For the first time in its thirteen-year history, Haarlem Voices will perform a concert entirely dedicated to the American choral tradition. Sarah Barrett, Haarlem Voices’ artistic leader and conductor, has passionately selected repertoire that is not only descriptive of, but also enriching the cultural identity of her native country.<br />
“This is an unrestful time in the U.S. I want to reveal the beauty and drama of my country’s heritage by introducing choral works from American composers not yet in the European mainstream, such as Kirke Mechem and Frank Ferko. Composer Alan Koepke has written a gripping arrangement of the Negro spiritual “Wade in de Water”, which earns the title of our program.” <br />
The program reflects on the songs of the Navajo medicine man, the negro slave, the Shenandoah River, and the Appalachian Mountain Trail. In addition to the above mentioned composers, Haarlem Voices also performs works by Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, and Samuel Barber. Lauridsen’s “Six Fire songs” is based on Italian Renaissance poetry, and may be considered a “tour de force” for choir singers. Using Emily Dickinson’s "I hide myself", Eric Whitacre's "I Hide Myself", (one of his Three Flower Songs), is a passionate and lonely setting of Emily Dickinson's confessional poem. Opus 2 by Samuel Barber contains "Twelfth Night" and "To be Sung on the Water", of which the atmosphere is a great representation of America's classical music tradition. In this program, American music heritage is reflected in a ring of bright water.
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