WEST HARTFORD — This spring the West Hartford Women’s Chorale marks its 15th Anniversary with a very special concert. A new arrangement of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” will be one of the highlights of the West Hartford Women’s Chorale Spring Concert on Friday, May 31 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Sigourney Street, in Hartford.
It is believed that Vivaldi wrote this piece in 1715 for a girls’ choir, which he conducted at an orphanage for illegitimate daughters of Venetian noblemen. The original manuscript was “lost” after Vivaldi’s death in 1741, and was not “rediscovered” until the 1920s. Since then, it has actually been performed more often by mixed choirs.
Dr. Ethan Nash, the conductor of the West Hartford Women’s Chorale, specifically rearranged this piece for the spring concert in order to highlight the chorale’s strengths as an all female group. He based this rearrangement on his knowledge of historical partbooks and programs from the early 18th century, as well as a previous recording of this piece by the San Francisco Girls’ choir in 1998. The Gloria is one of Vivaldi’s most famous choral works.
The theme of this spring’s concert is “A Night of Shining Stars”. Many of the pieces to be performed reflect this theme, conveying a sense of hope and idealism. Among the pieces the Chorale will perform in addition to Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” will be excerpts from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” a story of a love that triumphs over hate, and a medley from Pasck and Paul’s “The Greatest Showman,” the story of an idealist who follows his vision, despite the difficulties he encounters.
The concert will also feature music set to poems written by James Agee and Emily Bronte, in addition to original music written by contemporary composer, Kathleen Allan. Allan’s music was recently featured at the Festival of Women’s Voices Concert in March, an annual event in which area high school and adult women’s choirs participate, hosted by the West Hartford Women’s Chorale.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., with a reception following the performance. The $10 admission fee will help support the Chorale’s annual scholarship, awarded to a Greater Hartford Public School graduating seniors, who plan to pursue further music education.