The astounding range of Ludvig von Beethoven's musical genius will be on display in a stirring concert by the Chatham Chorale, vocal soloists and 40-piece orchestra led by Chorale music director Joseph Marchio, on Sunday, November 18. The one and only performance is at 3 PM at Mattacheese Middle School, 400 Higgins Crowell Road in West Yarmouth.
Anchoring the program is the marvelous Mass in C Major from 1807. Among the composer's less-performed large works, it sonically previews his monumental Missa Solemnis and the iconic Ninth Symphony, yet has a buoyant joyfulness those later works lack. The solo quartet for the Mass comprises Cape Cod's favorite soprano Joan Kirchner, Boston mezzo-soprano Desiree Maira, tenor Luigi Boccia, a frequent Cape Cod visitor (pictured), and baritone Colin Levin, who joined the Chorale for last season's performances of Vaughan Williams's Dona Nobis Pacem. An orchestra of 40 featuring players from the Cape Cod Symphony and leading Boston-area instrumentalists will bring this dynamic work fully to life.
The orchestra takes center stage in Beethoven's powerful and expressive Egmont Overture, a hymn to freedom that became the unofficial anthem of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The players rejoin the Chorale for the short cantata Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt, which musically contrasts a "Calm Sea" and a windblown "Prosperous Voyage." Soloist Luigi Boccia lends his versatile tenor voice to the romantic song Adelaide, a 1795 composition influenced by Beethoven's studies with Haydn. Capping the program is the "Hallelujah!" from the dramatic oratorio Christus am Ölberge (Christ on the Mount of Olives).
"Audiences who know just the big Beethoven symphonies will be treated to a wonderfully varied feast of his music for voices in this concert," says Music Director Joe Marchio. "The Mass in C has every bit of the splendor of the Ninth's choral finale but on a smaller scale. Luigi will sing one of the few lieder (songs) Beethoven left us, and the chorus embarks on an adventure at sea in the cantata. And of course the orchestra has its great moment in the Egmont Overture."
Chatham Chorale is Cape Cod's longest-established choral ensemble, for 42 years presenting an annual concert series with programs ranging from choral masterworks to Broadway show tunes, pops stylings, and premieres of new works by regional composers. The Chorale and Chamber Singers also regularly collaborate with the Cape Cod Symphony and New Bedford Symphony, sing in service to the community, and in 2010 joined the Simon Sinfonietta for a performance of Beethoven's Ninth.
Tickets ($30 premium/$25 reserved/$20 open) can be purchased by telephone, 888-556-2707, at the Chorale's website, or at the door the day of the concert. For more information, visit www.chathamchorale.org.