Boston Secession

Past Programs Guide

Overview of Past Concert Programming by Jane Ring Frank

“Altered States: Mysticism in Music” – a thrilling and meditative musical examination of the divine, the mysterious and the mystical; includes Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Oliveros’s "Sonic Meditations," the Beatles’ "Let It Be" as well as works by Holst, Holmès, Hildegard, Thomson, Vaughan Williams and many more. (1997, November 2006)

“Apocalypse Soon: Music for the End of the World as We Know It” – A musical journey into the depths of America’s psyche, filled with millennial dreams and apocalyptic nightmares; includes full choral ensemble pieces plus string quintet, guitar, bass and drums. Includes works by Vaughan Williams, Copland, William Schuman, Max Reger and others. (November 1999)

“Bach Again” – explores the history of Bach’s influence on composers through three centuries; includes full choral ensemble pieces plus mixed scoring specialty pieces, soprano, organ, violin. Includes works by Hans Leo Hassler, Paul Simon, F. Melius Christiansen, Arvo Pärt and others. (Spring 1997 & March 2004)

“The Big Oh!” – A journey filled with love and lust from both sides now; features full choral ensemble pieces plus opera ensembles, duets, solo piano, string trio and string quartet. Includes works by Perotin, Verdi, Wagner, Shoenberg, Mozart, Barber and others. (May 1999 & November 2007)

“Blood Is Thicker than Water: Family Portraits in Music” – explores the dynamics of family ties, from the lofty families of ancient Greece to a hopeful world, where children are respected; features full choral ensemble pieces plus opera quartet, solo soprano. Includes works by Cherubini, Gluck, Brahms, John Adams, Bizet and others. (November 2001)

“Cabaret Noël: Singalong Secession” – a joyous cabaret performance overflowing with holiday favorites. Between performances by Secession soloists and small ensembles, the audience joins Secession in singing such seasonal highlights as "White Christmas," "Silent Night," and the top tunes from Handel's Messiah. (Dec 2007)

“Color of Sound” – In this special master-class-style concert, Secession’s Artistic Director, Jane Ring Frank, collaborates with distinguished Boston painter, Zsuzsanna Szegedi, to demonstrate how music and painting can spontaneously inform and inspire each others’ creations. While Boston Secession explores the connections between the human voice and the color wheel, the artist will be painting in real-time. Orlando di Lasso, Mendelssohn, Verdi, Debussy, Stravinsky and others. (May 2000 & April 2006)

“Festival of Women Composers” – an historical overview that highlights the great (and rarely heard) works of women composers; includes full choral ensemble pieces plus string quartet, percussion, alto flute, organ; presented at Brandeis University. Includes works by Lili Boulanger, Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, Pauline Oliveros, Ellen Harrison, Martha Callison Horst, Rebecca Clarke, Ruth Lomon, and Janika Vandervelde. (December 2004)

“Handel in the Strand” – traces the musical inheritance of Handel's heirs -- from the man himself to works by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Beethoven, Weill, and even Percy Grainger! (March 2008)

“Johannes Brahms: The Third B” – explores the musical relationships between Brahms and his two predecessors (Bach and Beethoven); includes works by Handel, Schoenberg, Bach, Hassler and others. (November 2002)

“Mother Tongue: The Music and Meter of the English Language” – From Handel to Gilbert & Sullivan, from Purcell to Britten, this witty journey explores the pitfalls and perils of setting the English language to music; includes short choral commissions by three brilliant composers (Scott Wheeler, Ruth Lomon, and Byron Adams)—pieces that demonstrate the inherent elegance, rhythm and beauty of the English language itself. (April 2007)

“A Night In Vienna”– A musical journey, exploring the glories of Vienna through the music of Strauss, Schubert, Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schoenberg and Sondheim; includes full choral ensemble pieces plus solo voice, vocal quartets and small ensembles, string quartet, organ. (April 2004)

“Save Room for Dessert: Unlocking the Guilty Pleasures of High-Calorie Choral Favorites” – This program explores the audience-affecting secrets of choral confections as wide ranging as Handel’s “Hallelujah” Chorus, Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Hail, Poetry,” the Swingle Singer’s “Bourrée for Bach”—and many other irresistible, guilty-pleasure choral classics. (October 2005)

