Rochester, NY — The Eastman Chorale, a select graduate and undergraduate ensemble of 60 voices from the Eastman School of Music conducted by William Weinert, is preparing for a fascinating three-concert tour from February 17-19, 2005. The concert program reflects contrasts and extremes of emotion, place and time, in both sacred and secular settings.
The works — by over a dozen composers through three millennia — range from lamentation to rejoicing, from earth to sky, heaven to hell, and night to day. Highlights of the concerts include New Zealand composer Christopher Marshall’s A Voice from Heaven (2004) with text by the medieval German abbess Hildegard von Bingen describing her mystical visions. The work was part of a joint commission by 26 choirs from New Zealand and the United States, and was premiered by the Eastman Chorale in November 2004. Contrasting the heavenly vision is …a riveder le stelle by Swedish composer Ingvar Lidhom, which draws on a moving passage of the final canto of Dante’s Inferno. After the long enumeration of the torments of Hell that make up the body of the poem, Dante and his guide Virgil re-emerge from the underworld, “again to see the stars.” The work — a choral tone poem — is a major landmark among choral works of recent decades. The lovely and rarely performed 1944 Cade la sera by Ildebrando Pizzetti sets a lyric poem of D’Annunzio depicting evening falling over the Arno River in Tuscany. Cleveland audiences will be interested to hear Andrew Rindfleisch’s Psalm, a setting of two well-known verses from Psalm 126. Rindfleisch is composition professor at Cleveland State University.
All concerts are free and open to the public. The tour schedule is as follows:
- Thursday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 130 Main Street; Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. A freewill offering will be collected.
- Friday, February 18 at 8:00 p.m., Drinko Recital Hall at Cleveland State University, 121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.
- Saturday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m., Westminster Presbyterian Church (2040 Washington Road), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Since 1994, William Weinert has served as director of choral activities at the Eastman School, where he conducts the Eastman Chorale and the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, as well as supervises students in the master’s and doctoral programs in choral conducting. Co-chair of Eastman’s conducting and ensembles department, Weinert has conducted throughout the country and in France, Germany, and Hong Kong. Since 1998, he has been editor of the American Choral Review.