A slice of life through the ages set to music is the essence of Reflections, a concert to be performed by the Northern Lights Chamber Choir Friday, March 7 and Sunday, March 16 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.
Conductor Steve Guidone is enthusiastic about this year’s program and says that, after all the time and hard work members of the choir and accompanist Jim Johnston have devoted to prepare for concerts (particularly this one), the actual performances are relaxing and fun.
“We start the program with Monteverdi; it’s not dry, it’s a gorgeous piece,” Guidone says, noting the composer’s wife died in 1607, and in 1614, still mourning her, he honoured her memory with Sestina: Lagrime D’Amante al Sepolcro dell’Amata. “Four hundred years later he can still transmit to me how he was feeling.”
Next up is Franz Schubert’s Lebenlust, something Guidone describes as a lively lust for life.
Another number the choir will perform was written about a young person leaving the family home, while another composer wrote a piece for his own wedding.
Guidone, who likes to challenge the accomplished Johnston, says he hunted Northwest Musical Services in Vancouver trying to find a good balance of music – fast and slow, old and new.
Eric Whitacre’s The City and the Sea sets to music five poems by E.E. Cummings.
“Written in 2009, contemporary and clever, there’s almost kind of a rap feel to them,” laughs Guidone, noting the pieces were a challenge for everyone. “The city ones really zip along and even when the ladies are trying to quiet the men down, the energy of the city is always there underneath. And it comes to a rip-snorting end.”
There are 10 other pieces before the concert culminates with George Frederic Handel’s Haste Thee Nymph.
“We like to bring jollity to the concerts and we will with this one,” says Guidone enthusiastically. “I can’t tell you why. It’s a surprise.”
Northern Lights Chamber Choir’s performance of Reflections takes place at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 7 and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 16.
Tickets are $15 at the door.