Los Angeles Master Chorale Presents First Major Bruckner Choral Work Ever Performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Sunday, February 12, 2012, 7 pm, at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Music Director Grant Gershon Conducts Brucker’s Mass in E minor
and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms

Los Angeles Master Chorale continues the season with Bruckner’s full-scale choral masterpiece Mass in E minor on Sunday, February 12, 2012, 7 pm, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The concert marks the first time any of Bruckner’s major choral works have been performed in Disney Hall. To complement the expressive and poignant masterwork, Music Director Grant Gershon also conducts Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, a contrasting but equally compelling piece filled with both ritual and fireworks, and Brucker’s motet Os Justi.

Bruckner, born to Austrian peasants and a musical protégé from an early age, completed the Mass in E minor for eight-part chorus and wind orchestra in 1866. It is a work that illustrates more than any of his others the composer’s unique style – a mix of romantic fully Brucknerian harmony with blending and contrasting vocal and instrumental textures, and the restrained and austere power of Renaissance polyphony.

“It is one of my favorite Bruckner pieces and is such an important part of the choral literature,” Gershon says. “I’m very pleased to be the first person to conduct this seminal work in Disney Hall.”

Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms was commissioned by the Boston Symphony on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary in 1930. The composer eschewed the traditional 19th Century symphonic structure common at the time, using as the root of the piece a pair of interlocked thirds that forms the base of an opening chord so unusual and striking that it is recognizable from the first sound. The work, whose mighty choruses and stunning softness create a cathedral of sound, “celebrates that most ancient form of communal music making -- one with a healing, even redemptive overtone” (Los Angeles Times). Esa-Pekka Salonen tapped the Los Angeles Master Chorale to perform Symphony of Psalms with the LA Philharmonic for his emotional farewell program in April 2009 to conclude his 17-year tenure with the orchestra, the longest of any music director in the organization’s history.

Tickets range from $19 - $134. Group rates are available. For tickets and information, please call (213) 972-7282, or visit www.lamc.org. (Tickets cannot be purchased at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office except on concert days starting 2 hours prior to the performance.) The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue at First Street in downtown Los Angeles.

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