RESCHEDULED — NEW DATE: March 5, 2013.
On March 5, 2013, Paul Moravec’s choral work The Blizzard Voices receives its New York premiere when Kent Tritle conducts The Oratorio Society of New York in its “American Voices” concert at Carnegie Hall. Originally scheduled in November 2012 for the ensemble’s season-opening performance, the concert was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy.
Based on Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and essayist Ted Kooser’s book of the same name, The Blizzard Voices is scored for five soloists, SATB chorus and orchestra. The story chronicles the historic, shockingly fast-moving snowstorm that suddenly struck the Midwest Prairie in what has become known as the “Children’s Blizzard” of 1888. Because of sudden, drastic changes in the weather, hundreds of unsuspecting people succumbed to the storm, and a large number of its victims were children who were trying to return home from school.
“I am a long-time fan of Paul’s work,” Tritle shares. “When he told me [about] The Blizzard Voices, I was of course interested in learning more about the piece. But there was also another element—the story of the Children’s Blizzard of 1888 rang so very close to home. I, like the characters portrayed in this oratorio, grew up on the very plains which suffered that blizzard. I, too, have been lost in the white-out of such a blizzard, holding onto my brother for dear life as we attempted to find a wall of a familiar farm building. Were we headed in the right direction, or had we gotten turned toward the wide open fields? We had to yell just to hear each other through the terrible, driving wind and ice. And we lived to tell about it.”
He continues, “I have long believed in the importance of promoting the work of living composers; and, a great joy for me has been the experience of connecting my musicians with a living, breathing composer. Something comes alive in the [interaction]…Paul has been to our rehearsals as the work has been in progress, and it has been thrilling to witness the bright lights going on in the minds of my singers as they connect directly with the source of this music. I am thrilled to be doing The Blizzard Voices with The Oratorio Society of New York!”
Other Moravec news: “Simply put, Paul Moravec’s music is a joy to play and fabulous to record.” Gil Rose, founder and artistic director of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) introduces “Northern Lights Electric”, the ensemble’s new all-Moravec disc featuring the first recordings of several of the composer’s popular orchestral works. Rose continues, “Paul has complete command of the orchestra as an instrument and working on these pieces in rehearsal, performance and recording was a thrill.” In addition to the CD’s title work, the disc features the Clarinet Concerto, Montserrat: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, and Sempre Diritto, and showcases soloists David Krakauer (clarinet) and Matt Haimovitz (cello). “Northern Lights Electric” is scheduled for release in December 2012.