‘Holiday Season Gala Concert’ by Chamber Music Society
Friday, 21 November 2014 02:00
The Chamber Music Society of Colombo is pleased to welcome audiences to their grand finale for the year, in Colombo and Galle. Entitled ‘Holiday Season Gala Concert,’ it will be first presented at the Lionel Wendt Theatre in Colombo 7, on Friday, 5 December, at 7:30pm.
The repeat concert will be the following day at the historic Dutch Reformed Church in the Galle Fort. Tickets, which are priced at Rs. 2,000, Rs. 1,500, Rs. 1,000, and Rs. 500, will be available at the Lionel Wendt box office (for the Colombo concert) from Monday, 24 November.
The Galle Concert will be for selected invitees only. The concerts are generously supported by the Premier Sponsor of the Society, Fairway Holdings.
The distinguished guest soloists for the evening will be sopranos Dhanushi Wijeyakulasuriya and Anagi Perera, and mezzo soprano Peshali Yapa. The Colombo Philharmonic Choir will join the Orchestra of the Chamber Music Society of Colombo, and the concert will be conducted by their choral director, Manilal Weerakoon.
The repertoire will include Antonio Vivaldi’s celebrated “Gloria”, RV 589, as well as the “Toy Symphony”. Much has been written of the glories of Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, which is one of the earlier great works in the standard choral repertoire, pre-dating the masterpieces of Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Friedrich Händel.
The Red Priest composed it for a group of talented female musicians at the Ospedale della Pietà, a Venetian home for abandoned children, around 1715. The Toy Symphony dates from around 1780, and has been attributed to a confusing array of celebrity composers, including Joseph Haydn and his brother Michael, Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang’s father) and more recently the Tyrolean Benedictine monk Fr. Edmund Angerer.
Whatever its origins, its very Haydnesque light-hearted humour with a battery of toy percussion makes it a Christmas favourite. The concert ends with an enjoyable list of carols, arranged by Prof. Thomas A. Kennedy, Jr.
The arrangements complete with full orchestration and four-part choral harmony, include many favourites: O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, Angels We Have Heard on High, Joy to the World, Deck the Halls and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.