Tuesday, June 21, 2005

National Gallery Vocal Arts Ensemble -- The Persistence of Renaissance Values During Time of War

The National Gallery Vocal Arts Ensemble, under the
artistic direction of distinguished soprano Rosa
Lamoreaux, will be performing a wonderfully-balanced
FREE program on Sunday evening, at 6:30 PM, in the
West Garden Court, of the National Gallery of Art, West
Building. This performance is the 2,541 free concert
produced with the support of funds provided
by William Nelson Cromwell and F. Lammot Belin. I
recall that this annual series -- now concluding its 63rd
Season -- was originally established in 1942, during time
of global warfare, as a cultural gift to the many Americans
-- including tens of thousands of women -- who had
relocated to Washington, D.C. to join the military,
defense, and government services.

Unlike the National Conducting Institute, discussed below,
the National Gallery of Art music program knows how
carefully to balance the old and the new -- the European
and the American.

For the concert this Sunday, Ms Lamoreaux has programmed
a Brahms first half, and an American and British second half.
Following Brahms's Four Songs Op. 17 and his Liebeslieder
Op. 52, the ensemble will perform works by FOUR living
composers: Ned Rorem's From an Unknown Past (1953),
Judith Weir's Don't Let That Horse (1990), James Quitman
Mulholland's How Do I Love Thee (1995), and John Gardner's
Seven Songs (1957).

The next FREE Sunday concert at the NGA will be on
October 2, 2005; when the National Gallery Orchestra,
under Christopher Kendell, guest conductor, performs
works by Wagner, Elgar, Stravinsky, and living American
composer Paul Schoenfield.

Before then, on Friday evenings through Labor Day,
the NGA hosts in its pleasant, if not profound, sculpture garden,
FREE live jazz performed by a varied mix of top
Washington- area artists.

For program notes to this Sunday's National Gallery
Vocal Arts Ensemble, see:


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