Spring is springing, and with it some glorious music in store from the Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine, Musica Sacra, and the Oratorio Society of New York in Kent’s upcoming concerts:

  • Coming right up⁠—on March 22, Music Sacra performs Brahms’s motet Schaffe in mir, Gott; the Te Deum of Arvo Pärt; the world premiere of The Name That Never Dies, a commissioned work by Wang Jie; and Viktor Kalabis’s Canticum canticorum (marking the Czech composer’s centennial) – a cantata, with text from the biblical Song of Songs, for alto and tenor soloists, choir, and chamber orchestra.

  • If you had tickets to Musica Sacra’s canceled Carnegie Hall Messiah, they will be honored on April 6, when the group performs two glories of the choral repertoire: Bach’s Magnificat and Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor.

  • Join Kent at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for two richly varied programs: on April 5, the Cathedral Choir and Orchestra perform Vivaldi, Poulenc, the NYC premiere of the Stabat Mater of British pianist and composer Alissa Firsova, and the Requiem mass by Classical-era Afro-Brazilian composer José Maurício Nunes Garcia. On May 23, the Cathedral Choir joins forces once again with Rose of the Compass, and the viol consort Parthenia, for an exploration of some rarely heard early music of Portugal, a program that had originally been announced for Feb. 22 (see below for details).

  • And for grand choral fare, come to Carnegie Hall on May 9 when Kent leads the Oratorio Society of New York in Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah, with soloists Susanna Phillips, Lucia Bradford, Isaiah Bell, and Justin Austin.

Read on below for more – including Kent leading the Fauré Requiem with the forces of the Manhattan School of Music, and Musica Sacra’s collaborations with the Juilliard Orchestra led by Barbara Hannigan and with the New York City Ballet.

And here are two performances of the “Prayer for Ukraine,” by the Cathedral Choirs of St. John the Divine, and the Oratorio Society of New York.

P.S. The last newsletter omitted the link for the video of Kent’s September organ recital at St. John the Divine. Here it is, and here too for good measure is the link to Kent’s February 19 recital at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa:

Dordt University organ recital, February 19, 2022
Tuesday, March 22, 2022, 7:30 PM
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Kent Tritle, conductor
Nicole Joy Mitchell, contralto
John Riesen, tenor
Musica Sacra Orchestra

VIKTOR KALABIS  Canticum Canticorum
WANG JIE The Name That Never Dies (World premiere, Musica Sacra commission)
JOHANNES BRAHMS  Schaffe in mir, Gott, Op. 29, No. 2
Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 8 PM
Manhattan School of Music – Neidorf-Karpati Hall
Kent Tritle, conductor
Ronnie Oliver, conductor
Eva Martinez, soprano
Henry Griffin, baritone

Arr. UNDINE MOORE “Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord”
MOSES HOGAN “Hear My Prayer”
MOSES HOGAN “Elijah Rock”
Thursday, March 31, 2022, 7:30 PM 
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC
Barbara Hannigan, conductor
Musica Sacra - Kent Tritle, Music Director

Program to include:
CLAUDE DEBUSSY  La damoiselle élue
Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 7:30 PM
Kent Tritle, conductor
Bryan Zaros, conductor
Nola Richardson, soprano
Tracy Cowart, mezzo-soprano
Andrew Fuchs, tenor
Joseph Beutel, bass-baritone

ANTONIO VIVALDI Concerto in D minor, RV 565
ALISSA FIRSOVA  Stabat Mater (New York City premiere)
FRANCIS POULENC  Litanies à la Vierge Noire (1947 version orchestrated with strings and timpani)
Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 8 PM
Carnegie Hall
Kent Tritle, conductor
Jennifer Zetlan, soprano
Heather Petrie, contralto
Bernard Holcomb, tenor
Enrico Lagasca, bass
Musica Sacra Orchestra

J. S. BACH Magnificat
MOZART Great Mass in C minor
Monday, May 9, 2022, 8 PM
Carnegie Hall
Kent Tritle, conductor
Susanna Phillips, soprano
Lucia Bradford, mezzo-soprano
Isaiah Bell, tenor
Justin Austin, baritone
Orchestra of the Society

Monday, May 23, 2022, 7:30 PM
Rose of the Compass
Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine
Kent Tritle, Nina Stern & Raymond Nagem, music directors

An exploration of rarely heard works from Portugal including the 13th-century female-voiced “Cantigas de Amigo,” symphonies of the converso Jewish heiress Isabella Duarte, and sacred and secular works of the 16th-century Black composer Vicente Lusitano.

Underwritten by a generous grant from Lois and Richard Pace

(This concert had originally been announced to take place on February 22, 2022.)
May 21-29, 2022
David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC
Musica Sacra - Kent Tritle, Music Director

George Balanchine’s ballet to Felix Mendelssohn’s score of A Midsummer Night’s Dream
August 14-22, 2022
Northampton Community College
Bethlehem, PA
The Choral Workshop will explore J. S. Bach Cantatas Nos. 4 and 106.
About Kent Tritle
Kent Tritle is one of America's leading choral conductors. Called "the brightest star in New York's choral music world" by The New York Times, he is Director of Cathedral Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City; Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York, the acclaimed 200-voice volunteer chorus; and Music Director of Musica Sacra, the longest continuously performing professional chorus in New York City. In addition, Kent is Director of Choral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music and is a member of the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, he is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic.

Photo: Jennifer Taylor