Oregon Repertory Singers presents
with special guest Dr. Morten Lauridsen
3pm, April 22nd & 23rd, 2017
First United Methodist Church
Welcome to the final concert of Oregon Repertory Singers 43rd Season, featuring music that we will perform this summer on tour in Barcelona, Spain.
The program is mostly American music, with some Spanish music, on the theme of Love and Fire. We are highlighting music by Morten Lauridsen, the only musician from Oregon ever to be awarded the National Medal of Arts. We are deeply honored to have Dr. Lauridsen with us for these performances. I will not spend any more time writing about his music, as he will have the opportunity to tell you about it himself from the stage.
Our program begins with The Dark Night of the Soul by Carlos Surinach, who was born in Barcelona, studied composition and conducting at the Barcelona Conservatory, and then became the conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Barcelona. Dark Night sets the famous 14th century poem by St. John of the Cross about the intense internal journey many of us have with faith and belief. The poem and music metaphorically cast this deep struggle as daring to sneak outside on a dark night to meet a lover who may or may not be waiting.
We follow this with a traditional Catholic Agnus Dei by the Philadelphian composer Vincent Persichetti, which this summer we will perform in Barcelona’s famous Sagrada Familia cathedral. Next is Northwest composer John Muehleisen’s River Moons, an exploration into an old man’s memory of the most beautiful nature image he can remember from his childhood—the fiery moon seen in the sky and reflected calmly in the water. The first half concludes with American folksongs and spirituals by three of America’s greatest arrangers: René Clausen of Concordia College, Mack Wilberg of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Moses Hogan.
If you enjoy this performance, we welcome you to join us in Barcelona this July to hear it again, and we hope to see you here at Portland’s First United Methodist Church for our 44th Season.
Program notes by Ethan Sperry, April 2017