April 30 at 7:30 PM | Music for Humanity – Beethoven’s Ninth
What better way to cap off our season of returning to the stage than the greatest musical expression of joy ever penned! Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony tells of triumph over adversity. Faced with the unfathomable tragedy of total hearing loss by the time he wrote the work, he nonetheless chose to celebrate the goodness of humanity and hope that one day we may all live in peace and joy as brothers and sisters on the earth. Having been through our own period of strife over the past two years, we feel this is the perfect way to celebrate our comeback season. We also wish Beethoven a belated 250th Birthday, which occurred December of 2020!
Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music sets a section from Act V of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. While a comedic declaration that one who cannot appreciate beautiful music is “treasonous” and “not to be trusted” forms the basis of the middle section, the piece is pervaded with an aura of sublime serenity, summed up best by its final line: “Soft stillness and the night become the touches of sweet harmony”. Originally for sixteen vocal soloists, the work has been performed by chorus and four soloists, chorus without soloists, and even orchestra alone, a highly unusual instance of a vocal work whose instrumental writing carries so much inherent integrity that it can be performed on its own. We will be performing the choral version without soloists.
Rounding out the concert is famed New York City-based composer Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1. The piece was inspired by Aaron Copland’s similarly titled Fanfare for the Common Man, and employs a similar orchestration that features our brass and percussion sections.