Oratorio Chorale presents "Travels of the Guitar"

Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in Culture

Oratorio Chorale presents "Travels of the Guitar"

For their spring concert, the Oratorio Chorale will present the world premiere of Vineet Shende’s Pravasa: Travels of the Guitar, a work commissioned by the Chorale. Pravasa, music for guitar and chorus, outlines the journey and history of the guitar and its ancestors.

The program also features composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s  Romancero Gitano (Seven Poems by Federico Garcia Lorca) for chorus and guitar. Castelnuovo-Tedesco was among the twentieth century’s most prolific composers for guitar. The Oratorio Chorale will be accompanied by virtuoso guitarist, Aaron Larget-Caplan,  under the baton of director Peter Frewen. 

Performances of “Travels” are on Saturday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Studzinski Recital Hall, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, and Sunday, May 19, at 3:00 p.m. at Falmouth Congregational Church, Falmouth.

Vineet Shende’s work has been called impeccable…“at once ferocious and mystical.” It incorporates a wide variety of styles, spanning musical compositions from the rhythmic world of North Indian classical music to the energy of modern rock. Shende’s music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has received awards, fellowships and grants from organizations such as ASCAP and the Mellon Foundation. Regionally, he has composed music for the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Modern Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Oratorio Chorale, which performed Shende’s Three Longfellow Poems for chorus and orchestra at Merrill Auditorium in Portland in 2008.

Shende, an Associate Professor of Music at Bowdoin College, sand the inspiration for Pravasa came from a class he was teaching about the history of the guitar.

Classical guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan has been described as “that rare musician who can deliver both virtuosic fireworks and poetic reflection, often integrated into a single interpretation.” His recitals, chamber performances, and solo work have been heard in Italy, Spain and across the United States. Larget-Caplan has taught master classes at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Adams State College (Colorado), California State University at Bakersfield, University of Vermont and the Boston Classical Guitar Society. He has been a member of the guitar faculty at The Boston Conservatory and the New School of Music.

Derek Herzer, Oratorio Chorale accompanist, will perform two piano pieces: Nikolai Medtner’s Improvisation in B flat minor, Op. 31 Nr. 1 and Alexander Glazunov’s Idylle in F sharp major, Op. 103.  Medtner is primarily known as the composer of the Fairytales and numerous piano sonatas, but the Improvisation that lies outside the realm of these more popular works is equally admirable. Glazunov’s Idylle marks the end of his composing for solo piano, and as such contains elements from all of his creative periods.

Concert tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, half price for students, and free for children under 12. Please note that separate tickets are required for the Brunswick and Falmouth concerts. Tickets may be purchased from members of the Chorale, at Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick; Now You’re Cooking and Lisa Marie’s Made in Maine in Bath; Clayton’s in Yarmouth; Book Review in Falmouth; Sherman’s Books and Stationery in Freeport; and Starbird Music and Longfellow Books in Portland.

The concert sponsor is H.M. Payson & Co. Additional funding is from the Maine Humanities Council and New England Foundation for the Arts. Funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.

For more information about the May 18 and 19 concerts and the rest of the 2013-2014 season, visit www.oratoriochorale.org.

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