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Archive for Monday, May 4, 1998

PREMIERE CAUSES JUBILATION

May 4, 1998

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Composer Bob Chilcott must have been bursting at the buttons Sunday night. Not only did his ``Jubilate'' make its debut at the Lied Center, but it also was brought into the world by the glorious voices of Kansas University's Chamber Choir and Oread Consort and conductor Simon Carrington.

Chilcott, who was in the audience, modeled the difficult composition after Benjamin Britten's ``100th Psalm,'' but added his own brand of gentle reflection and intimacy. The piece ends after six sections on an unresolved note, an ending that suits the work well.

Soprano soloist Julia McLaren was magnificent, as were the eight horn players, pianist and percussionist who accompanied her.

The two-hour concert opened with the KU Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir, Men's Glee Club, University Singers and Women's Chorale performing a melodic tapestry of Americana works.

The orchestra's sweeping strings began with Bernstein's ``Overture to `Candide''' and followed with Barber's more somber ``Adagio for Strings'' and Gershwin's colorful ``An American in Paris.'' The players, under the direction of Brian Priestman, were precise and expressive in their execution.

The combined voices sang three spirituals a cappella and ``Camptown Races'' accompanied by an upright bass and banjo. ``Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child'' was particularly moving, with the voices creating a swirling and echoing effect.

The concert ended with the triumphant finale from Act II of Verdi's ``Aida.'' The combined choirs joined the orchestra and six soloists -- Steve Timoner, Norman Paige, Wendy Zaro, Ruby Poulson, Chris Thompson and Carrington -- for this galvanizing piece.

The concert ended with a well-deserved standing ovation. Bravo to all!

-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is jbiles@ljworld.com.

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