From the Director

DeLyser.conducting2We’re pleased to present David De Lyser’s thoughts on the final concerts of his first season with CAE! It’s been a wonderful season and we’re looking forward to many more under his direction. Thank you, David! Remember to order your tickets in advance for that 10% discount; 3 days to go!   ____________________________________________________________________________

Hi, everyone.  Before I talk about the upcoming concerts, I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone – ensemble members, board members and all of you in the audiences for all of your support throughout this, my first year with the Choral Arts Ensemble.  It’s been a dream come true to make music with this group and it’s been a great year – from our wordless October concerts to our Holiday concerts full of carols to the silly fun that was our February Opera and Broadway concerts.  Who knew it was possible to work welding goggles into a choral concert!  We have something a little more serious planned for our final April concerts, entitled “Light out of Shadow.”  These concerts will be presented jointly with the University of Portland Orchestra and will center around northwest native Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna for chorus and orchestra.  One of the most famous contemporary works in the repertoire, this powerful piece uses sacred Latin texts to give us the sublime beauty and peace of eternal light, and will be used to close our concerts.  This concert is more than just light, though.  It is about the journey from darkness to light, a struggle that represents so much of the human condition.  Our hope in this concert is to take you on some of those journeys – from the darkness of Dante’s deepest circle of Hell, lamentations for an exiled people and cries of the oppressed for justice, to the light of returning to paradise, of salvation on earth and of music bringing light to illness and suffering.

For its part, the University of Portland Orchestra will take us on perhaps the quintessential instrumental journey from dark to light: Beethoven’s monumental 5th symphony.  Beethoven himself was no stranger to this struggle, raging against his increasing hearing loss, yet going on to compose some of the most heroic, uplifting and glorious music ever written.  From its stormy opening chords to its triumphant conclusion, one can easily hear a heroic life struggle depicted over the course of the symphony.  In writing about Beethoven’s 5th symphony, E.T.A. Hoffman talks of “…a kindly figure, full of radiance, illuminating the depths of terrifying night.”

It’s all immensely powerful stuff – as much as music can be light-hearted and fun, which we proved all too well in February, it can also be moving and enlightening, and can leave us better human beings for having experienced it.  We hope you enjoy the concerts.