Richard Eaton Singers, currently enjoying its 64th season, joyfully presented Vivera on November 2nd. A concert featuring compelling, well known choral works by Baroque Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi and the great Austrian Classical period composer Franz Schubert. This concert featured members of the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, together with the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers, and soloists Sarah Schaub, soprano; Mireille Rijavec, mezzo soprano; Jacques Arsenault, tenor; and Michael Kurschat, baritone. Richard Eaton Singers assistant conductor Sara Brooks conducted this performance.
Vivaldi's Gloria RV 589 is undoubtedly Vivaldi's best-known choral work. Though Vivaldi in fact composed three settings of the Gloria text from the traditional Latin Mass, this version is performed and loved by choruses again and again. The uplifting and joyous nature of the work is highlighted by the contrasting characters found in each of the 12 movements. These movements feature writing for both Chorus and two soprano soloists.
This was followed by Schubert's Mass in G, scored for soprano, tenor and baritone soloists, SATB choir and string orchestra. Composed nearly a century after the Gloria, the mass remains yet another time-honoured score. The beautiful melodies and lush harmonies of Schubert's work provide a wonderful contrast with the perpetual motion and crisp melodies of Vivaldi's Gloria.
Richard Eaton Singers were joined by special guests University of Alberta Madrigal Singers, who in addition to singing the Mass in G presented a selection of unaccompanied choral favourites, both old and new. Ave Maria and Christus Factus est are two highly favoured motets by 19th century Austrian composer Anton Bruckner. Infused with chant inflections and polyphonic gestures of the Renaissance, these motets also reveal Bruckner's fondness for symphonic composition of the Romantic period, incorporating rich chromatic harmonies and ever-expanding voicing. Factus est repente and Data est mihi omnes potestas are two works belonging to a set of Strathclyde Motets composed between 2005 and 2010, by Scottish composer James MacMillan. Both works make use of unique folk-like sonorities, vivid melodic flourishes and challenging rhythms.
Assistant conductor Sara Brooks is currently in her third year of doctoral studies in choral conducting at University of Alberta. A native of Ottawa, where she founded the Capital Chamber Choir in 2009 and was chorus master for Opera Lyra, Brooks has taken on added responsibilities this year as the RES assistant conductor and the conductor of the Madrigal Singers in light of artistic director Leonard Ratzlaff's sabbatical year from his regular teaching duties at University of Alberta.
RES is dedicated to the enjoyment, study and performance of great choral music, to an international standard of excellence, and to fostering the appreciation of this music. Founded in 1951 by the late Richard S. Eaton, RES has played a leading role in Edmonton’s cultural community for more than six decades. In addition to presenting its own concerts, the choir is a regular guest of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and collaborates frequently with other Edmonton ensembles, including the Alberta Baroque Ensemble in this performance. It has also collaborated with other Canadian choirs in the past, including the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus, the Vancouver Bach Choir and the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir. This past summer RES embarked on a two week tour of Germany, highlighted by performances at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, where Bach was Kapellmeister for much of his career.
Link to Jim McDonald's (long time RES member and past president) BLOG all about RES rehearsals
Did you know that Richard Eaton Singers is a non-profit organization?
It is through the generosity of our concert patrons and donors that allow RES to bring the wonderful concerts you've come to enjoy from Edmonton's Symphonic Choir.
Please consider donating to RES to help us continue to bring you music and joy.