Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland PresentsPromises of Spring: A Virtual Concert
Recorded April 24, 2021
As we wind down what was inarguably the strangest season in our 52 year history, we would like to extend our gratitude to you, our patrons and supporters, for helping us endure and thrive through the season. In Saturday’s virtual concert, we had even more attendees than we had hoped or planned for.
This past year has been a painfully difficult year for so many individuals and organizations, especially in the arts. We will be forever grateful for your undying support through the year, and are even more excited to see you, in-person, sitting in real concert hall chairs. If you did not get a chance to see our videos or were not able to attend our virtual events, go to our website to see the collection. Stay tuned for announcements as we make decisions and plans for next season. Thank you again, and enjoy what we hope will be a more normal summer.
Individual Featured Videos
Dave Brubeck’s Take 5
CAE normally puts on a “pops” concert in February, singing styles that we might not normally in our other concerts – Broadway, opera, music from the movies, and jazz. So in honor of our Pops concerts, we open tonight with the iconic jazz tune, Take 5, written by Paul Desmond with lyrics by Dave and Iola Brubeck. Introduced in 1959 by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, it went on to become the best-selling jazz single of all time. We first performed Take 5 in February, 2016. With its energetic and slightly off -balance feel, we thought it would be the perfect opener for our virtual concert. Featuring CAE accompanist Jennifer Creek Hughes.
The Gift! (Recado Bossa Nova), by Djalma Ferreira, Luiz Antonio and Paul Francis Webster
Another staple of CAE’s February Pops concerts is featuring members of the choir in solos or small groups. Sticking with the jazz theme, our next piece is the first of two solo performances this evening and features soprano Sylvia Nelsen, who has been with the group since 2003. She sang “The Gift,” a great Bossa Nova jazz standard made famous by Eydie Gorme on her 1963 album, Blame it on the Bossa Nova. She is accompanied by her husband, Paul Nelsen, who is the accompanist for the Multnomah Athletic Club Balladeers, and has also played for CAE events, concerts and rehearsals.
Rosephanye Powell’s Arise, Beloved!
CAE features a joyful piece that is new to us, Rosephany Powell’s, “Arise Beloved!” Based on the Song of Solomon, and with lyrics such as, “Arise, Beloved, fair one come away, for lo, the winter has past,“ it is a quintessential text welcoming spring. A Professor of Voice at Auburn University, Rosephanye Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premier women composers of choral music. We are so pleased to share this piece with you tonight and look forward to singing much more of her music in the future.
Adieu (Poème d’un jour), Op.21, No.3, Gabriel Fauré
Adam Johnson, a baritone in the choir who has been with us for 4 years now, chose a beautiful art song by Gabriel Fauré entitled Adieu – the 3rd movement of the song cycle, “Poème d’un jour,” or “Poems of a Day,” composed in 1878. The song cycle follows a relationship from beginning to end within the span of a single day. In this final movement, the relationship has run its course and both parties are going their separate ways. All that is left is the unavoidable and final farewell – without tears or passionate pleading – just the simplicity of goodbye. Adam is accompanied by Jennifer Creek Hughes.
Garry Cornell’s Song of Farewell
The piece is a setting of an old Irish Blessing, “May the Road Rise up to Meet you,” arranged by composer and organist Garry Cornell. Many years ago, CAE started singing this piece at the end of every rehearsal – singing it to each other really – as a thank you for the time we have just shared in song together, and a wish for a good week ahead, as we scatter to our respective lives, and until the next rehearsal when we can be back together making music. It just speaks so much to the heart of the Choral Arts Ensemble – to the community that we share – with each other, and with all of you. It has become such a cherished part of our rehearsal routine.