MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

LA Master Chorale in Big Sing California

Billed as “the biggest choral event in California history,” Big Sing California will link up  10,000 singers from around the world with the LA Master Chorale this afternoon at 2pm PST. The program will include music by Morten Lauridsen, Moira Smiley, Eric Whitacre, Rollo Dilworth, Shawn Kirchner, and other favorites. Complete program, artist bios, list of those participating, videos, and more here.

And it’s being livestreamed, but there will be no repeat screenings.

Tune in to Big Sing California 

 

Filed under: choral music, Los Angeles Master Chorale

Alexander’s Feast: A Handelian Ode to the Power of Music

2016-04-16-alexanders-feastMy essay on Handel’s magnificent ode Alexander’s Feast has been posted on the LA Master Chorale Site:

It sounds strange to refer to George Frideric Handel as a neglected composer. Messiah is such a fixture that the holiday season would feel bereft   were it suddenly to disappear from the scene. (Never mind that its association with Christmas postdates the practice during the composer’s lifetime.)

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Filed under: choral music, Handel, Los Angeles Master Chorale

Hidden Handel

Director Trevore Ross on staging Handel’s oratorios for the LA Master Chorale. First in their five-season-long project is Alexander’s Feast.

Filed under: choral music, directors, Handel, Los Angeles Master Chorale

Americans at Work

2016-03-06-music-of-the-coal-minerHere’s my program essay for the upcoming West Coast premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields, a remarkable oratorio:

“The thing I love about music is, it’s beyond words. But somehow the words crept back in — big time,” remarked Julia Wolfe in an interview on NPR’s Studio360 following the announcement that she had won last year’s Pulitzer Prize in Music for Anthracite Fields. Wolfe’s moving and innovative new oratorio fuses music with words to tell a story deeply rooted in American history — and one inextricably connected to how we live today.

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Filed under: choral music, Julia Wolfe, Los Angeles Master Chorale

Sounds of Water, Rituals of Rebirth: Tan Dun’s Water Passion

water-passion

My essay on Tan Dun’s Water Passion, which is being performed next weekend by Grant Gershon and the LA Master Chorale, is now live:

In 2013 the peripatetic Tan Dun traveled to the Thomaskirche in Leipzig to conduct his Water Passion in the very space in which J.S. Bach had introduced the St. Matthew Passion nearly three centuries ago (most likely in 1727). The gesture underlined the kind of cross-cultural counterpoint that lies at the heart of the Chinese composer’s oratorio.

The full title reads Water Passion after St. Matthew, yet Tan also models his work on his reading of Bach’s monumental precedent. It might even be titled Water Passion after St. Matthew after Bach — the second “after” being taken in its double sense of “according to” and “postdating” (for a contemporary world).

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Filed under: choral music, essay, Los Angeles Master Chorale, new music

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