Fall Arts Celebration 2011 will conclude with 'Gloria'

The University Arts Chorale and music faculty members and students will perform
The University Arts Chorale and music faculty members and students will perform "Gloria" December 5 at Fountain Street Church.
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"Gloria: Music of the Holiday Season from Grand Valley" will be performed Monday, December 5, 8 p.m. at Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids.

This holiday gift to the community is the final Fall Arts Celebration 2011 event. It is free and open to the public.

The University Arts Chorale and soloists will join Music Department faculty members and students for a special performance of Baroque holiday music masterpieces, including Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and Arcangelo Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto.” Fountain Street Church was selected for its superb acoustics and central location, officials said.

“This is a rare opportunity to hear this iconic and upbeat music with professional performers in the Fountain Street Church venue,” said Danny Phipps, chair of music. “That the public is invited to attend, without cost, is a true gift to the community.”

The great bulk of Vivaldi’s music lay virtually unknown until after the end of World War I. In 1926, through a chance discovery of nearly 400 unknown manuscripts found among crates of old documents up for sale, the music of this great Italian Master was unleashed upon the modern world.

“Gloria” was among those manuscripts that had lain in near obscurity for two centuries after the composer’s death. Written in about 1715 for the choir of a girls’ orphanage in Venice, where Vivaldi spent most of his career composing sacred works, “Gloria” has come to symbolize the very best of all of the music of the holiday season. This monumental piece, with the sunny nature of its distinctive melodies coupled with the brilliant harmony and the rhythms, is characteristic of all of Vivaldi’s music.

Corelli was a seminal figure of Baroque music a generation earlier and is recognized as setting the foundations of the genre later adapted by Vivaldi, Handel and Bach. Born to a wealthy family, Corelli enjoyed a successful career during the time the music publishing industry in Italy was flourishing. His fame and wealth allowed nearly all of his works to be printed and circulated internationally during his lifetime (1653-1713), though ironically his most famous “Christmas Concerto,” or “Fatto per la notte di Natale,” first appeared in print a year after his death. Later known as “Concerto Grosso in G-, Op.6, No. 8.” isolated movements from this work were adapted by other composers, providing them their own fame.

For more Fall Arts Celebration information, visit www.gvsu.edu/fallarts, or call x12180.