Chants Sacrés et Profanes: A Celebration of Canadian Music
On Sunday, May 14, at 2 pm, St. Matthew’s will present a concert celebrating Canadian compositions, including one believed to be more than 300-years old.
The men and boys’ choir and the women and girls’ choir will be directed by St. Matthew’s director of music Kirkland Adsett. Entitled “Chants Sacrés et Profanes: A Celebration of Canadian Music”, the concert will include secular and Christian choral music. No tickets will be sold for the concert but donations will be gladly accepted.
“It seemed the appropriate year to do a Canadian music concert because of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation,” says Mr. Adsett, who selected the music. “The concert is extremely varied from what we believe to be the earliest Canadian choral composition to Murray Schafer’s ‘Gamelan’. It is also a great time to sing some Canadian folk songs.”
The concert will open with “Magnus Dominus” thought to be written around 1700 in Annapolis Royal, an early French settlement in Nova Scotia. It is written in the grand French Baroque style. In contrast, Schafer’s work, which sounds like the peeling of bells, is avant-garde.
Other sacred works include “The Lamb” by composer Robert Frederick Jones, who taught at Montreal’s Vanier College, “Rise up my Love” by Healey Willan, and Barrie Cabena’s haunting “Prayer of St. Francis”.
Audiences will tap their toes to Quebec composer Donald Patriquin’s spirited “Voulait danser” and Wade Hemsworth’s “The Log Driver’s Waltz”. Other songs includes Alister MacGillivray’s melodious “Away from the Roll of the Sea”, Mark Sirett’s “Un Canadien Errant”, and jazz great’s Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn to Freedom”.
The choir will sing a piece by Rupert Lang, musical director of Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral. Last year they sang his stunning “Kontakion” and this year will perform the “Sanctus” and “Agnus Dei” from his Bell Mass as well as “Earth Teach Me”, a secular work.
Other works include Eleanor Daley’s emotive “Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep” and her folksong “She’s Like the Swallow”, as well as Adsett’s own composition “In Flanders Fields”.
Appropriately, the concert will conclude with the new version of “The Maple Leaf Forever”, “God Save the Queen” and “O Canada”.