A Choral Arts keeper Music: 'Carmina Burana' success spurs society to keep up the good works.

July 21, 1998|By Judith Green | Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Baltimore Choral Arts Society did so well with its theatrical "Carmina Burana" at the Gordon Center this spring that music director Tom Hall has programmed a similar event next season.

It will return to the Owings Mills venue March 23-24 to present Handel's powerful oratorio "Samson," staged by John Lehmeyer of the Peabody Conservatory of Music. The Kimberly Mackin Dance Company will again be featured.

The rest of its season includes Haydn's "The Creation" at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (May 22); its annual Christmas spectacular at Basilica of the Assumption (Dec. 9) and an all-American program (Nov. 8 at Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College) featuring great words as well as great music: Randall Thompson's "Frostiana" (poems of Robert Frost), Aaron Copland's "Old American Songs" (including the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts") and Alice Parker's "Songstream" (poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay).

Subscribers will be able to order early tickets to Choral Arts' fund-raising "Brubeck and Bach" concert (Feb. 27, Meyerhoff) with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and a program of Bach choral and instrumental works.

Two events for children are also offered on a single-ticket basis: "Christmas for Kids" (Dec. 19, Kraushaar) and "Music & Movement," a participatory event with Mackin's dancers (April 25, Gordon Center).

Season subscriptions are $65-$97; single tickets, $10-$38, depending on the event. Tickets to the Brubeck program are $15-$50, with a $5 discount to subscribers. Call 410-523-7070.

Choir schedule

Handel is, of course, the man of the moment for the Handel Choir of Baltimore. Music director T. Herbert Dimmock has chosen two of the baroque giant's works for next season: "Hercules" (Nov. 15 at Church of the Redeemer) and "Israel in Egypt" (March 21 at Chizuk Amuno Congregation). The choir also presents its annual "Messiah" on Dec. 13 (Basilica of the Assumption), Dec. 18 (Grace Fellowship Church), and Dec. 19-20 (Kraushaar).

"Hercules" is an unusual choice: a forgotten work dating from 1744 that can't decide whether it's an opera or an oratorio. Called a "Musical Drama," it was never staged as an opera; but its text, taken from Sophocles' "Trachiniae," is secular rather than sacred.

The rest of the Handel Choir's season includes "Holy Minimalism," a concert of small-scale spiritual works sung by its a cappella ensemble (Oct. 25 at Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church); Bach's mighty B Minor Mass (April 11, Kraushaar); "Music for a Great Space," works exploring the reverberant interior of the Basilica of the Assumption (May 16); and "Sumer Is Icumen In," old English songs and madrigals celebrating the softer seasons (June 7, Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church).

Single tickets are $16-$21. Season tickets range from $91 to $126 for all seven concerts or $58 to $77 for four concerts. Call 410-366-6544.

Commuter schedule

Rumors of the flight of Edward Polochick from Baltimore are greatly exaggerated. He will continue as director of choral music at Peabody Conservatory of Music and as artistic director of Concert Artists of Baltimore, the chamber chorus and instrumental ensemble he founded, while commuting to Lincoln, Neb., to conduct its symphony.

Concert Artists hasn't officially announced its season, but here it is. "If it seems like it's heavy on Mendels-sohn," Polochick says, "that's because it is."

The incidental music to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and the violin concerto (with soloist MinJung Kang) are featured on the Oct. 10 concert. The motet "Singet dem Herrn" (Psalm 98) will be performed along with Bach's setting of the same text Nov. 21.

The double piano concerto, written by Felix Mendels-sohn to play with his sister, Fanny, will be performed Feb. 6 by Polochick and Ernest Ragogini. And the "Italian" Symphony No. 4 will be played May 8.

Other repertory includes Niels Gade's "Novelletten for Strings," songs by Brahms and Max Reger, a symphony by Kurt Weill (of "Threepenny Opera" fame), Mozart's Mass in C minor and Schubert's "Great" Symphony No. 9. Janice Chandler and Karen Clift will be soloists in the Mozart Mass.

Concert Artists performs at LeClerc Hall on the College of Notre Dame campus. A family concert will be played March 28 at the Gordon Center.

Because of renovations to the Walters Art Gallery, Concert Artists has canceled its chamber music series this season.

Single tickets are $20-$23, seniors $14-$17, students with ID $5. Season tickets are $60-$70, seniors $50-$60. Children get in free. Season ticket information: 410-625-3525.

Pub Date: 7/21/98

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