Thursday, November 13, 2014

O, Magnum Mysterium

Here's your chance.  You too can roll up all the darkness in life, squeeze it into a ball until it melds into new relationships, and feel it emanate bright, peaceful rays.  Join the Itasca Community Chorus in concert Nov. 30 at 4:00 pm at the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids. "O, Magnum Mysterium"  explores the mystery of the advent season in classic and contemporary choral compositions from Lauridsen, John Rutter, and Paul Christianeon among others.

Morten Lauridsen's "O, Magnum Mysterium"  was composed for the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The arrangement sets the ancient Latin text meaning "O, Great Mystery" against the contemporary dissonant chords. Those dense chords then give way to a rising line of awe as the animals contemplate the birth of a new babe in their midst. 

Lauridsen is in the business of building relationships.  For this number he juxtaposes the poverty and filth of the stable with the richness and wonder of the Christmas season. These bursts of light and peace exploding out of darkness are becoming Lauridsen's trademark.  Perhaps this goes back to his early years when he saw many dawns from forest towers.  Then there's his impassioned reading of poetry, his contemplation of great works of art, and his fascination with connectivity.  

Collaborating is the Itasca Brass with some special new arrangements from tuba player Phil Kneeland.  Other members of the quintet are Deena Skaja, French horn; Make Wourms and Sander Grotjohn, trumpet; and Tom Patnaude, trombone.

 $8.00 adult tickets are available from chorus members or at the door.  Veterans are free as are student tickets, courtesy of an Operation Round-Up grant from Lake Country Power.

Sunday, Nov. 30 4 pm Reif Center Grand Rapids.  May the light come out of the darkness for all.

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