St. James Cathedral
St. James Cathedral resident ensemble Opus 7 invites you to join them and special guests – percussionist Karen Sunmark and St. James Associate Organist Clint Kraus – for a concert of deeply moving works for the Lenten season that center around the theme of our desire for peace in the midst of travail and the hope that comes from the promise of peace and resolution.
The centerpiece of the concert is the monumental Requiem (Messa di Requiem) by the Italian choral master Ildebrando Pizzetti. This seldom-heard work is one of the longest a cappella works in the choral repertoire and one of the few major Requiem settings without orchestra or instrumental accompaniment. Pizzetti’s setting at times emulates the Venetian polychoral writing of Gabrieli, in which multiple choirs were distributed around the inside of the Basilica of San Marco. This music will transport the spirit as the sounds of the double- and sometimes triple-choir resonate in Seattle’s beautiful St. James Cathedral.
The concert starts with Palestrina’s heart-wrenching setting of Super flumina Babylonis (By the Waters of Babylon)—symbolizing the travail we sometimes face along life’s path—and ends with Norwegian composer Knut Nystedt’s reassuring Peace I Leave With You. Along the way is Mendelssohn’s exquisitely comforting Verleih uns Frieden (Grant us Peace) for choir and organ; two settings of the well-known Holy-Week text, O vos omnes – the first setting for choir and tubular bells by Welsh composer Paul Mealor, best known for his Ubi Caritas, composed for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton – and as part of its year-long celebration of the choral works of their composer-in-residence John Muehleisen, Opus 7 will also perform his O vos omnes.
The remaining works on the program include two brief movements from Max Reger’s Acht Geistliche Gesänge [Eight Spiritual (or Sacred) Songs] and AGNUS DEI: Phoenix a sumptuous and luminous setting by the young Julliard-trained Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo.
Please join Opus 7 for this special concert of deeply moving choral masterworks conducted by Artistic Director, Loren W. Pontén.