Spring: the season of Nature’s awakening, and the season of love for all mortal beings! AURA Chamber Choir celebrates this “amorous and fair season” with Songs of Nature, a potpourri of European choral music that spans five centuries.
The title of our concert is taken from a set of partsongs by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak that celebrates the wondrous beauty and spirituality of the natural world. AURA will perform three selections from this set, and four of his Six Moravian Lyrics, a lighthearted but touching glimpse of village romance. Both sets will be performed in English.
The program’s featured work is by Dvorak’s greatest fan and booster, Johannes Brahms: the Liebeslieder Waltzer (Lovesong Waltzes), op. 52. In this set for mixed chorus and piano four hands, Brahms brilliantly pours the passion of the Gypsy musicians he heard in Viennese cafes into the vessel of the waltz and brews a drink that burns with the intoxication of love in all its forms: blissful and sweet, desolate and bitter, and so much more besides. At the keyboard we have AURA’s award-winning pianist Marjorie Close and special guest Terry Logan, noted voice teacher and choir director in her own right.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine drags on, AURA has committed to performing a Ukrainian piece in every program until Ukraine prevails. For Songs of Nature, Dr. Pitt‑Brooke has prepared an edition of Kyrylo Stetsenko’s SON (A Dream), a partsong that recounts a prisoner’s dream of “a happy summer time” that crumbles in a bitter awakening. Many thanks to Vernon Proms impresario Natalia Polchenko for her help with Ukrainian pronunciation.
And AURA will delight in celebrating founding director Imant Raminsh’s 80th birthday with a performance of his chorus “The Peace of Wild Things” under his own direction.
For details of the performance venue and time, please see the concert poster above.