The Manhattan Choral Ensemble


Saturday, May 20, 2017
Church of St. Joseph in Greenwich Village
371 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10014

A collision of the ancient and the modern, the Manhattan Choral Ensemble concluded its 2016-2017 season with a new composite work comprised of motets by the Renaissance master Palestrina and new works for mixed acoustic-electric ensemble by composer-conductor Thomas Cunningham.

Palestrina’s settings of the love poetry of the Song of Solomon are monuments of the golden age of polyphony and the MCE performed the first ten of the collection published in 1587.

Between the motets, new music was added based on an original text inspired by the Song and crafted from musical materials borrowed from Palestrina’s compositions, featuring soprano soloist Mellissa Hughes, oboist Keve Wilson, violinist Jorge Avila, cellist Peter Sachon, and electronic percussionist Bill DeLelles. An intriguing marriage of elements from electronica, hip hop, contemporary classical music, and Renaissance vocal writing, this new work, P4L3STR1N4 RECONSTRUCTED, played at the boundary of old and new, examining a beloved masterwork through a thoroughly modern perspective.

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About the Manhattan Choral Ensemble

The Manhattan Choral Ensemble is a 40-voice, independent choir dedicated to passionate performance of choral masterworks and contemporary compositions. The MCE performs in historic New York spaces and creates programming in partnership with musicians of diverse backgrounds and genres. Winner of the 2016 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the MCE fosters the musical life of the city through its innovative commissioning project, New Music for New York.

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