English Composer/Conductor John Rutter to Premiere His Latest Work, VISIONS, at Carnegie Hall on May 28
John Rutter, one of the best-known choral music/carol composers of the late 20th century as well as a respected conductor, music scholar and record producer, will premiere his latest work, Visions, at Carnegie Hall on Monday, May 28 at 8 PM as part of MidAmerica Productions' 35th annual concert season.
Canadian Violinist Kerson Leong, the young Menuhin Competition prizewinner for whom Mr. Rutter had written Visions and who also recorded the work with Mr. Rutter on the Collegium label, will also make his Carnegie Hall debut on May 28.
Visions is a four-movement showpiece for solo violin in unique combination with upper-voice choir, harp and strings (or organ). Inspired by the idea of 'Jerusalem' both as a Holy City and a utopian ideal of heavenly peace and seraphic bliss, Mr. Rutter has selected four biblical texts in English and Latin that express different aspects of this vision.
Also on the May 28 program is Mr. Rutter's Mass of the Children, originally premiered in 2003 by MidAmerica Productions in response to an invitation from MidAmerica Productions' General Director and Music Director Peter Tiboris. It is a Missa Brevis - a Latin Mass without a Credo - in five movements and conceived with an integral role for a children's choir alongside an adult mixed choir, two soloists (Soprano Sherri Seiden and Baritone Jeremy Galyon), and the New England Symphonic Ensemble.
The occasion of a Requiem is one for reflection and looking back. John Rutter's Requiem, the third major work featured on the May 28 program, was written in 1985 in memory of his father and has gone on to become one of his internationally most often-performed choral works, both in church and concert hall.
Unlike the dramatic, large-scale Requiems of Berlioz and Verdi, Rutter's setting belongs in the smaller-scale, more devotional tradition of Fauré and Duruflé. The choral forces do not need to be large, there is only one soloist (Soprano Sherri Seiden), the instrumentation is restrained and the duration less than forty minutes. The complete seven-movement work forms an arch-like structure: the first and last movements are prayers to God the Father, movements 2 and 6 are psalms, 3 and 5 are prayers to Christ the Son, and the central Sanctus is an affirmation of divine glory.