Charity & Love (featuring a tribute to Notre Dame)
Sunday April 19, 2020 - St. Matthew Lutheran Church, York - 4:00 pm - FREE!
**The York concert is part of our Accessible Artistry Initiative.**
Saturday April 25, 2020 - Atonement Lutheran Church, Wyomissing - 7:00 pm
Sunday April 26, 2020 - First Presbyterian Church, Lancaster - 4:00 pm
Charity and Love is a program inspired by the first line of the ancient Latin hymn of the Western Church: Ubi caritas et amor, deus ibi est – Where charity and love are, there God is. The hymn goes on in an entirely Christian vein, but that first line has no boundaries what-so-ever. I cannot help but imagine the kind of world we would live in if all of humanity took that phrase to heart.
This text provides a recurring refrain to the program in the form of three different settings by Morten Lauridsen, Ola Gjelo and Maurice Durufle. A second refrain and musical counterpoint is provided by settings of African American spirituals by Moses Hogan. Of particular note are two stunning and powerful contemporary compositions: Even When He Is Silent - a setting of a text found written on a wall at a concentration camp after World War II - by the young Norwegian Kim Andre Arnesen, and Let My Love Be Heard, a touching prayer of grief by Alfred Noyes set to music by young American composer Jake Runestad.
We think of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris - a symbol for the world of charity and love without boundaries – in the singing of the Solemn Mass by Louis Vierne. This is a magnificent duet between choir and organ, written by the famous blind organist/composer who spent most of his creative life at the cathedral. Finally, we have two of the “bedrock” musical settings in church music: the distinctly Russian sonorities of Paul Tschesnokoff in Salvation is Created and the gorgeous, expressive dissonances of the Baroque master Antonio Lotti in his setting of Crucifixus.
The essence of this program is, perhaps, best expressed in a recent quote from Anton Armstrong, conductor of the St. Olaf Choir, “…through the art of choral performance, messages of truth, understanding, mercy, justice, peace, hope and love can be conveyed to a world that is crying out for these things.” In the case of Charity and Love, these messages are conveyed in music that is constantly beautiful to the ear and touching to the heart.