Volume 13, Issue 13 ~ March 31 - April 6, 2005
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Music Scene
photo courtesy of Annapolis Chorale
Annapolis Chorale (left) with National Symphony Orchestra’s principal violinist Nurit Bar-Josef.

The First Sounds of Spring
Annapolis Chorale voices blossom with the season

Glories of Spring’s blend of five musical voices promises an intimate encounter bursting with melody and feeling.
Previewed By Carrie Steele

Sounds of spring infuse Chesapeake County in many forms: song birds flittering, rain on rooftops and spring peepers. On April 2, spring gets a new and complex sound, as 32 practiced and majestic voices from the Annapolis Chorale’s chamber chorus mingle with two soloists, a masterful violin and orchestra.

The Chorale’s conductor J. Ernest Green leads the polyphonic salute. To the Chorale Chamber Chorus and Chamber Orchestra, he’ll be blending the voices of guest soprano Krista Adams-Santilli and mezzo soprano Susan Fleming plus the strings of the National Symphony Orchestra’s principal violinist Nurit Bar-Josef.

All those voices will rise in four seasonal celebrations.

Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” highlights the women of the Chamber Chorus.

“The Pergolesi is a beautiful, dramatic text, and very timely, since the setting is so close to Easter,” Green told Bay Weekly. “It’s an old Latin text that deals with Mary sitting at foot of the cross. And it’s also a poem with cadence and rhythm.”

From sorrow, the mood lightens as violinist Bar-Josef puts a light touch to Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending.”

Next, Green brackets spring with the “Summer” and “Winter” movements of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”

“I knew we wanted to do at least one of the four seasons, and ending with winter is natural, because that’s the last movement in the piece, and summer is really lovely,” said Green. He might have made those choices to reflect two of the faces of fickle spring. In fact, those choices show off the skills of his guest violinist, Bar-Josef.

All the members of the Chamber Chorus raise voices in
Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”

“Gloria” is a piece that many people know and love, said assistant conductor Philip Hale. He added that the concert has a mixture of familiar songs, like the “Four Seasons,” and ones that may be new, like “Stabat Mater.”

The smaller Chamber Chorus and Orchestra, spiced with Bar-Josef’s soaring violin lines and the flair of two soloists, promises an intimate musical encounter bursting with melody and feeling.

“It will be very upbeat, and very relaxed,” said Gregg Kalifut, a tenor who’s sung with the Chamber Chorus for five years. “It’s music that will allow you to close your eyes and just see the season.”

Later in April, the full Chorale assembles to sing Mendelssohn’s Elijah, But this first concert — on the night that brings us daylight savings time — amplifies the early sounds of spring.

“It will be a very exciting musical evening,” Green promised. “It’s all music that we like and that is enjoyable to us. When you’re doing music that’s exciting to you personally, that makes it fun.”

© COPYRIGHT 2004 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.