LSM Newswire

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bach Festival Society focuses on Victory, Triumph and Nationalism in final Choral Masterworks concert April 26 and 27

Winter Park, FL, April 10, 2014 -The Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra will present its' final Choral Masterworks program of the 2013-2014 season on April 26 at 7:30pm and April 27 at 3:00pm.
The works on this program continue the season's overall focus of celebrating victory and triumph, while placing an additional focus on Nationalism in music as it relates to the timeless global desire for freedom and peace.

Beginning in the early 19th century composers frequently incorporated regionally specific folk songs, dances and rhythms into their works in an effort to create pieces that celebrated and showcased the political and ethnic independence of their homelands.
The first half of the program will include two works by the iconic American composer Aaron Copland.

Fanfare for the Common Man and Canticle of Freedom are both popular works that capture the essence of American idealism and the seemingly boundless expanses of the Western frontier.
Jean Sibelius brings to life the epic Finnish mythological tale of Luonnotar, the text derived from the Finnish epic, The Kalevala. This musical setting tells of the creation of the earth and the sky by Luonnotar, the mythic Spirit of Nature and Mother of the Seas. Valeri Kikta's Frescoes of the St. Sophia Cathedral of Kiev, a concerto for harp and orchestra, celebrates the Ukrainian heritage of artistic achievement and is a beautiful tribute to that country and her people. Dating from the 11th century, the frescoes and cathedral for which the work is named are breathtaking, having survived the massive anti-religious destruction by the Soviet government in the 1920s. 

Particularly relevant now given current events in Ukraine and Russia, Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky Suite, the largest work on the program, celebrates the universal human need for populations to maintain their own sovereignty in the face of outside aggression. Although originally the program was designed to highlight music's focus on victory and triumph, it now more appropriately highlights a sense of national pride in heritage and autonomy.

 The Alexander Nevsky Suite, composed under the watchful eye of Stalin for Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 allegorical film Alexander Nevsky, accompanied a film that was meant to bolster the Soviet side of the German-Soviet tensions. The collaboration between Prokofiev and Eisenstein resulted in not only one of the great films of all time, but also one of the most brilliant film scores ever written. The Cantata that Prokofiev derived from this film score will performed this weekend by the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra.

"There are reasons why composers write nationalistic pieces, a stimulus more subtle than simple jingoism." writes Rollins professor Dr. Susan Cohn Lackman in the program notes for the concert, "For some the reason can be biography, pride of homeland, or just because someone asked for a specific piece. A text about one's country can be heightened dramatically through the use of music, or perhaps the folk melodies and dances may speak on their own."

Patron Engagement Manager Zac Alfson adds, "As part of our educational mission, the Society publishes program notes, presents pre-concert videos, and holds conversations to engage patrons and increase their understanding and enjoyment of the music on our programs. Hearing these thrilling pieces live with our 160-voice choir and full symphonic orchestra in the intimate Knowles Chapel is an immersive experience unlike any other."
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park
John V. Sinclair, Conductor
Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra
Margaret Lattimore, mezzo-soprano
Arisa Kusumi, soprano
Dawn Marie Edwards, harp
Sergei Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky
Jean Sibelius: Luonnotar, Op. 70
Aaron Copland: Canticle for Freedom
Aaron Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
Valeri Kikta: Frescoes of St. Sophia of Kyiv
Saturday, April 26, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 27, 3:00 pm 
Knowles Memorial Chapel
Rollins College 
1000 Holt Avenue 
Winter Park, FL 32789  
Tickets are available by calling the Bach Festival Box Office at 407.646.2182 and for purchase online at 
Zac Alfson 
Patron Engagement Manager 
About the Bach Festival Society
Located in Winter Park, Florida, the Bach Festival Society is one of the longest continuously operating Bach Festivals in the country and among America's great oratorio societies. The Bach Festival Society brings the highest caliber of classical music to Central Florida. Performances are held in the intimate settings of Tiedtke Concert Hall and Knowles Memorial Chapel on the beautiful campus of Rollins College.
For more information regarding the season or to order tickets, please call the Bach Festival Society at 407.646.2182 or visit us online at

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