In its 43rd season, the Idyllwild Master Chorale, led by Conductor Dwight Allen “Buzz” Holmes, continues to regale Idyllwild audiences with internationally renowned chamber orchestrations and exquisite vocal harmonies. Selections for this year’s Spring Concert tender a poignant tribute to Karen Visel, a cherished member of the chorale since 1984 who passed in 2017. Several pieces are among her favorites.
The choice of “Requiem in D minor, Opus 48” by Gabriel Fauré will open the evening. Fauré eloquently interprets the illumined life as conveyed by French impressionists of the late 1800s, into an inspired musical composition “hailed as one of the most beautiful master works ever written,” stated Holmes.
American Folklore selections by Aaron Copeland will follow, featuring choral arrangements that Holmes observes, “captivate the vastness of his interludes, setting his compositions apart from contemporary composers.” Assorted examples will include “At the River,” “I Bought me a Cat” and “Long Time Ago.”
Randall Thompson’s “Frostania” collection, based on the poetry of Robert Frost, inserts vivid harmonics transforming Frost’s “The Road not Taken” and “Stopping by a Wood.”
“This is classic choral repertoire at its best! The combination of Robert Frost’s remarkable text enhanced by the musical mastery of Randall Thompson make this selection an absolute tribute to both poetry and music,” writes music critic J.W. Pepper.
The IMC men’s choir will the close the evening with Mozart’s final chorale composition, “Ave Verum Corpus” (Latin translation, “Hail, True Body”). The Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel once said of the work, “It is too simple for children, and too difficult for adults.” It was written to be performed on the Feast of Corpus Christi and the score contains the words sotto voce (meaning “subdued”) in Mozart’s hand.
The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14, in the William M. Lowman Concert Hall, on the Idyllwild Arts Academy campus. Tickets, $25 for adults and $10 for students, are available online at www.idyllwildmasterchorale.org and at the door. For more information, call IMC at 951-659-2650.