Chatham Chorale Performs 'Ode To Music'

By: Staff Reports and Contributors

Soprano soloist Joan Kirchner. JANET MURPHY ROBERTSON PHOTO

CHATHAM – Music Director Joe Marchio will lead the Chatham Chorale, with guest soloists and chamber ensemble, in an “Ode to Music” at the First Methodist Church Nov. 9 and 10, both at 3 p.m.

Featured on the program is George Frideric Handel’s “Ode for Saint Cecilia’s Day.” Tenor Charles Blandy, soprano Joan Kirchner, and the Quartett Giocosa join the singers in Handel’s cantata, composed in just 10 days in 1739. Cecilia is the patron saint of music, and the text by John Dryden celebrates the “harmony of the spheres,” the theory that music was a force in Earth’s creation.

Charles Blandy is a much-heralded tenor based in Boston, specializing in music of the Baroque and praised by the Boston Globe as “unfailingly, tirelessly lyrical.” Joan Kirchner, a frequent soloist with the Chorale, performs in a variety of styles regionally and on the Cape, and teaches voice at her Brewster studio. The instrumentalists of Quartett Giocosa—Heather Goodchild Wade and Irina Fainkichen (violins), Irina Naryshkova (viola), and cellist Elizabeth Schultze—met in the Cape Symphony and have performed as a quartet since 2017.

Marchio has frequently programmed the masses of Franz Joseph Haydn, and the Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo is a favorite. Performed as originally scored, for choir, organ, and a small string ensemble, this short Mass is “elegant and expressive, with a beautiful sense of mysticism,” he said. The longest movement (“Benedictus”) is a dialogue for soprano Joan Kirchner and organist Donald Enos, the Chorale’s longtime accompanist.

Kirchner takes center stage to perform Franz Schubert’s “An die Musik” (“To Music”), accompanied by Enos on piano. Its sweeping melodic line and poetic devotion to musical art have made the song a favorite of musicians since Schubert wrote it in 1817.

Victorian choral composer Charles Villiers Stanford created “Te Deum laudamus” in B flat as part of a complete church service marking the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign. Notes Marchio, “It’s never been recorded and is rarely performed, but it’s a riveting example of Stanford’s work and perfect for this concert highlighting the chorus, organ, and small orchestra.”

Tickets are $25 open seating, $35 for reserved seating and can be purchased at www.chathamchorale.org/tickets, by phone (774-212-9333) or at the door the day of the concert. Students and those under 18 admitted free with a ticket; call the number above. For more information, visit www.chathamchorale.org.