Friday, June 11, 2010

Sunday at Duke // "A Time of Peace," Vocal Arts Ensemble Concert

When: Sunday, June 13, 2010 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Duke Chapel
More Info

From the VAE's Facebook Page:
This year’s concert, entitled “A Time of Peace,” will be held on Sunday, June 13, at 7 pm in Duke Chapel. Several pieces explore the theme of peace, including Mendelssohn’s “Verleih uns Frieden” (Grant Us Peace), an arrangement of the spiritual “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More” for men’s voices, Arnold Schoenberg’s “Friede auf Erden” (Peace on Earth), and Robert Dickow’s “Peace,” which is a setting of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Other poetry by Hopkins will also be heard, in Gwyneth Walker’s “This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made” and in a work entitled “Henry Purcell,” which VAE has commissioned from Paul Leary, a member of the Vespers Ensemble and a graduate student in composition at Duke. The latter poem was written, as Hopkins explained, to extol the “divine genius of Purcell” who has “uttered in notes the very make and species of man.” As an example of Purcell’s craft and genius, VAE will perform his “O Give Thanks,” a work which Hopkins almost certainly knew. By way of complete contrast, VAE will close its concert with Sam Pottle's hilarious setting of "Jabberwocky."

The first half of the VAE concert consists of a journey through German musical history, from the early 1600s to the early 1900s. Michael Praetorius’ “Lobet den Herren” (Praise the Lord) will be followed by Bach’s “Lobet den Herrn,” which is one of his six motets. The rest of the first half includes the Mendelssohn “Verleih uns Frieden” mentioned above, Brahms’ rarely-performed motet “Es ist das Heil uns kommen her” (The Son of God Is Come to Earth) and Schoenberg’s “Friede auf Erden.” Written in a late Romantic style quite different from his later non-tonal and 12-tone compositions, the Schoenberg piece is a powerful 9-minute piece that is truly daunting to perform. While at times it teeters on the brink of losing its tonal bearings (when describing the violence of war), it closes triumphantly with a ringing affirmation of peace.

Here is the program:
Praetorius - Lobet den Herren
Bach - Lobet den Herrn (Motet #6)
Mendelssohn - Verleih uns Frieden
Brahms - Es ist das Heil uns kommen her
Schoenberg - Friede auf Erden
Purcell - O Give Thanks
paul leary – Henry Purcell (world premiere)
Gwyneth Walker - This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made
Robert Dickow - Peace
Cain, arr. - Ain’t Gonna Study War No More (TTBB)
Sam Pottle – Jabberwocky

$10 general admission, students free with ID.
Tickets: Duke Box Office (919) 684-4444 or

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