THE FRENCH CONNECTION: FROM PARIS TO PRESCOTT

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SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 2019 2:30pm

THE FRENCH CONNECTION: FROM PARIS TO PRESCOTT

 

Pre-concert talk by Artistic Director, Dennis Houser, at 2:00PM

 

Experience the Impressionism, the Passion, the Brilliance of French composers!

 

Camille Saint Saëns - Messe de Requiem, Ops. 54

Gabriel Fauré - Cantique de Jean Racine

 

Winners of the Third Prescott Chorale Young Artists competition will perform.

 

On the World stage, the French have often taken a back seat to other more powerful lands and countries.  The same is true in the arena of music. Known for their love songs, and intense and flowing melodies, the French composers have often been relegated to lesser places among composers.  

 

According to Dennis Houser, Artistic Director, “Let me assure you, the music from Saint-Saens, Le Jeune and Faure’ are by no means cast into that light. Their music is fluent, dynamic, dramatic and at the same time lovely. I chose these works in order to give our audience a different flavor of French music, to set it apart with its own style and importance.”

 

The centerpiece of the afternoon’s performance will be Camille Saint-Saëns’ Messe de Requiem, written in 1878 in a period of eight days. It is restrained in the choice of musical expression, yet draws on the full range of instrumental resources. Listen for the bold organ entrances in the second movement.  The Chorale will be joined by Lisa Wall-Ugero, soprano, Mary Bowers, well-known local alto, Paul Nicosia, tenor, and Christopher Herrera, bass, for the Requiem.

The beautiful Cantique de Jean Racine, composed when Gabriel Faure’ was 19 years old, is set for violins and chorus. The French text, "Verbe égal au Très-Haut" (Word, one with the Highest), was written by Jean Racine and published in 1688. Fauré named his composition after Racine, not after the Latin original text, possibly because he preferred the "elegant and rather florid" French text.

 

Prescott Chorale accompanist, and talented musician, Benita Rose, will perform Reflets dans l’eau or

“Reflections in the Water” by Claude Debussy. Written in 1905 it is the first piece in his Images (Book 1) for solo piano. Ms. Rose explains that it captures the essence of Impressionism with its cascading waterfalls of notes.

 

In keeping with the Chorale’s mission to bring music not before heard here in Prescott, the audience will thereby deepen their appreciation for wonderful music from different cultures.

 

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Camille Saint Saëns

Gabriel Fauré