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The reimagined canticle:
The dialogue around love


Purchase tickets for February 9th in West Seattle Purchase tickets for February 10th in Laurelhurst Purchase tickets for February 11th in Tacoma



DĒLECTŌ, the first concert series in The Esoterics’ 25th season, will reimagine the canticle – or the conversation between lovers – a choral form originally inspired by the Song of songs. Rather than recounting the Biblical courtship between a young bride and her groom, the music of this concert will focus on seasoned love – or the love that is able to withstand the test of time.

This concert will open with Love, a miniature choral gem by the Vancouver composer Rodney Sharman. In Sharman’s setting of this verse by the 17th-century poet George Sandys, the power of love is able to unite the forces of the ancient elements – fire, air, earth, and water – to create harmony.

The remainder of this program will include two large commissioned works, both enjoying world premieres. Thanks in part to funding from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Esoterics was able to commission the Minnesota-based composers Timothy Takach and Jocelyn Hagen (who are also husband and wife) to collaborate on a piece for the first time. The result of their creation, This is how you love, is a 13-movement dialogue about many aspects of marriage – from remembrances of first love, through all kinds of obstacles and conflict. The texts that Jocelyn and Tim have thoughtfully curated include several contemporary poems, as well as excerpted transcripts from couples counseling sessions. We are thrilled to present this new work to you!

The second world premiere in this program will be The river of love, Eric Banks’ most recent composition. This piece was commissioned as a wedding gift from Robert Alexander to his wife Ali, a long-standing, enthusiastic friend of the ensemble. Over the course of Banks’ trilingual River, he sets 15 couplets (or doha) in ancient Hindi and Farsi (with English translations) by the 14th-century Sufi poet, musician, and mystic, Amir Khusro. Khusro’s poems explore different images of love as a river – as a vehicle for a journey, as a distance to be crossed, as a timeless source of renewal, as a depth into which we are immersed, and by which we are ultimately transformed.

The Esoterics will present three performances of DĒLECTŌ. Please join us and celebrate love!

9 February 2018 | 800pm | Holy Rosary Catholic Church | 4210 SW Genesee Street | West Seattle
10 February 2018 | 800pm | St Stephen’s Episcopal Church | 4805 NE 45th Street | Seattle 
11 February 2018 | 700pm | Christ Episcopal Church | 310 North K Street | Tacoma