Choral Society of Durham

Kodály’s Te Deum and Brahms’ Nänie

Sunday, February 26 at 4 p.m.

The Choral Society and the Duke Chorale joins the Durham Medical Orchestra in this first-time, monumental collaboration directed by Rodney Wynkoop, using the beautiful acoustics and comfortably elegant setting of Baldwin Auditorium at Duke University.

Both Kodály and Brahms found inspiration in Hungarian folk music. Zoltán Kodály‘s 1936 Budavári Te Deum interweaves Hungarian folk music idioms into his composition for this liturgical hymn of joy. He wrote it to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the liberation of Buda from Turkish rule. Kodály was deeply religious, and did not renounce his faith during the postwar Soviet occupation. Kodály laid the groundwork for the Kodály Method, a prominent system of music education.

Nänie is Johannes Brahms’ ravishing, fully-orchestrated choral setting of a Schiller poem that reflects on beauty and the inevitability of death. This piece is a study on “musical irony”, leading the listener on unexpected, nuanced compositional pathways in pursuit of the text. Nänie is named after the Greek goddess of lamentation, and Brahms wrote it in 1881 to honor and mourn his deceased friend, Anselm Feuerbach, a famous classicist painter.

The Choral Society of Durham, Rodney Wynkoop, conductor

The 150-member Choral Society of Durham draws singers from all walks of life, selected by audition within and around the Research Triangle area, some coming as far as Virginia. The long-time conductor Rodney Wynkoop, who is also the Director of University Choral Music at Duke University, has earned critical acclaim for artistic excellence and innovative programming with his various choral groups

Duke Medicine Orchestra conducted by Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant

The Duke Medicine Orchestra provides an opportunity for musicians affiliated with Duke Medicine to come together to play substantial pieces from the classical repertoire. More than 90 orchestra members represent 26 departments across the Duke Medicine community.

Duke University Chorale conducted by Rodney Wynkoop

This 50-singer Chorale is the primary choral group of the Department of Music at Duke. The Chorale performs numerous concerts throughout the year, both on and off campus, and tours annually during Duke’s Spring Break.

 

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