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Mozart and More Tonight with Chorale and Chamber Orchestra

Chris McGrady | Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms are undeniably some of the world’s most famous and skillful composers, and on one night, they will be on Notre Dame’s campus. Not literally, of course, but rather through the skillful interpretation of the University of Notre Dame Chorale and Chamber Orchestra.

The performance, which starts tonight at 8 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, will also feature work by Byrd, Tallis, Wagner and portions of Stravinsky’s Mass.

The Notre Dame Chorale is the official concert choir of the University. It features an ensemble of 55 voices and ranges in its performances from work from the Renaissance to modernity. Each semester, in addition to performing concerts around the country, the group performs in conjunction with the Notre Dame Chamber Orchestra. Alexander Blachly directs the group in its entirety. The concert will also feature guest pianist Päivi Ekroth.

Blachly is the 1992 recipient of the Noah Greenberg Award, an award given to stimulate historically aware performances and the student of historical performing practices. He holds a post-graduate degree in Musicology from Columbia University. In addition, he is the founder-director of the internationally renowned vocal ensemble Pomerium. He assumed his current role in 1993, and has received much acclaim during the ensuing 15 years.

In addition to teaching several courses in the Music Department, Blachly has also hosted a three-hour classical-music radio show on the University’s radio station. For his work with the Notre Dame Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, Blachly is joined by graduate assistant Jared Ostermann.

The Notre Dame Chorale’s events include campus concerts in both the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as a Winter Tour to cities around the country, an evening concert during Commencement Weekend and participation in the Baccalaureate Mass.

Every three or four years, the group travels internationally to countries such as Italy, France, Germany and New Zealand, where it is headed this summer.

The group is known for a selection of intriguing and impressive pieces from some of the most talented and well-known musicians from all periods of classical music. For this show, the group will open with the anthem “Sing Joyfully” by William Byrd, before moving on to “God grant with grace” by Thomas Tallis. The rest of the program will feature work by Beethoven (“Aus Goethes Faust”), Brahms (“Die Mainacht”). Gioachino Rossini (“O salutaris Hostia”) and others. The concert will end with the impressive “Vesperae solennes de Confessore, K. 339” written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when he was only 24.

Tickets are $10 for the general public, $8 for faculty/staff, $6 for senior citizens and $3 for all students. The performance runs approximately one hour with no intermission.