Nostos: The Homecoming Of Music
Format: COMPACT DISC
Alvarez, Daniel; Martini, Katie; Kohlieber, Patrick; Lonsert, Sarah; Pano, Jason; Stickley, Alison; California State University Fullerton Singers; Kellaway, Matthew; Johnson, Cameron; Salvador, Sammy; Jackson, Erika; De La Torre, Areli; Simao, Mackenzie; Yearsley, Vanessa; Istad, Robert; Adaska, Lauren
Music director Robert Istad is one of the most exciting choral conductors in the next generation of American music. He recently inherited the venerable post of Music Director of the Pacific Chorale, led by the eminent John Alexander since 1972. Rob Istad planned this recording and the repertoire for their tour carefully. This is church music from the sacred traditions in Europe, Russia and the Americas. The University Singers gave this concert in four beautiful houses of worship in Vasterås, Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg. Rob wanted to take the best American choral tradition on tour, and take home music by composers from these areas. Rob talked about how important it was to “connect each student to the culture of the places they would visit through the repertoire,” while he also acknowledged that “European audiences expect American choirs to bring music from their own folk tradition.” Herbert Howells’ Requiem and Brahms’ Op. 29 motet served as the foundation stones of the program. Even though it is a mass for the dead, it celebrates life through its promise of the peace that comes through faith, contemplation and acceptance. This performance, anything but morbid, emphasizes the Requiem’s transcendence, its reassurance, and its foretelling of eternal light. Howells’ inclusion of Psalms 23 and 121 in the Requiem encouraged Rob to balance them with Brahms’ setting of Psalm 51 in the Op. 29 motet.