Poulenc Gloria & Organ Concerto
Time: Wednesday, May 23 at 8:00 pm
Location: Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
Francis Poulenc (1888-1963)
Mass in G Major, FP 89
Concerto for organ, strings and timpani, FP 93
Gloria, FP 177
Choir and Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola
K. Scott Warren, conductor
Renée Anne Louprette, organ
Wendy Baker, soprano
Hailed by the New York Timesas “a finely polished, stylistically nimble ensemble,” the Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola is comprised of New York’s finest professional choral singers. The Choir’s “tremendous expressive and dynamic range” and “remarkable vocal discipline and finesse” (the New York Times) is featured in the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series, now in its 27th season. Each member is a soloist in his or her own right in a variety of genres including early music, opera, oratorio and contemporary repertoire. The core group of 20 members sings a demanding schedule of weekly parish worship services in a wide range of repertoire, with particular emphasis on new works, the sacred Renaissance repertoire, and Gregorian chant. The Choir may be heard on recordings for the MSR Classics and AMDG labels. In March 2006, the Choir was invited as the headline chorus at the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association convention in St. Louis, Missouri. In April 2009, the Choir performed in the opening festival of radio station WNYC’s new Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, on a concert bill with René Pape, John Zorn, Ute Lemper, and Nico Muhly. The Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola, lauded by the New York Times for their “lean, taut and fiery playing,” participates in the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series and enhances a number of parish worship services throughout the year. Members are drawn from among New York City’s most talented and stylistically versatile freelance musicians and have often been heard in the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the orchestras of the New York City Opera and New York City Ballet, and various period-instrument orchestras.
New York Times review the concert:
I haven’t encountered much Poulenc in recent years, except for the farcical opera “Les Mamelles de Tiresias,” heard twice: at Tanglewood in 1997 and at the Juilliard School in 2015. I can’t say that I thought a lot about what I was missing, but I was forcibly reminded on Wednesday evening, by Sacred Music in a Sacred Space’s Poulenc program at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, just how delightful his best works are. René Anne Louprette played the Organ Concerto beautifully, and K. Scott Warren conducted St. Ignatius choirs in Poulenc’s crowning Gloria, with Wendy Baker as an excellent soprano soloist. The Gloria is heard here on YouTube, with Georges Prêtre conducting French forces.
- JAMES R. OESTREICH