The orchestra, conducted by its new Music Director Zeke Fetrow, performs a program of Jennifer Higdon’s Blue Cathedral, Jeff Beal’s The Paper Lined Shack, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2. Soprano Ann Moss is soloist for The Paper Lined Shack. A pre-concert talk by the conductor is scheduled for Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
Tickets for adults and seniors are $25. Admission for youth under 18 is free. For tickets and information, call 978-369-4967 or visit www.concordorchestra.com.
Soprano Ann Moss grew up in a musical family in Lincoln, MA. A long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, she recently returned to Massachusetts with her husband, jazz violinist / classical violist Justin Ouellet. She is an acclaimed recording artist and champion of contemporary vocal music who performs and collaborates with a dynamic array of living composers and chamber ensembles. Highlights of the 2022-23 season include Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Gérard Grisey’s Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil with After Everything Ensemble, and a concert tour in support of her recent album, Lifeline, featuring compositions by Hildegard von Bingen.
Jeff Beal’s The Paper Lined Shack is a five-song cycle based on a memoir written by his great-grandmother Della, about her and her husband’s experiences in the early 1900s on a farm in Idaho. The songs depict young Della playing with her siblings, the family planting a garden and raising their own food, dealing with poverty, staying warm in the winter, and Della managing to keep her family together after becoming a widow. Ann Moss describes the music as “beautiful, with lush vocal lines which soar and lift the heart and envelope the audience in the incredibly warm description of a family and their life and a mother’s love for her children.”
Blue Cathedral debuted in the year 2000, and in the years since then, it has been performed more frequently than any other new work. It is composer Jennifer Higdon’s heartfelt and uplifting meditation on life, as she reflected on the death of her younger brother. According to Higdon’s program notes for the piece, she imagined a glass cathedral in the sky, where the cathedral represents “beginning, endings, contemplation, knowledge and growth.”
Sergei Prokofiev received a commission to write a ballet based on Romeo and Juliet from the Leningrad Opera and Ballet company in 1934. After spending months working on the project, the company cancelled it when a new manager took over. In order to have the music heard, Prokofiev arranged the music into two orchestral suites and a piano transcription. Eventually, after revisions required by the Soviet authorities, the ballet was performed in the Soviet Union in 1940 by the Kirov Ballet.