Pacific Mozart Ensemble Press release
- I am posting this because most of the music is a cappella, and even though
the second concert includes an orchestra, it should be fascinating to
anyone into choral repertoire. Also, to be strictly truthful to this
group, there is a non-a cappella moment near the end of the first concert.
It will be a surprise to the rest of the audience, but now you folks know.
Pacific Mozart Ensemble announces 2001 - 2002 Season
December 1st & 2nd 2001 Holiday Concert
March 2002 "Music of the Skies" aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hornet
and at SF International Airport Museum
June 2002 "A Cappella Jazz & Pop -- Still Unplugged"
14 November 2001 - BERKELEY, CA: Northern California's most innovative chorus
announces a novel program in surprising places. "Music Of The Skies" will be
performed on the hangar deck of the Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet and at the
Museum of Aviation in San Francisco Airport's new International Terminal.
These unusual venues have been chosen to present a celebration of the 75th
anniversaries of the historic flight of Charles Lindbergh and the opening of
San Francisco Airport. The concerts will feature a recreation of the Kurt
Weill/Berthold Brecht radio drama Der Lindberghflüg, broadcast in 1929. Also
on the program are works by Meredith Monk and Philip Glass.
The season opens with a Holiday Concert December 1st (San Francisco) and 2nd
(Berkeley) featuring the music of John Tavener, and concludes with the
Ensemble's twenty-year tradition of the annual A Cappella Jazz and Pop series
on May 31, June 1, 7 and 9.
"This season we will recreate a unique moment in which the history of aviation,
broadcasting, and music came together," said Ensemble founder and director
Richard Grant. "As in the original broadcast, we will have narration in three
languages. The melodramatic texts of Brecht, in which the chorus and soloists
become the voices of the City of New York and the fog and the ocean, and the
heroic pilot converses with his engine, are set by Weill using his trademark
The December concerts combine traditional literature with the dramatic
liturgical settings of the contemporary British composer John Tavener, who
wrote the major work performed at the funeral of Princess Diana. Tavener,
whose name is often mixed up in record stores with his 16th Century predecessor
John Taverner, is the most celebrated of current classical composers in Britain,
but his haunting Byzantine-influenced works are rarely heard on the US concert
stage. His settings of the traditional Magnificat and other seasonal texts are
theatrical, multi-chorus extravaganzas of vocal power and drama.
Also on the program are works that demonstrate the Ensemble's eclectic taste and
stylistic flexibility, including Poulenc's Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noël,
Randall Thompson's Alleluia, Britten's In The Bleak Mid-Winter, and a Bay Area
premiere of Dawn, a new work by Meredith Monk. Known for its unusual ability to
be equally comfortable in the jazz idiom as in the traditional classical
repertoire, the Ensemble will also perform several Phil Mattson arrangements of
In March, the Ensemble will present three performances of Music of the Skies to
commemorate 75th anniversary of Lindbergh's historic trans-Atlantic flight, and
the 75th birthdays of both the Oakland Airport and San Francisco International
Airport. The concerts will feature a collaboration with the San Francisco
Airport Museum of Aviation and the aircraft carrier USS Hornet Museum to
the historic radio broadcast of the Kurt Weill/Berthold Brecht Der Lindberghflüg
("The Flight of Lindbergh"). Via relays from Berlin Radio, the BBC, and Radio
Paris broadcast this "radio cantata" celebrating the aviator's heroic solo
from New York to Paris in 1927. The original German language broadcast,
on steel tape, is believed to be the earliest surviving broadcast from
This melodramatic setting for orchestra, chorus and soloists features Weill's
unique cabaret orchestrations. Weill's dramatic radio play for orchestra,
and soloists was broadcast with narration in German, French, and English, as it
was heard in Germany, France, and England. This original version of the work,
created for the Baden-Baden Music Festival of 1929, contained several movements
by Paul Hindemith, subsequently replaced by Weill with his own. PME's
will recreate the three-language narration, but will use the revised musical
Also included in the "aviation-themed" program will be Vessels from the Philip
Glass score to the film Koyaanisqatsi. This virtuosic eight-minute work will
be performed with a screening of the dramatic telephoto airplane excerpt from
original film. The program also features Meredith Monk's Astronaut Anthem -
the Ensemble presented in its West Coast concert premiere in 1992 - to
the USS Hornet's role in the Apollo program. PME has played a pivotal role in
introduction of live performance of Ms. Monk's music in the Bay Area, having
presented the West Coast premieres of many of her works, and the Ensemble paved
the way for her music to be performed by the San Francisco Symphony.
The aircraft carrier Hornet, permanently moored at Alameda, will provide a
dramatic setting for the March 8th performance. The largest and most decorated
vessel in WWII, the Hornet also made history when she retrieved the first men to
walk on the moon.
"The two-inch thick steel decks in the ship's hangar deck make a grand acoustic
space" says Grant. "And the setting couldn't be more appropriate to celebrate
history of flight."
The March 9th concert will take place at San Francisco's War Memorial Green
March 10 will see the Ensemble at the San Francisco International Airport. The
completion of the San Francisco Airport's new International Terminal, with its
Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, creates an opportunity to present this concert
a historically appropriate venue. The museum is a two-thirds scale re-creation
many elements of the passenger waiting room of the 1937 San Francisco Airport
"This space is ideal for the concert, not only because of the visual and
properties of it marble surfaces," says Grant, "but also because the dramatic
staircase and mezzanine provide perfect positions for the chorus and soloists."
PME continues its 20-year tradition of sold-out annual a cappella performances
jazz, pop, doo wop, and other inspirations with its a cappella jazz and pop
concerts. The concerts are May 31, June 1, 7 and 9.
A Cappella Holiday Concerts
Saturday, December 1, 7:30pm
Trinity Episcopal Church, 1668 Bush Street @ Gough, San Francisco
Sunday, December 2, 5:00pm
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way @ Ellsworth, Berkeley
Music of the Skies
Friday, March 8, 7:30pm
Aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, Pier 3. Alameda Point, Alameda
Saturday, March 9, 7:30pm
The Green Room in The Veterans Bldg., 401 Van Ness @ McAllister, SF
Sunday, March 10, 5pm
The Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum at the SF International Airport
(SE corner of the new international terminal level lobby)
A Cappella Jazz and Pop
Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, 7:30pm
St. Mark's Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Friday, June 7, 7:30pm
Green Room at The Veterans Bldg, 401 Van Ness Ave. @ McAllister, SF
Sunday, June 9, 5pm
The Crowden School, 1475 Rose Street @ Sacramento, Berkeley
Season subscriptions and tickets for individual performances can be obtained by
calling (415) 705-0848, or FAXing (415) 550-8934. Season subscription prices
are $48 ; $36 student/senior. Single ticket prices are $20; $15 student/senior.
Call for special group rates. For more information on The Pacific Mozart
Ensemble, please access the web at www.pacificmozart.org.
Jim Hale, B. A., M. S.
guitarist, singer, arranger
a cappella specialist
developer of VoiceView
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