"Music Should Be So Beautiful" - Bel Canto Company
The final concert of Bel Canto's 41st season!
When hearts are moved, so too are minds.
Beauty is in the eye or ear of the beholder or so philosophers would have you believe! Truly though, the heart discerns beauty. Those moments in music, regardless of style, when hearts are moved, so then are minds also moved. The vibrant words of poets such as Carl Sandburg, William Shakespeare, Charles Anthony Sylvestri, Thomas Hood, and Charles Bennet inspired some composers on this evening's program to new heights of musical expression. Others achieved these musical peaks by exploring popular, jazz, blues, and folk idioms. All will move your heart.
Ralph Vaughan Williams honors British conductor Sir Henry Woods with "Serenade To Music" with text taken from Act V of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. The lighthearted madrigal, "Hark, All Ye Lovely Saints Abound" by Thomas Weelkes with its familiar “fa, la, la, la…” verse endings will make you smile. Eric Whitacre’s "Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine" employs madrigal techniques such as text painting, multi-part form, text driven imitation, and more, allowing the audience to feel da Vinci's first imagined flight.
Warm, rich and compelling harmonies with enticing melodies best describe several other works. The story of Ruth with text by Thomas Hood inspired Eric Barnum’s "Sweetheart of the Sun." The vivid dream-scape of flying over London in Charles Bennet’s poem "Swimming over London" is brought to life by Bob Chilcott. And the poet implores the moon's protection for an infant in Luke Flynn’s setting of "The White Moon." The best in popular, music theater, and folk also appear on tonight’s stage with arrangements like Alexander L'Estrange’s "The Sound of Silence," Jacob Jacobson’s Andrew Sisters influenced "Bai Mir Bisti Sheyn," Michelle Weir’s bluesy "Muddy Water," and more that are sure to have you clapping, stomping, and smiling all the way home.
About Bel Canto Company:
Bel Canto is an Italian phrase that literally means “beautiful singing,” but we are more than that. We are an ensemble of more than 40 outstanding musicians, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Welborn Young, who believe in the power of live choral performances to entertain, inspire, heal, build community and express that which words alone cannot.
In our 40+ years as the Triad’s premier choral ensemble, the Bel Canto Company has engaged well over 200 of the region’s most talented singers, presented hundreds of concerts locally and throughout the Southeast, and performed thousands of pieces of music spanning the globe and the centuries. From our beginning in the 1982-1983 season until now, Bel Canto has been praised for our uniquely beautiful interpretation and sensitive tonal quality.
Over the years Bel Canto Company has released 14 albums, most recently "Bel Canto Live! Joyful Noise" (2019) and "the breath of life" (2019) featuring the world premiere of Dan Forrest’s 4-movement work of the same name, commissioned in memory of former Bel Canto Board President Suzanne Goddard. The ensemble has performed for many prestigious music festivals and conferences throughout the Southeast including Washington Cathedral’s Summer Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and the American Choral Directors Association, Southern and NC Division Conferences, The American Guild of Organists Southeast Regional Convention and the National Endowment for the Arts “American Masterpieces: Choral Music” programs. The Company has performed with the American Boychoir, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, and the Carolina Chamber Symphony, and has been featured on National Public Radio on Chorus America’s “The First Art” and NPR’s “Performance Today”.