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.
Earlier this Season
Saturday, March 11, 2017, 8:00 p.m.
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music
450 West 37th St., Manhattan 10018
Three new choral commissions premiered at the Manhattan Choral Ensemble’s singular choral music competition, New Music for New York. In the sixth year of this interactive concert, our audience selected “Recuerdo” by Alden Terry to win an encore performance and a cash prize. The evening was be capped off with works by Palestrina, Bairstow, Willan, Dunstable, and Casals, as well as beloved folk songs.
Our New Music for New York winners for 2016-17 were:
Over the course of our New Music for New York program, many of our submissions have featured the poetry of Sara Teasdale. One of our winning composers, Alison Beck, explains why:
In 2016, the Manhattan Choral Ensemble performed the Christmas music of Old Russia, inside a landmark New York City church. A part of the MCE’s multi-year celebration of holiday music from around the world, choral masterworks by Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Bortniansky were sung alongside traditional Russian carols.
A Russian Christmas
Friday, December 9, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 11, 2016, 3:00 p.m.
St. Nicholas of Myra Orthodox Church
288 East 10th St., Manhattan 10009
Friday’s performance was recorded and broadcast on WWFM, and we also shared a sneak peek into rehearsals, featuring Director Tom Cunningham: