An Evening of French & French-inspired Music

For our concerts in November, we’re looking forward to “Vive!”—a full program of French and French-influenced choral masterpieces, featuring the fabulous voices of…

  • Shauna Fallihee, Soprano
  • Clifton Massey, Countertenor
  • Nikolas Nackley, Baritone

Front and center will be Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in D minor, Op. 48, the best-known large work by this renowned French composer.

  • Completed in 1900, this is an atypical setting of the Latin mass for the dead; we hear the movement “In Paradisum” (Into Paradise) in place of the traditional “Dies irae” (Day of Wrath).
  • Fauré wrote that he intended this Requiem to be “…dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”

Then a dramatic shifting of gears: Fauré’s Madrigal, Op. 35.

  • This is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the torment of young love! Womens’ and mens’ voices trade taunts, ending in unison:  “…our folly is the same: that of loving those who flee us, that of fleeing those who love us!”  Alas—will some things never change?

We’ll also present Leonard Bernstein’s The Lark—incidental music he composed for Jean Anouilh’s 1952 play about French martyr and saint, Joan of Arc.

  • Although strict historical accounts tell us Joan was burned at the stake at age nineteen in the year 1431, Anouilh’s play gives us an ambiguous ending. Perhaps Joan lives, after all!

And at last, Morten Lauridsen’s “Dirait-on,” the fifth in his choral settings of rose-related poems in French by Rainer Maria Rilke.

  • Lauridsen described these poems as being “light, joyous, and playful, and the musical settings are designed to. . . capture [roses’] delicate beauty and spontaneousness.”

We hope you’ll plan now to join us for this lively program of life-affirming choral music with a French accent:

  • Saturday, November 18 at 8pm
  • Sunday, November 19 at 4pm
  • Calvary Presbyterian Church, San Francisco