Chorus Austin celebrates the music of Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia February 27 and 28 with performances of its Chamber Ensemble and Youth Chorus in the program “Northern Lights.”
The 32-voice Chamber Ensemble, under the baton of Chorus Austin Artistic Director Ryan Heller, and Youth Chorus led by Diana Hopkins, will showcase music not often heard outside Scandinavia and the Baltic region.
Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 8134 Mesa Dr., and 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 3501 Red River St. Admission is $25 general, $20 seniors and $15 for students and active military. Tickets may be purchased online at www.chorusaustin.org, at the door or by contacting the business office at (512) 719-3300.
From sacred expressions of faith to nonsense syllables, the texts originate in folk poetry, personal explorations of mysticism, Latin hymns and the fertile, mischievous minds of contemporary composers, Heller notes. Familiar composers such as Veljo Tormis, Einojuhani
Rautavaara and Ēriks Ešenvalds share the stage with Imant Raminsh and Kim André Arensen.
The concert opens with Oh Adaam, Sino Essitus, a familiar Estonian hymn, arranged by Chorus Austin’s own Eric Johnson. “Stemning and Three Choral Ballads showcase warm harmonies which paint the evocative poetry with sublime beauty,” Heller says. “Arvo Pärt, one of Estonia’s foremost composers, showcases his minimalist style in his stunning piece The Deer’s Cry.”
This music, Heller says, “is simultaneously lush and simple, profound, yet personal.”