Cantori Domino Choir sings again this Sunday, May 25, at St. Augustine by the Sea Episcopal Church, in Santa Monica. This final concert of the season, is dedicated to the memory of Mary Gerlitz, my beloved predecessor as the group’s keyboard musician and general goddess in residence (I can replace her in the first capacity, but the second has taken many others…).
This concert, is called Dulcis Memoria, in which we remember not only those who have fallen for the country but those who have meant so much to us in our own life journeys, both living and deceased
Our program features music of other very different composers, centuries, and styles, including two pieces by the Orthodox British composer John Tavener, who died late last year. His Song for Athene (words from Hamlet and the Greek Orthodox Funeral service) is probably his best-known work, sung for Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. After all these years my single strongest memory of that occasion is hearing the massed voices of the Westminster Abbey Choir sing the glorious final page of this work (“Come, enjoy the rewards and crowns I have prepared for you…”) as her coffin proceeded down the aisle and out of the church.
I’ll also be playing a short organ piece, Stèle pour un enfant défunt (Headstone for a dead child) by Louis Vierne (1870-1937). Vierne was the longtime organist of Notre Dame de Paris, had a very difficult life himself, and by tragic irony this piece, composed in memory of a child, was the last piece he played before he suddenly died, at the console of the organ. I’ll put my full program notes in another section of this site, and let you know when it’s up.
Ah yes – Bach! We’ll be singing a perennial Cantori favorite, his Cantata 106, Gottes Zeit ist der allerbeste Zeit (God’s time is the best), likely written when he was about 20. Despite his youth, it’s Bach and it’s beautiful!
One of my greatest teachers said to my 17-year-old self, who was apparently playing back-to-back Bach at the time, “Bach’s the best there is – but he’s not all there is!” There’s something for everyone in this concert! Come and hear some beautiful music spanning two centuries, beautifully rendered, Sunday at 4:00!
Funeral Ikos, John Tavener
Lux Aeterna, Edward Elgar (donated by a devoted choir member in honor of Mary Gerlitz)
Elegy, Op. 118, Beethoven
Stèle pour un enfant défunt, Louis Vierne
Who will give me tears, Dale Jergenson
Cantata 106 Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste zeit, J.S. Bach
Song for Athene, John Tavener
Requiem, Gabriel Fauré