For as long as humans have walked the earth we have stared up in awe and wonder at the stars. Over time, the celestial bodies have been used as guideposts for sailors and explorers, sources of inspiration for artists and musicians, instruments of knowledge and ambition for scientists and astronauts and symbols of the heavens for all of the world’s major religions.
This Spring, Chant Claire will ponder the stars as well, with a program designed to look into mankind’s relationship with the stars and all of the underlying symbolism that accompanies it. The result will be a contemplative, inspiring evening of music in a space that will produce exactly the kind of ethereal sound and atmosphere much of this music calls for: the School Sisters of St. Francis’s St. Joseph Chapel.
While there will be moments of levity, including a boisterous shape note piece “New Jerusalem,” the majority of the repertoire will make this concert the most mystical and poignant experience we have shared with an audience so far in our nearly three years of singing together. That repertoire includes:
Pierre Attaingnant – “Tourdion – Quand je bois du vin clairet”
Edward Bairstow – “I Sat Down Under His Shadow”
Jonathan Dove – “Seek Him that Maketh the Seven Stars”
Jeremiah Ingalls – “New Jerusalem”
Kenneth Jennings – “The Lord is the Everlasting God”
Cristobal de Morales – “Parce Mihi Domine”
Knut Nystedt/J.S. Bach – “Immortal Bach/Komm Susser Tod”
Stephen Paulus – “Hymn to the Eternal Flame”
John Rutter – “Hymn to the Creator of Light”
Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson – “Heyr Himna Smiður”
Adrian Willaert – “Vecchie letrose (villanella)”
Charles Wood – “O Thou the Central Orb”
These pieces represent different times, languages, cultures, styles and meanings, but they all revolve around the emotions and power of the stars and heavens. To some, the stars invoke awe and reverence (“O Thou the Central Orb,” “Hymn to the Eternal Flame,”). To others, they are an example of the power and glory of God (“Hymn to the Creator of Light,” “Seek Him that Maketh the Seven Stars,” “I Sat Down Under His Shadow,” “The Lord is the Everlasting God”). The night skies have seen times of celebration (“Quand je bois du vin clairet”), caused existential crises (“Parce mihi domine”) and become symbols of life drawing to a close (“Komm susser tod”).
This concert promises to be a special experience that we cannot wait to share with all of you. Be sure to mark it on your calendars:
Saturday, April 23, 7:00 p.m.
St. Joseph Chapel
1501 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee WI