor Mass and St. John Passion, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Britten’s Albert Herring and The Rape of Lucretia, Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmélites and Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. Mr. Laroche has performed solo and choral repertoire with many area ensembles including Schola Cantorum of Boston, Capella Nova Mundi, Collegium Ancora, Ecclesia Consort, Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra, and Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Providence Singers.

Providence Singers
Founded in 1971, the Providence Singers, under the direction of Christine Noel, celebrates choral art through concerts of masterworks and contemporary works, creative collaborations, recordings of American choral treasures, new music commissions and education programs. In addition to an annual concert series, the Singers has made frequent guest appearances throughout the region, including annual concerts with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. The Singers performed with Kronos Quartet at FirstWorks, Dave Brubeck Quartet at Lincoln Center and Newport Jazz Festival, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, New Haven Philharmonic, Aurea Ensemble, Brown University Chorus and New Bedford Symphony. It released four CD recordings of contemporary choral compositions and presented a choral festival of American masterpieces underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Singers commissions new choral works through its Wachner Fund for New Music; recognizes national leaders in the choral profession through its New Rhythmus Award; and fosters community education and participation through vocal workshops, concert discussions and community sings. It supports emerging talent through its Fassett Fellowships for young adult singers and through the Junior Providence Singers and Young Men’s Choral Festival. It was awarded the Jabez Gorham Award from the Arts and Business Council of Rhode Island in 2008 for “unwavering commitment to excellence, significant impact on the community, and success in organizational development.”

About the concert

Messiah
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Two hundred and seventy-five years after its first performance, Handel’s Messiah remains the most frequently performed, most beloved work in the choral canon, featuring the Hallelujah chorus, For Unto Us a Child Is Born, I Know That My Redeemer Liveth and other favorites. Handel completed the entire composition in only 24 days, and the oratorio has been performed consistently – revised, updated, staged and restored to its “period” form – ever since.

 

 

 

The stories behind ‘Armistice Centennial’ with Conductor Christopher Warren-Green, Nov. 17

TACO Classical concert is on Saturday, Nov. 17
Open Rehearsal is on Friday, Nov. 16

CL3 Warren-green Credit_info_Jeff_Cravotta

***At a Glance***

TACO Classical Series concert

Armistice Centennial
Saturday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m.
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Christopher Warren-Green, conductor
Colin Carr, cello
Providence Singers
Mary Wilson,
soprano
Andrew Garland,
baritone

BEETHOVEN: Leonore Overture No.3
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Dona nobis pacem

Open Rehearsal
Friday, Nov. 16, 5:30 p.m.
The VETS
General Admission is $15. Tickets are available at tickets.riphil.org or 401.248.7000 (Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 12).

Stories behind the music

Leonore Overture No.3, Op.72b
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770—1827)
 The compositional struggles, revisions and re-writes that Ludwig van Beethoven endured are well known to us. Undoubtedly, the most extreme example was his solitary opera, Fidelio (originally titled Leonore), which underwent numerous and severe revisions between 1805 and 1814, resulting in three different versions before the master was satisfied. An important part of the Leonore/Fidelio evolution was Beethoven’s composition of no fewer than four different overtures for the opera. The composer apparently considered Leonore No.1 unsatisfactory as he took a different tack with Leonore No.2, making it closely follow the rescue plot of the opera. However, Leonore No.2 had many technical problems for the orchestra, so Beethoven began revising the movement. Radically altered and extended, that overture became Leonore No.3. In the 1814 revision of the opera, now re-titled Fidelio, the first act opens in a different key from previous versions, so Beethoven wrote a fourth and altogether new overture: Leonore.

Donald Tovey has written, “Leonore No.2 is an eminently successful dramatic introduction, while Leonore No.3 is a great concert-piece . . . the operatic prelude and the perfect tone-poem.” Perfect perhaps, because it mirrors the story up to a point, but then rounds out the movement with a balanced recapitulation.

Leonore No.3 begins with a compact Adagio introduction, soon reaching its highpoint, as the woodwinds quote Florestan’s touching aria from the opening of Act II. The main theme of the Allegro is entirely new material, but the second theme is an ingenious transformation of the Florestan quotation. The turbulent development reflects the struggle of Leonore (alias Fidelio) to free her husband, Florestan, from his unlawful and oppressive political imprisonment. Then comes the famous offstage trumpet call, signaling the arrival of the King’s minister who will set matters right. A false recapitulation in the flute follows—a quiet moment between husband and heroic wife. Then the true and triumphant recapitulation thunders into the full orchestra. The exultant Presto conclusion proclaims to the world that a heroic blow for personal freedom and political liberty has been struck.

Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85
EDWARD ELGAR (1857—1934)
No one who lived through World War I was the same after it ended. The world looked different. People had aged, and many prewar values now seemed irrelevant. Edward Elgar found himself in just such a state in 1919, the year in which he composed the Cello Concerto, his last major work. At that time, he and his wife lived in a cottage near Sussex. Biographer Michael Kennedy describes Elgar then: “He was an autumnal figure now, and his surroundings suited his frame of mind. He occupied himself chopping wood, making hoops for barrels and building bonfires.”

In the previous year, Elgar had composed three chamber works. Their restrained character and instrumentation no doubt had an influence on his approach to writing the Cello Concerto, so different from his Violin Concerto of ten years earlier.

Donald Tovey writes that the cello work is “. . . a fairy tale, full, like all Elgar’s larger works, of meditative and intimate passages; full also of humor, which, in the second movement and finale, rises nearer to the surface than Elgar usually permits.”

In addition, the movement plan is different from anything else Elgar wrote. The first two movements connect (moderate—fast tempos) as do the last two (slow—fast tempos).

Building from a noble cello solo, the first movement’s slow introduction arrives at a solemn grandeur and then subsides to introduce the graceful, lilting main theme. Most of this movement of “autumn smoke and falling leaves” (Kennedy) is based on that melody. A brief cello solo furtively introduces the second movement’s main theme. The cello’s busy but very precise part is highlighted throughout.

The slow movement is concise in size, instrumentation and musical material. Elgar masterfully builds an entire tragic nocturne on two phrases. A rhapsodic cello recitative (reminiscent of the concerto’s opening) forms a bridge to the highly spirited finale. The robust main theme contrasts with a second idea that to Tovey suggests “dignity at the mercy of a banana-skin.” Toward the end, reminiscences of themes from the third and first movements appear. The quietude of these sets up a last burst of the finale’s main theme, which tersely ends the concerto.

Dona nobis pacem
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872—1958)
In the year 1936, England was feeling strong, having fully recovered from the end of World War I, 18 years earlier. Yet, the future of Europe was unsure. Few pundits could predict what Germany’s leader, Adolph Hitler, was planning, and England distrusted his gestures of peace. Many English sensed the coming of another horrific war, among them composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Vaughan Williams was then at the height of his creative powers, and as a commission for the centennial celebration of the Huddersfield Choral Society that year, he composed the cantata Dona nobis pacem. The texts were a mixture of reactions to war and pleas for peace. They carried an implicit warning of a coming war. Their sources were varied: the Latin Mass, the Bible, poems by Walt Whitman and a speech made in the House of Commons.

During World War II, Vaughan Williams conducted Dona nobis pacem several times, and later his wife Ursula commented that the music was “full of particular meaning for those days.” Dona nobis pacem had also foreshadowed by 26 years Benjamin Britten’s famous War Requiem. The cantata is scored for soprano and baritone soloists, chorus and large orchestra.

The first movement (soprano and orchestra) is a setting of the last sentence of the Latin Mass’s Agnus DeiAgnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem (“Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.”)

Over the years, Vaughan Williams used several texts by the American poet Walt Whitman in his vocal works. He was quoted as stating, “I’ve never got over him, I’m glad to say.” In Dona nobis pacem, “Beat! Beat! Drums!” is the first of three poems from Whitman’s collection, Drum-Taps (published in 1865 just after the Civil War):

Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley—stop for no expostulation,
Mind not the timid—mind not the weeper or prayer,
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man,
Let not the child’s voice be heard, nor the mother’s entreaties,
Make even the trestles to shake the dead where they lie awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump O terrible drums—so loud you bugles blow.

“Reconciliation” is the second Whitman poem used in this cantata. Set simply for baritone, chorus and orchestra, the text reads:

Word over all, beautiful as the sky!
Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time be utterly lost;
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night, incessantly softly
wash again, and ever again, this soil’d world:
…For my enemy is dead—a man divine as myself is dead;
I look where he lies white-faced, and still, in the coffin—I draw near;
Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.

