The Esoterics sets sail into its third decade, inspired by songs about the open water. Opening our twenty-first season is OCEANA: Music of the oceans, lakes, and seas. This concert will be the first in a series of three “choral ecologies” that feature music about three components of the Earth’s biosphere: the ocean, the forest, and the atmosphere. In OCEANA, The Esoterics bring to the concert stage four modern works whose texts are narratives of our relationship with the most abundant natural resource on our planet.
The ocean was a common theme for Swedish composer Gösta Nystroem (1890-1966), who often went to the shore near his Gothenburg home to paint. In Nystroem’s Tre havsvisioner (Three sea visions), composed in 1956 for eight-part chorus, the constancy of the sea inspires the contemplation of life’s ebb and flow.
To conclude his 1996 choral/orchestral symphony Oceana, Argentinean Osvaldo Golijov (b 1960) penned his Coral del arrecife (The coral of the reef) for double chorus, setting the poetry of Pablo Neruda in an undulating homage to the eponymous goddess.
British composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012) is well known for his film scores and his performances as a jazz pianist. Setting poems by Marvell, Spenser, and Shakespeare, Bennett’s Sea change captures the mystery of the sea and its islands, and includes a fantastic, ferocious roster of sea monsters!
These oceans vast, by founding director Eric Banks (b 1969), sets six nautical poems by Herman Melville that draw on Melville’s voyages on whaling ships in the South Pacific. These poems trace the emotional journey of sailors: from the optimism of setting forth; through the fear, abandon, longing, and delirium during the trip; to the relief and wonder upon arriving at “the enviable isles.”
A portion of the proceeds from OCEANA will be donated to Splash,
a local charity that provides clean water for children in the developing world.
Please join The Esoterics for one of these four performances of OCEANA:
Sunday ∙ 2 March 2014 ∙ 3 pm ∙ Olympia (Free will offering, this is not a ticketed event)
St John’s Episcopal Church ∙ 114 20th Street SE
Friday ∙ 7 March 2014 ∙ 8 pm ∙ Seattle
St Stephen’s Episcopal Church ∙ 4805 NE 45th Street
Saturday ∙ 8 March 2014 ∙ 8 pm ∙ Seattle
St Joseph Catholic Church ∙ 732 18th Avenue E
Sunday ∙ 9 March 2014∙ 2pm ∙ West Seattle
Holy Rosary Catholic Church ∙ 4142 42nd Avenue SW