Chorale concludes season with music from romantic era

  • By Patty Tackaberry / Special to The Herald
  • Tuesday, June 8, 2004 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

EVERETT – An Everett Performing Arts Center stage bedecked with lilies and rose-covered arbors was the setting for the Everett Chorale’s “Romantic Summer Concert,” which concluded its “Back to Basics” 2003-2004 season last weekend.

The program, featuring selections by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Franck, Schubert, Brahms plus some lesser-known composers, took up where the March concert left off. That show, which featured such classical composers as Mozart and Haydn, ended with Beethoven as a transitional figure from the classical to romantic period.

The program Saturday saw the Chorale move to the harmonies of the romantic period, when composers started to break down the classical forms.

Gary Hatle’s organ accompanied the chorale, sounding like a chancel choir during the first half’s sacred pieces. Those works included “Hallelujah” from “Mount of Olives” by Beethoven; “Hear My Prayer” by Mendelssohn (featuring the sweet and plaintive soprano voice of soloist Marita Ericksen); “He, Watching Over Israel” from “Elijah” by Mendelssohn (which afforded a beautiful blending of male and female voices); and the lovely Latin “Panis Angelicus” by Franck.

The Chorale’s bass voices reigned supreme in the final three sacred selections. There was “Bless the Lord, O My Soul” by M. Ippolitof-Ivanof; “Salvation is Created” by Peter Tschesnokoff; and “Sanctus” from “St. Cecilia Mass” by Charles Gounod (the latter featuring tenor soloist Kevin Hagan.)

Chorale conductor Lee Mathews acknowledged the fine performance of the bass section in these last three pieces, commenting, “Never have we had so many great basses.”

Part II’s secular selections featured Hatle on piano. There was Schubert’s “Night Magic” from “Nachthalle.” Its lyrics (“The houses of the sleeping town are clad in silver sheath”) served as a romantic salute to nighttime.

Assistant chorale conductor Janet Skones Hitt directed the women in “Four Songs for Treble Voices” by Brahms.

Following that was “Three Songs for Male Voices” by Schubert, which featured a sublime blending of tenor with bass.

An a capella choir was featured on Brahms’ “Wondrous Cool, Thous Woodland Quiet.”

Mathews told the audience his group had just touched the tip of an iceberg here, noting what “glorious treasure was stored in that 75-year” romantic period.

The chorale closed out its program with a trip to the operetta hall that featured selections from “The Merry Widow” by Franz Lehar.

Review

“Romantic Summer Concert”: Everett Chorale performance Saturday at Everett Performing Arts Center.

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