October 30, 2009

Composing Concertos in the key of RX

Our resident feline office-mate, Katherine, appears to have an upper-respiratory infection. We noticed a hacking cough and assumed a hair ball. Katherine paid a visit to the Friendship Heights Animal Hospital who determined that she has a small infection causing the cough, and may be developing asthma. 

Fear not, Katherine fans. She is a part of the Cathedral library family and well looked after. She is begrudgingly taking an oral antibiotic, and with a few days inside, should be just fine. Her current condition got me thinking about an article published in the New York Times back in March discussing the effects of music as a healing agent that I'd like to share with you. Perhaps all Katherine needs is a little Mozart...

October 23, 2009

Washington Post Gives Rave Review


In performance: Verdi Requiem

Lewis leads sublime "Requiem"
by Cecelia Porter

In his apocalyptic “Requiem,” Giuseppe Verdi grasps the sublime. As is often said, this monumental mass for the dead offers most of the trappings and grandeur of his operas. To celebrate his 25th season as director of the Cathedral Choral Society, J. Reilly Lewis led his premier chorus, vocal soloists and orchestra in a magnificent performance of the Requiem at the Washington National Cathedral on Sunday.
(read more after the jump)
Lewis missed none of the music’s terrifying juxtaposition of heaven and hell — a parallel to the emotions and conflict depicted in opera between virtuous heroine and evil villain. And he led the chorus delicately from the hushed tones of “rest in peace” (Requiem aeternam) into the solo ensemble’s passionate Kyrie. Verdi sets the ancient Latin text with the rhythmic pulse of spoken Italian, injecting the often stupefying words with all the fire and fury of the stage. He underlines moments of serene consolation with the soaring lyricism of an opera aria. It’s just this profoundly human quality Verdi gives to the religious text that Lewis made supremely evident on Sunday.
The singers delivered the “Dies Irae” of the Last Judgment with the searing ferocity of a lightning bolt — recalling the lurid, wrenching extremes that Hieronymous Bosch depicted on canvas. The solo trio lent the “Lux Aeterna” a lustrous tenderness. And except for a few pitch problems in more exposed ensembles, soprano Lise Lindstrom, mezzo Ann McMahon Quintero, tenor Thomas Poole and bass Wayne Tigges offered glowing accounts of their demanding roles.
--Cecelia Porter

October 16, 2009

Verdi Requiem Concert Weekend

Giuseppe Verdi
Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 4 pm

Cathedral Choral Society
Dr. J. Reilly Lewis, conductor

It has been called the most operatic of all religious music. And no wonder; Verdi’s Requiem is as fired with passion, as overflowing with melodies as any of his operas. And with the same grand range of emotions, from its earth-shattering Dies Irae to the ethereal Agnus Dei, this is music that invades the heart and shakes the soul.

Join us at 2:30 pm for a free pre-concert discussion in Perry Auditorium (7th Floor of the Cathedral) with Paul Bachmann, a classical music specialist at SiriusXM.

Be sure to stop-by near the Rear Nave section before and after the concert.  Tickets will be available for the Lord and Taylor Benefit Bash on 11/10/09 ($5) plus find out about a special event taking place at the Barnes and Noble in Georgetown on 11/19/09.  We'll also have CDs of our latest recording available for purchase (Argento's Evensong: Of Love and Angels, $16).

Presented in partnership with:

Click here for Prelude - CCS study guide

October 9, 2009

October Is National Arts & Humanities Month

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America. Held every October and coordinated by Americans for the Arts, it is the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. From arts center open houses to mayoral proclamations to banners and media coverage, communities across the United States join together to recognize the importance of arts and culture in our daily lives.

Courtesy of Americans For The Arts

October 1, 2009

Assasins Creed 2

Our distinguished director of administration is a rock star. He received degrees in vocal performance and pedagogy from Westminster Choir College and the University of Iowa. His voice was recently featured in a video game and now, we share his voice with you, in the exciting trailer of..... ASSASSIN'S CREED 2!