Sacred Visions: Stravinsky and Messiaen (2015)

World premiere: May 2, 2015
Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center

Conceived and directed by Sarah Rothenberg
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton
Original performers: Marilyn Nonken, piano and Sarah Rothenberg, piano; Houston Chamber Choir, Robert Simpson, artistic director and conductor

Gesualdo: Tristis ist anima mea from Responsoria
Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms (arr. Keating)
Messiaen: Visions de l’Amen

This fascinating program progresses from darkness to light, from the exquisite harmonies of an Italian renaissance prince to two sacred masterpieces of the twentieth century. Stravinsky’s moving sacred score, a highly personal work, is presented in a rarely performed version for chorus and two pianos. Messiaen’s great two-piano cycle, recorded in 2010 by Sarah Rothenberg and Marilyn Nonken to international critical acclaim, is a virtuosic tour-de-force that builds towards an ecstatically climactic close. DACAMERA collaborates once again with the stellar Houston Chamber Choir and Tony Award/MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” winner Jennifer Tipton, whose lighting design for this program transforms the music’s radiant colors into a visual counterpart.

Presented in collaboration with Houston Chamber Choir. Made possible in part by DACAMERA’s Artistic Development Fund.

Photo by Ben Doyle/Runaway Productions