Con Brio, the shoreline area’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, will present its Christmas Concert on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 3pm, at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme. The concert’s featured work this year is Karl Jenkins’ setting of the Gloria. The second half of the program ranges among settings of traditional carols, new carols, and sacred texts of the season. Dr. Stephen Bruce will conduct the concert. Soloist Cynthia Mellon will join the Con Brio Festival Orchestra and Associate Music Director and keyboardist Susan Saltus to create another stunning concert heralding the season.
Con Brio, which performed Jenkins’ popular L’Homme Arme (The Armed Man) a few years back, is delighted to offer for the concert’s featured work a new major composition of Jenkins (2010), The Gloria. Many say Jenkins is the most performed composer in the world today. The Gloria, hymn of praise at Jesus’ birth, has been a part of the Ordinary of the Mass for many centuries. Configured as a major choral work by many composers over the centuries, the Gloria, Jenkins says, offered him an opportunity to explore how other religions perceive the Divine. Jenkins interweaves Mass texts with his own settings of Psalm and other Biblical texts, Hindu, Buddhist, Tasoist and Islamic texts. As is typical of Jenkins’ work, he uses ethnic percussion instruments indigenous to the cultural text he is working with. The result is a magnificent work which moves among traditional and primeval harmonies and rhythms.
The second half of the concert features traditional carols set to new harmonies and rhythms—“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Ding Dong Merrily on High”—and a newer carol, “This Christmas Tide.” Sacred songs include “Angelus ad Pastores,” a twelve part motet by Gabrieli; for this piece the chorus will, as is now traditional, encircle the magnificent space of Christ the King Church. Mozart’s “Magnificat” offers the audience a prelude of our spring concert, which will feature the entire Dominican Vespers of Mozart with Patricia Schuman as soloist. Mark Butler’s enlivening spiritual, “Glory Hallelujah to the New Born King,” and Stroope’s “Winter” round out the concert.
Con Brio’s Christmas Concert has now become a traditional way to open the Christmas Season. Be sure to be part of it.
Tickets: $25, available from any Con Brio member, through the website, www.conbrio.org, or by calling 860 526 5399.
Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme, Conn., December 13, 2013, 8pm and December 15, 2013, 3pm.