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The Trumpet Shall Sound

Sat, February 4, 2017 – 7:30 pm

The Trumpet Shall Sound

A program of spirituals and religious arias connecting My Lawd, What a Mornin’ and Handel’s Hallelujah chorus.

This one-of-a-kind program intermingles classic spirituals with classic religious arias, exploring an expression of religious fervor common to both. The arias sample Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St. Matthew Passion; Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabeus; and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The spirituals sample arrangements by Harry Burleigh and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

Burleigh (1866-1949), once Dvorak’s New York assistant, played a crucial role in bringing spirituals into the concert hall. His “Deep River” transcriptions, in 1916, created what was for decades the iconic African-American spiritual. As a baritone soloist, Burleigh’s specialties included Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was a black British composer who discovered his African roots in Washington, D.C. His “Negro Melodies” for solo piano (1905) were a landmark in bringing spirituals to wider attention.

Our featured soloist is the supreme African-American bass-baritone Kevin Deas (“stentorian” – Anthony Tomassini, The New York Times)

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