On December 2, the Harvard Glee Club and Radcliffe Choral Society present the first performance of Moravec’s newest choral work Winter Songs. The three-movement work features texts by Robert Burns, Emily Dickinson, and William Shakespeare. Music director Andrew Clark conducts the Winter Songs during Harvard’s celebrated “Christmas in Sanders” holiday concert.
On the heels of Winter Songs comes the December 6 world premiere of Nocturne, performed by the Orchestra of the Swan (Stratford upon Avon, England) led by artistic director David Curtis. (Curtis and the orchestra previously offered the European premiere of Moravec’s Shakuhachi Concerto in 2013.) Moravec’s chamber orchestra piece is a 17-minute work written for solo oboe/English horn, bassoon, violin, cello and strings.
David Curtis shares some thoughts about the work in preparation for the premiere. “I approached Paul with the idea of commissioning a ‘companion’ piece for the Haydn Sinfonia Concertante for oboe, bassoon, violin and cello. Paul describes his Nocturne as ‘an homage to Haydn — especially regarding his masterly sense of formal balance and proportion.’ Although Nocturne inhabits a very different 21st-century sound world (it was never my intention to commission a Haydn ‘pastiche’), there is a sense of balance and proportion that I believe Haydn would have recognized. Another ‘Haydnesque’ device is the use of small motifs appearing throughout the work…Paul also notes ‘I hope that the audience takes something useful away with them from hearing my music….to take us into ourselves and leave us subtly transformed in some positive, ineffable way.’ As a conductor I hope I’m able to realize Paul’s intention….”
More December news: December 31 sees Moravec ring in the New Year, as The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (New York City) presents the New York premiere of Moravec’s choral work Light Shall Lift Us. Music director Kent Tritle conducts the performance as part of The Cathedral’s annual New Year’s Concert for Peace. Light Shall Lift Us is a four-minute work written for soloists, SATB choir, brass, percussion and strings, which recently premiered in September by the Orlando Opera as part of its season-opening benefit “One Voice Orlando.”