A pairing of two choral works—one of them a world premiere—and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, in the famous Ravel orchestration, highlight this week's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast, Sunday, July 18th at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, and Monday, July 19th at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.
Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms was composed on a commission from Chichester Cathedral in England, during 1964/65, when Bernstein took a sabbatical season from the New York Philharmonic to lecture, write, and compose. The work employs three Psalms in their entirety, in the original Hebrew, into which individual verses of three others are interspersed.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra and Westminster Symphonic Choir, and boy soprano Dante Michael DiMaio.
Then, it’s a different kind of choral work: the world-premiere performance of Todd Machover’s Philadelphia Voices, composed between 2017 and 2018. For this work, the Keystone State Boychoir, and Pennsylvania Girlchoir, Steven M. Fisher Artistic Director, and the Sister Cities Girlchoir, Alysia Lee, Artistic Director, fill the choir loft at Verizon Hall, and the composer himself will be seated at orchestra level with his electronic console and laptop, playing the files that capture the sounds and voices of Philadelphia.
Seven continuous movements evoke sounds from the Pope’s visit, the Mummer’s Parade, and the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory in this contemporary choral symphony!
Following intermission, it’s Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition, orchestrated by Maurice Ravel, written to honor the memory of the artist Viktor Hartmann, a friend who had died the year before.
During the intermission of this 2018 concert, WRTI’s Susan Lewis speaks backstage with music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Todd Machover, and Debra Lew Harder has a conversation with 16-year-old Jayda Hepburn, whose poetry is brought to life by the youth choruses in Philadelphia Voices.
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
Psalm 108, verse 2
Psalm 2, verses 1-4
Psalm 133, verse 1
Dante Michael DiMaio, Boy Soprano
Westminster Symphonic Choir, Joe Miller, Director
Machover: Philadelphia Voices
II. Philly Jesus
III. We the People
IV. Block Party
V. My House Is Full of Black People
VII. Hymn of Brotherly and Sisterly Love
(World premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra commission)
Keystone State Boychoir, and Pennsylvania Girlchoir
Sister Cities Girlchoir
Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition
I. Gnomus Promenade
II. The Old Castle Promenade
IV. Bydlo Promenade
V. Ballet of the Chicks in their Shells
VI. “Samuel” Goldenberg and “Schmuÿle”
VII. Limoges: The Market
VIII. Catacombs: Sepulcrum romanum — Cum mortuis in lingua mortua
IX. The Hut on Fowl’s Legs (Baba Yaga)
X. The Great Gate at Kiev
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at WRTI.org, and on the WRTI mobile app! Listen again on Mondays at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.