The last Whitman poem, “Dirge for Two Veterans,” set for chorus and orchestra, speaks of a funeral cortege for the bodies of a father and his son:

The last sunbeam
Lightly falls from the finish’d Sabbath,
On the pavement here, and there beyond it is looking
Down a new-made double grave.
LO, the moon ascending,
Up from the east the silvery round moon,
Beautiful over the house-tops, ghastly, phantom moon,
Immense and silent moon.
I see a sad procession,
And I hear the sound of coming full-key’d bugles,
All the channels of the city streets they’re flooding,
As with voices and with tears.
I hear the great drums pounding,
And the small drums steady whirring,
And every blow of the great convulsive drums,
Strikes me through and through.
For the son is brought with the father,
(In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell,
Two veterans, son and father, dropt together,
And the double grave awaits them.)
Now nearer blow the bugles,
And the drums strike more convulsive….

All vocal and instrumental forces join to present a text titled “The Angel of Death,” thought to be the only speech before Parliament ever set to music. The words are from John Bright’s address to the House of Commons in 1855, during the Crimean War:

The Angel of Death has been abroad throughout the land;
you may almost hear the beating of his wings.
There is no one as of old . . .
to sprinkle with blood the lintel
and the two side-posts of our doors,
that he may spare and pass on.

The full musical complement continues in the final movement, “O man greatly beloved.” The setting is of a series of Biblical passages:

O man greatly beloved, fear not, peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. (Daniel: 10:19)

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former…and in this place will I give peace. (Haggai: 2:9)

Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. And none shall make them afraid, neither shall the sword go through their land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Open to me the gates of righteousness, I will go into them. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled; and let them hear, and say, it is the truth. And it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and they shall declare my glory among the nations. For as the new heavens, and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, so shall your seed and your name remain forever. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men. (adapted from Micah 4:3, Leviticus 26:6, Psalms 85:10 and 188:19, Isaiah 43:9 and 66: 18-22, and Luke 2:14)

The movement and the cantata end with a touching epilogue that reprises the opening Latin words: Dona nobis pacem.

Program Notes by Dr. Michael Fink ©2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $15 (including all fees), and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by phone 401.248.7000 (Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). On day of concerts only, tickets are also available at The VETS Box Office (Friday, 3:30 p.m.–showtime; Saturday, 4 p.m.-showtime). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

 

Meet the soloists and Providence Singers; share the stage with the Orchestra for Vaughn Williams ‘Dona nobis pacem,’ Nov. 17

Colin Carr performs Elgar’s Cello Concerto
Soprano Mary Wilson and baritone Andrew Garland

featured in Dona nobis pacem

***At a Glance ***

TACO Classical Series concert
Armistice Centennial
Saturday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m.
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Christopher Warren-Green, conductor
Colin Carr, cello
Providence Singers
Mary Wilson,
soprano
Andrew Garland,
baritone

BEETHOVEN: Leonore Overture No.3
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Dona nobis pacem

Open Rehearsal
Friday, Nov. 16, 5:30 p.m.
The VETS

Press_Photo_CARR 1

About Colin Carr, cello

  • Played with major orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Montréal and all the major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand.
  •  A regular guest at the BBC Proms and has twice toured Australia.
  • With his duo partner Thomas Sauer, he played recitals throughout the United States and Europe.
  • Performed complete cycles of the Bach Solo Suites at the Wigmore Hall in London, Music Society of Lincoln Center, Gardner Museum in Boston, and in Montreal, Toronto, Ottowa and Vancouver.
  • Recent CD releases include the complete Bach Suites on the Wigmore Live label and the complete Beethoven Sonatas and Variations on the MSR Classics label with Mr. Sauer.
  • Won prestigious international awards, including first prize in the Naumburg Competition, Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award, second prize in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition and also winner of the Young Concert Artists competition.
  • Became a professor at Stony Brook University, New York, in 2002.
  • Mr. Carr’s cello was made by Matteo Gofriller in Venice in 1730. H

CL3 MARY WILSON PHOTOAbout Mary Wilson, soprano

  • Received consistent critical acclaim from coast to coast.
  • Consummate concert artist, Ms. Wilson has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, University Musical Society, and Detroit, St. Louis and Cincinnati symphony orchestras.
  • Exciting interpreter of Baroque repertoire, she has performed with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Musica Angelica, American Bach Soloists, Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Bach Society of St. Louis, Baltimore Handel Choir, Florida Bach Festival and Carmel Bach Festival.
  • Noted for her portrayals of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro and Gilda in Rigoletto.

About Andrew Garland, baritoneCL3 solo Garland photo

  • Praised for his “coloratura [which] bordered on the phenomenal as he dashed through the music’s intricacies with his warm baritone, offering plenty of elegance and glamour in his smooth acting.”
  • Latest recording, Andrew Garland: American Portraits (2013), debuted at No.1 on Amazon.com.
  • Recent highlights included his Carnegie Hall recital with Warren Jones, and performances with Seattle and Atlanta operas as Schaunard in La Bohème, Boston Lyric Opera as Papageno in The Magic Flute, Cincinnati Opera as Galileo in Galileo Galilei (Philip Glass), Mercurio in La Calisto (Cavalli) and Arizona Opera as Ping in Turandot.
  • Sang the title role in Don Giovanni with Opera New Jersey, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Knoxville Opera and Dayton Opera and Dandini in La Cenerentola with Opera Company of Philadelphia and Fort Worth Opera.
  • Joined the voice faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

About the Providence Singers

DSC_0258

  • Founded in 1971, the Providence Singers, under the direction of Artistic Director Christine Noel, celebrates choral art through concerts of masterworks and contemporary works, creative collaborations, recordings of American choral treasures, new music commissions and education programs.
  • Made frequent guest appearances throughout the region, including annual concerts with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Performed with Kronos Quartet at FirstWorks, Dave Brubeck Quartet at Lincoln Center and Newport Jazz Festival, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, New Haven Philharmonic, Aurea Ensemble, Brown University Chorus and New Bedford Symphony.
  • Released four CD recordings of contemporary choral compositions and presented a choral festival of American masterpieces underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Awarded the Jabez Gorham Award from the Arts and Business Council of Rhode Island in 2008 for “unwavering commitment to excellence, significant impact on the community, and success in organizational development.”

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $15 (including all fees), and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by phone 401.248.7000 (Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 12). On day of concerts only, tickets are also available at The VETS Box Office (Friday, 3:30 p.m.–showtime; Saturday, 4 p.m.-showtime). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

Meet Conductor Christopher Warren-Green; conducts TACO Classical concert saluting the end of World War I and featuring Beethoven, Elgar and Vaughan Williams, Nov. 17

Christopher Warren-Green conducts the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra
TACO Classical concert is on Saturday, Nov. 17
Open Rehearsal is on Friday, Nov. 16

CL3 Christopher Warren-Green High Res 3 - credit Chris Edwards

About Christopher Warren-Green, guest conductor

  • Return engagement to the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Personally invited to conduct for the British Royal Family on many occasions.
    • In April 2005, he conducted the Service of Dedication and Prayer following the marriage of the Duke and the Duchess of Cornwall.
    • In 2011, he led the London Chamber Orchestra during the marriage ceremony of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
    • Other notable occasions:
      • The Queen’s 90th birthday concert.
      • Prince of Wales’ 60th birthday concert in Buckingham Palace.
      • Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
  • Music director of the Charlotte Symphony, and the music director and principal conductor of the London Chamber Orchestra.
  • Has worked extensively in the United States with key North American engagements including Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras, and Detroit, St. Louis, Toronto, Milwaukee, National (Washington, D.C.), Seattle and Vancouver symphony orchestras.
  • Accompanied the London Chamber Orchestra to the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest and made his debut with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Helmed the Philharmonia, London and Royal Liverpool philharmonics, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, and Nashville Symphony and Rochester Philharmonic orchestras.
  • A fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and has recorded extensively for Sony, Philips, Virgin EMI, Chandos, Decca and Deutsche Grammophon. He also records with the London Chamber Orchestra for Signum Classics.

***At a Glance***

TACO Classical Series concert
Armistice Centennial
Saturday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m.
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Christopher Warren-Green, conductor
Colin Carr, cello
Providence Singers
Mary Wilson,
soprano
Andrew Garland,
baritone

BEETHOVEN: Leonore Overture No.3
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Dona nobis pacem

Open Rehearsal
Friday, Nov. 16, 5:30 p.m.

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $15 (including all fees), and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by phone 401.248.7000 (Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 12). On day of concerts only, tickets are also available at The VETS Box Office (Friday, 3:30 p.m.–showtime; Saturday, 4 p.m.-showtime). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.