Choral music will be given proper space Annapolis Chorale to perform at St. Anne's

March 29, 1996|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For a choral conductor poised to present one of his bigger concerts of the year, J. Ernest Green is spending a lot of time thinking about architecture.

He's not pondering a career change. It's just that tomorrow evening's performance by the Annapolis Chorale at St. Anne's Church has been dubbed "Music in a Great Space," for it is nothing less than a celebration of the connection between great music and the structures in which it was meant to be performed.

From the vaulted Gothic ceilings of Chartres Cathedral in France to the immense, ornate Byzantine dome of St. Mark's in Venice, the great churches of Christendom have inspired some of the most extraordinary music ever written.

It was the medieval cathedral, with its spatial subtexts of mystery, faith and authority, that inspired the haunting melismas of Gregorian chant.

To the imposing grandeur of St. Mark's and other sacred spaces can be traced the miraculous polyphony of the Renaissance, which culminated in the antiphonal placement of soloists, divided choirs and complements of instruments anywhere and everywhere in the church.

"The sound at wonderful old St. Anne's is going to be bouncing around from every which direction," said Mr. Green.

His program will include choral and instrumental works by Giovanni Gabrieli, whose antiphonal writing captured the pomp and pageantry of 16th-century Venice like no one else's.

Also on tap are works by Anton Bruckner, whose motets from the late 19th century ascend skyward like the granitic temples of faith that inspired them, and Bach's spectacular Prelude and Fugue in E minor -- a polyphonic symphony unto itself -- that will be performed by guest organist Larry Molinaro.

"The full chorus will be down front," Mr. Green said. "The chamber chorus will be in the rear. We'll have singers in the organ loft and brass players everywhere. If you want 'Surround-Sound' this weekend, don't go out and buy audio equipment. Come see us."

"Music in a Great Space" will be performed at 8 p.m. tomorrow at St. Anne's Church on Church Circle in Annapolis. Tickets are $17.50 and may be ordered by calling 263-1906. Dinner packages at Harry Browne's and the Rustic Inn are also available.

Pub Date: 3/29/96

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