The Singers and I begin “New Landscapes” rehearsals tonight

Today I begin a most exciting project with The Singers that focuses on newer works by David Lang (of “Bang on a Can” fame), Tarik O’ Regan, Nico Muhly, Abbie Betinis, and Jocelyn Hagen. The concert is April 21-22, 2012 in St. Paul and Wayzata, and it promises to be an intriguing concert for singers and audience members alike.

David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion was the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner in music, and it combines the well-known story by Hans Christian Andersen with texts from J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, showing a parallel between the lives of the young girl and Jesus Christ. This work utilizes elements of minimalism and stark use of percussion instruments as the two narratives weave together.

The Artaria String Quartet, now celebrating their 25th Season, joins the choir for O’Regan’s exhilarating setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry in The Ecstasies Above. O’Regan’s score calls for eight vocal soloists, chorus, and string quartet, creating an irresistible palette of tonal colors befitting the wild imagination of Poe.

Nico Muhly is a rising star in the composition world, with new works in many genres premiering frequently. His 2005 work, I Cannot Attain Unto It, is a modern psalm setting that uses choral textures in a fresh, unique way.

Those who are familiar with The Singers know the names Abbie Betinis and Jocelyn Hagen for their innovative work as two of three composers-in-residence (along with Joshua Shank). The Singers will also be performing Abbie’s Carmina men cordis (“Songs of my heart”) and Jocelyn’s Laus Trinitati (“Praise the Trinity”) during their two performances at the Chorus America National Conference being held in Minneapolis in June of this year.

I hope that you are able to see The Singers perform these modern masterpieces as part of “New Landscapes” in April, 2012!