(Published April 26, 2007, 3:48 p.m.)
The 22nd annual Southern Lakes Masterpiece Chorale concert will feature two wonderful pieces, a concerto for classical guitar and orchestra as well as a requiem, sung by a mass choir, and accompanied by orchestra.
The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 2007, in the Elkhorn Area High School auditorium. Tickets are available from any chorale member at a cost of $8 or at the door for $10.
The "Concierto de Aranjuez," for guitar and orchestra, was composed by Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999).
Rodrigo was handicapped by blindness, due to diphtheria he contracted at the age of three.
He overcame this handicap and grew up to write music. This concerto was named for the 300 acre gardens of Aranjuez, part of an 18th century summer palace of the Bourbon kings of Spain.
Rodrigo described his concerto as capturing, "the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds and the gushing of fountains" - in short, the beauties that a blind man, such as he, could appreciate.
For the first time, Southern Lakes Masterpiece Chorale will welcome an artist who is not a vocal soloist. Javier Calderon, Professor in the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he founded and heads the guitar program, will open this year's program by performing a concerto for guitar and orchestra.
At age 17 Javier Calderon thrilled the audience of his native city of La Paz Bolivia, the evening he played with the Bolivian National Symphony Orchestra. He was invited to the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont.
Soon after, Andres Segovia awarded the young guitarist a scholarship to study under his tutelage in Spain. In the time since Javier Calderon played his solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall, many composers have been writing and dedicating guitar concertos and solo pieces to him.
Calderon, who is also an accomplished cellist, has performed chamber music concerts with cellist Yo Yo Ma and has been featured at numerous international music festivals.
This year, the Chorale will sing the lovely "Requiem in C Minor" by Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842), a work for chorus and orchestra exclusively. There are no vocal soloists. This work is considered Cherubini's greatest composition. It is filled with wonderful choral music and has a decidedly Mozart-like flair. This requiem was an extreme favorite of Beethoven. In fact, Beethoven was an ardent admirer of Cherubini's work, and insisted that the "Requiem" be performed at his own funeral.
The Chorale consists of 75 people, who come from all over the Southern Lakes area, from Janesville to Burlington and East Troy, Sharon to Edgerton, and all the communities in between. Many high school students sing, as well as adults of all ages.
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