The baroque tenor and a world premiere

Saturday, 24 August 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A concert presenting one of the finest classical tenor voices that Sri Lanka has produced in the last 20 years, American-trained Asitha Tennekoon will make his debut with the acclaimed ensemble of the Chamber Music Society of Colombo (CMSC) directed by Lakshman Joseph de Saram on Friday, 30 August 2013, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre at 7:30 p.m. The Premier Sponsor of the CMSC is Fairway Holdings. The concert will feature the cantatas by J.S. Bach (no. 55, a penitential cantata which is the only one of the 200 surviving which is for a solo tenor – with a choral finale as a bonus), and G.F. Handel (the rarely-performed ‘The Praise of Harmony’). Tomaso Albinoni is represented by his luminous Sinfonia in C major, T. 2/3. The equally rare and only trumpet and oboe concerto in E flat, by the German composer J.W. Hertel rounds off the evening. Of significant interest will be the world première performance of American composer Stephen Allen’s ‘Songs of Hafiz,’ with solo tenor written specifically for the Chamber Music Society of Colombo. This piece celebrates the life of the prolific Persian poet Hafiz, who is said to have influenced Western poets such as Thoreau, Goethe and Emerson. Written for a solo tenor with a mixed ensemble, it is intended as an extension of the classical song tradition of Schubert, Wolf and even Mahler. The concert will be approximately 90 minutes in duration, including intermission. Soloists for the J.W. Hertel will be Naveen Fernando, trumpet and Hasitha Pathirana, oboe. The featured Chorus for the Bach will be The Colombo Philharmonic Choir, directed by Manilal Weerakoon.