Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will present a pair of choral performances in partnership with the Choral Arts Society of Washington and guest conductor Scott Tucker on April 1 and 2. The concert set continues the ASO’s 73rd season with a focus on musical masterworks, led by five renowned guest conductors.
Tucker has expanded the reputation of Choral Arts since his tenure began in 2012 and launched the Choral Arts Chamber Singers. This hand-selected group of 58 singers will add their voices to the ASO at the upcoming performances.
This special concert will feature two major works: Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Haydn’s Mass in D Minor (better known as the Lord Nelson Mass). Written at the height of his career, Bernstein composed solos for the Psalms for boy soprano as the voice of David himself and set the text in the original Hebrew. “The music is a mix of original music cut from previous pieces,” said Tucker. “There are references to other religious texts and draft sketches from West Side Story.”
The Lord Nelson Mass, which Haydn composed amongst his greatest liturgical works including The Creation, was inspired by Napoleon’s advancing armies, certainly a “mass for troubled times.” The ASO and Choral Arts welcome soloists Esther Heideman (soprano), Linda Maguire (mezzo-soprano), Brian Thorsett (tenor) and James Shaffran (baritone).
Rounding out the program will be two works by Brahms, who greatly admired Haydn and the Viennese School. Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn will feature the orchestra with no chorus. The combined groups will also perform Nänie, an elegy written for one of Brahms’ dearly-departed friends.
The fully-professional Alexandria Symphony Orchestra performs at both the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center (Saturday performances) and the George Washington Masonic Memorial (Sunday performances). Ticket prices: $20-$80 adult, $5 youth, and $10 student with military, senior and group discounts available. To order tickets and for more information, visit www.alexsym.org or call 703-548-0885.