The Southeast Missouri Symphony, University Choir and Choral Union will combine to present Antonio Vivaldi’s festive “Gloria,” a celebrated work for orchestra and choir, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University.
Also on the program will be “Winter” from Vivaldi’s famous composition, “The Four Seasons,” two beautiful Bach Chorale transcriptions and the lively “L’Arlesienne Suite” by Bizet.
“We invite everyone to kick off the holiday season with the 150 musicians of the symphony, University Choir and Choral Union performing this festive holiday concert!” said Dr. Sara Edgerton, one of the conductors of the evening’s concert.
The concert will open with “Winter,” an expressive and exciting work for violin solo and orchestra vividly describing winter, with depictions of freezing wind, shivering in the cold and walking on ice. It also has an enchanting middle movement where listeners are brought inside to the fireside, enjoying the warmth of the indoors while cold raindrops are heard falling on the windows. It truly is a vivid description of wintertime, Edgerton said.
Next on the program will be two orchestral arrangements of famous chorales by Bach: “Ein’ feste Burg” (“A Mighty Fortress”) and “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” The first half of the concert will end with French composer Georges Bizet’s tuneful “L’Arlesienne Suite” for full symphony orchestra. Inspired by French folk tunes and dances, this lovely work includes the festive, seasonal Farandole movement, based upon the French carol, the “March of the Three Kings.”
The second half of the program will be a performance of Vivaldi’s masterpiece, the “Gloria” for orchestra, chorus and soloists. Most likely written about 1715 for the important orphanage and music conservatory in Venice where Vivaldi worked, it is a setting of the hymn “Gloria in excelsis Deo.” This hymn is a standard work in the Christian tradition; its Latin text dates back to the fourth century AD. Vivaldi’s setting of the “Gloria” uses full choir, soloists and a Baroque-sized orchestra with strings, harpsichord, oboes and trumpet. Its joyous nature is very appropriate for the holiday season, and it is frequently programmed at Christmastime.
“We are very much looking forward to performing this colorful, festive program for the university and community in late November,” Edgerton said. “These pieces will certainly be seasonal in character. In Vivaldi’s ‘Winter,’ we will experience the icy cold of the season, as well as the comforts of a warm fireside indoors! The Bach Chorales will be restful and inspiring, and, in fact, the ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ was a melody that Bach originally wrote for performance at Advent (the period leading up to Christmas). Bizet’s ‘Farandole’ is based on a Christmas carol. And Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ is joyous and inspiring. We think this program will be a great way to prepare for the holiday season!”
Edgerton and Dr. Barbara Lamont will conduct the concert. Dr. Sophia Han, violinist, will perform the solo violin part in “Winter”; sopranos Brittany Moleski and Emily Davis, and mezzo-soprano Zaria Christopher will be featured in Vivaldi’s “Gloria”.
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampus.org.