“The Stravinsky Code” – As a musical descendant of Schubert and Mussorgsky, Stravinsky drew creative inspiration from a special scale or “code;” this concert offers a glimpse into the magical secrets of the Stravinsky Code, gloriously realized in Stravinsky’s great choral achievements; includes full choral ensemble pieces plus solo voice, organ. (April 2005)

“Surprised By Beauty” – preview performance of Secession's second CD, a celebration of the hidden depth and profound beauty of the spare, pure, and rich texture of minimalism; includes works by William Duckworth’s , Arvo Pärt, and Gavin Bryars. (March 2007)

“To Hell and Back” – All-hallows Eve, Halloween, El Dia de los Muertos, All Saints' Day . . . This spooky (and sometimes silly) journey "To Hell and Back!" includes works by Berlioz, Distler, Verdi, Sondheim, Crumb, Offenbach and others. (October 2003)

“Transitive Venus: Women’s Perspectives in Music” – featuring the works of women composers, this program explores a variety of ancient to modern vocal pieces addressing themes from children to eco-spirituality, politics, traditional spiritualities and love; includes works by Thea Musgrave, Rebecca Clark, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Pauline Oliveros, Ruth Lomon, Lili Boulanger and others. (May 2004)

“(Un)Lucky in Love [An Alternative Valentine’s Program]” – From Brahms to Schickele, from Mozart to Sondheim, The Boston Secession takes you on a romantic musical journey from love’s first bloom through heartache’s healing time; includes elite artists of The Boston Secession, plus small ensembles, solos, duets. (February 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)

“Weapons of Musical Destruction” – A poignant look at the influence of music on wartime, this concert offers a musical look at Greek and Biblical battles, American Revolution and Civil War ballads, world wars, nuclear threat, terrorism and 1960’s protest songs; includes works by Pete Seeger, Hector Berlioz, William Billings, Charles Ives, John Adams and others. (November 2004)

FILM + LIVE MUSIC EVENT: “The Blue Angel”– A new soundtrack performed live by a Weimar Cabaret band and 22 singers. Carefully framing Marlene Dietrich’s own incomparable performance with live performances of excerpts from Verdi, Brahms and Bach; includes full choral ensemble pieces plus violin, cello, clarinet, percussion. (March 2002)

FILM + LIVE MUSIC EVENT: “Like Water for Chocolate”– An exploration of film and live music with a presentation of Laura Esquivel’s sensuous and lyrical film, Like Water for Chocolate, a magic realist tale of turn-of-the-century Mexico; includes works by Villa-Lobos, Stravinsky, Milhaud, Bach, Schnittke, Desprez, Carissimi and others. (February 2001)

FILM + LIVE MUSIC EVENT: “Orpheus”– Rarely screened, this mesmerizing mélange of French café life, high fashion and surrealism is Cocteau's unique realization of the Orpheus journey to the underworld. Boston Secession underscores the dream-like qualities of the film with its own hypnotic performance of live music including excerpts from Fauré, Monteverdi, Poulenc, Mozart, Stravinsky, Handel, Glass and more. Includes full choral ensemble plus string quartet, piano, percussion, lute. (March 2006)

FILM + LIVE MUSIC EVENT: “The Seventh Seal”– This concert fuses live music with Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 cinema masterpiece – an investigation of faith, love, self-sacrifice and man’s apocalyptic search for meaning; includes full choral ensemble pieces plus string quartet, piano, hurdy-gurdy, percussion. (March 2003)

FILM + LIVE MUSIC EVENT: “Wings of Desire”– Boston Secession accompanies Wim Wenders’ 1987 masterpiece with an original, live musical soundscape featuring vocal and instrumental music from a wide range of composers. An aural montage accents the film’s counterpoint of visual images; choral and instrumental masterworks (Beethoven, Rossini, Bruckner and Saint Saens) as well as modern classics (Ligeti, Adams, Pärt, Reich and Glass) have been painstakingly edited and synchronized to the film. Includes full choral ensemble pieces plus string quartet, percussion, piano. (January 1999 & 2000)
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