Chor Leoni’s upcoming BC/BALTICA program takes inspiration from the long tradition of excellent Baltic and Scandinavian men’s choirs, and the amazing compositions written for them. The upcoming concerts (April 7th & 8th at Vancouver’s Dunbar-Ryerson United Church, and April 9th at West Vancouver United Church) will explore this rich treasure-trove, and highlight the winners of the choir’s recent C/4 – Canadian Choral Composition Competition.
A Baltics-focused concert would be incomplete without the music of the great Estonian composer Veljo Tormis, who died in January. Chor Leoni’s Artistic Director Erick Lichte says,“His voice was full of longing, of hope, of grace, of challenge, and humour. We are thrilled to present three of his fantastic works for male choir.”
The lighter side of this repertoire is represented by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi’s Grim and Glacial Funeral Waltzes, which are neither grim nor glacial, but do include a fragment of the oldest preserved piece in the history of European music, and Songs for Shrove Tuesday, where Tormis evokes the joys of winter sledding.
Organist Ellen Wang joins the choir and will be showcased in two works, including jazz organist/composer Gunnar Idenstam’s Oh Kristus valgus oled sa. Idenstam begins this ancient Estonian hymn over a jazz-inflected pedal line, and then adds vocal colour and keyboard ornamentation as the piece grows to a thunderous conclusion.
Lyrical, powerful, playful, and humorous, BC/BALTICA will be an evening of brilliant choral music you don’t want to miss. Purchase tickets now through TicketsTonight.ca, 1.877.840.0457.