Welcome to Ars Musica Chorale’s 54th season. Our theme this year is Revolutionaries: we’ll be presenting four stunning concerts of music that challenged the conventions of its time and continues to shape our perceptions of the world.
We begin with a performance of what might be the first example of opera in English. Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas recounts the famous tale of Dido, the Queen of Carthage, falling for the Trojan hero Aeneas. It will be paired with one of George Frideric Handel’s Coronation Anthems and accompanied by a Baroque instrumental ensemble using historical instruments that Purcell and Handel would have recognized. Our signature Holiday concert will bring together the glorious forces of voices, brass, organ, percussion, and the angelic voices of the New Jersey State Children’s Chorus in an evening of seasonal music and cheer.
In March, we’ll celebrate the long Jewish tradition of choral singing with Hariu l’Adonai, presenting several works by Felix Mendelssohn alongside composers ranging from Salamone Rossi to Aaron Copland. We’ll also explore traditional cantorial chants and service music by Max Janowski. The final concert features two early titans of the Romantic era celebrating anniversaries during the course of the season: the 150th anniversary of Hector Berlioz’ death in 2019, and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 2020. This program is anchored by Berlioz’ spectacular Messe Solennelle, accompanied by the award-winning Adelphi Orchestra.
For centuries, the arts have engaged the world around them in dialogue about who we can be as humans. Each of these boundary-breaking works not only entertains us, but also encourages us to transcend the clamor of daily life and understand a new perspective – and there’s no better way to experience this magical feeling than being in the room with live musicians. We look forward to welcoming all of you as we present these remarkable, revolutionary works this season.