Alumni and University Choruses, the Davis Chorale,
with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra
Jeffrey Thomas conducting
Mary Wilson, soprano
Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Don Scott Carpenter, organ
Alumni and University Choruses of UC Davis | Jeffrey Thomas, director
UC Davis Symphony Orchestra | Christian Baldini, music director
Davis Chorale | Allison Skinner, director
Parry: «Blest Pair of Sirens»
Hubert Parry (1848–1918) is an oft overlooked English composer of the Romantic era. Parry absorbed musical influence from both Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner, and managed to filter a distinctly English style through these influences. In Blest Pair of Sirens, a choral setting of John Milton’s At a solemn Musick. Through careful word painting, Parry musically highlights salient emotional moments of the poem. The result of pairing Parry’s stately and solemn musical setting with Milton’s heartfelt, triumphant poetry is the quintessential ode to heavenly ascension.
Brahms: «Ein Deutsches Requiem»
Johannes Brahms (1833-97) composed this piece between 1865 and 1868, as a possible memorial in the wake of his mother’s death. Unlike liturgical Requiems, which function in the Catholic Church mass, this piece can stand on its own in a concert setting (though still as a sacred piece). Also setting it apart from the traditional Requiem form is its setting in the German language, as suggested by the title. The work is a testament to Brahms’s sense of meticulous, curious craftsmanship, which is reflected, for example, in the first movement’s lack of violins.