|via Choral Arts Society of Washington|
The group has a relatively new conductor. Founder Norman Scribner retired in spring 2012 after 47 years and was replaced by Scott Tucker, most recently of Cornell University. Choirs generally reflect the personality of their directors and a more relaxed, playful atmosphere is quite apparent in the new regime. This year's concert was sponsored by the Italian Embassy so Italian music was predominant, including works by Andrea Gabrieli (1532-1585) and Salomone Rossi (ca. 1570-1620), a Jewish composer entirely new to me. Also on the program were selections from Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols and Handel's Messiah, for both of which the Choral Arts Society was joined by the astonishingly talented Children's Chorus of Washington.
Three highlights for me:
- Holst's sublime setting of "In the Bleak Midwinter," a piece I have sung myself - hard not to tear up for that one.
- My father's performance in the smaller Chamber Chorus. He claimed he was nervous but it certainly didn't show.
- The sing-along at the end of the concert, a long-standing tradition. In addition to the usual choral power pieces like "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing," we sang verses of both "White Christmas" and "Silent Night" in Italian.
My parents did introduce us to a new (to us) restaurant on Monday evening: Napoleon Bistro & Lounge. It's a short walk from their apartment so they've been many times. However, the restaurant has just hired a new chef so the menu was new to all of us. My Wife and I split the pate appetizer, then I had the hangar steak. I also got a bite of the chocolat fondant for dessert. All were lovely. She had the duck confit, but thought I'd ordered better - that doesn't usually happen. The raviolini was a big hit with Our Girl. She cleaned her plate.
Back to the land of ice and snow on Thursday. It was a nice visit - short but relaxed. Hopefully, we'll be back again before too long.