Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at noon and 6 p.m.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Back by popular demand! To celebrate the season, the Atlanta-based Skylark Vocal Ensemble – a group of “soloists who come together to form a dynamic and inspiring whole” – returns to rattle the walls of the Bechtler with their glorious voices. Join Skylark for its annual journey through select excerpts of the Christmas story from the King James Bible, enhanced and celebrated through timeless carols. As a connecting thread throughout our performance, Skylark will share all 7 of Hugo Distler’s variations of the classic Christmas hymn Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (“Lo, how a Rose ‘ere blooming”). The program will end with a festive offering of classic Christmas Carols by American composer Alfred Burt.
Hugo Distler was a German composer, known mostly for his church choral music. He attended the Leipzig Conservatory first as a conducting student with piano as his secondary subject, but changing later, on the advice of his teacher, to composition and organ. Hugo Distler’s deep religious roots strongly influenced his compositional style. His pieces are very polyphonic, free, and frequently melismatic. Many are based on the pentatonic scale. These features are all characteristic of early sacred music. His works, few in number, are also quite virtuosic. Unfortunately, Distler’s works were stigmatized by the Nazi regime as “degenerate art”. Becoming increasingly depressed from the death of friends, aerial attacks, job pressures, and the constant threat of conscription into the German army, he committed suicide in Berlin at the age of 34.
“…[They] can sway you softly into calm and then all but throw you across the room with sheer harmonic force…Try it with good headphones. You’ll be a little different when Skylark is done with you…” – Porter Anderson, Music for Writers
Concerts are performed at noon and 6 p.m. in the fourth-floor gallery. For the noon concert, general seating is available starting at 11:30 a.m. For the 6 p.m. concert, general seating is available starting at 5:30 p.m. A cash-only bar is provided before the 6 p.m. concert.
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