These are a few of my favorite things.
For my final concert at Northeastern I have chosen some of the works that I have most enjoyed conducting over the past 45 years.
The major work will be Mozart’s great Requiem. In 1791 Count Franz von Walsegg had commissioned Mozart to compose a mass commemorating the death of his wife, Anna, but Mozart himself died before he was able to finish the work. Eventually Mozart’s widow convinced his student, Franz Xaver Süssmayr, to complete the commission. Singers and audiences alike love this work for its awesome Die Irae, the grand double fugue Kyrie, the plaintive Lacrymosa, and so much more.
Also on the program is A Jubilant Song, composed by Norman Dello Joio in 1946. This quintessential American work sets verses from Walt Whitman’s poem. The joyous score
features syncopated rhythms, frequent changes of meter, and a brilliant piano partnership.
Our elite chamber singers will perform three pieces. Eric Whitacre’s best-known work is the mystical “Lux Arumque.” “S.O.S.” is an ebullient jazz song made famous by the Manhattan Transfer. And my arrangement of Ziggy Ellman’s “And the Angels Sing” captures the fun of this swing band song, which is actually based on an old klezmer tune.
We will pay tribute to the institution where I have worked for 45 years with a performance of the two school songs, All Hail and Alma Mater, in my arrangement for chorus and orchestra.
And the program will conclude on a nostalgic note, with John Rutter’s 1981 benediction, The Lord Bless You and Keep You.
The 100-voice Northeastern University Choral Society will be joined by accompanist Edwin Swanborn, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and a jazz band.
After the concert, join us for a reception in the Curry Student Center Ballroom, just a short walk across campus from the Fenway Center.