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Texas Choral Consort Sings of Pestilence, Plague and Famine with Israel in Egypt
Updated: Friday, February 10 2012, 02:31 PM CST
By Rob Faubion, Austin On Stage www.austinonstage.com
Pestilence, plague and famine will take center stage when Texas Choral Consort and the TCC Orchestra perform George Frideric Handel's choral masterpiece, Israel in Egypt, at Northwest Hills United Methodist Church on Sat, Feb 18. The oratorio recounts the trials and tribulations of the Israelites during their exile in Egypt, the plagues brought down on the Egyptians and the Israelites’ escape through the Red Sea.
Replete with musical treatments of hail, flood, pestilence, drought and slavery, Israel in Egypt stands out among oratorios. The master work requires the use of a double chorus, with the two choruses often singing in counterpoint to one another.
“The double chorus gives the work so much richness and depth of sound, and at the same time is the reason it is not often performed," said Artistic Director Brent Baldwin. "In addition to the increased complexity of the music, it just plain requires a lot of strong voices. The result, though, is beautiful music and stunning imagery, and this is a rare opportunity for audiences to hear Israel in Egypt performed live.”
Now in its 15th season, Texas Choral Consort is unique among choruses in the United States, by offering non-auditioned singers an intensive performance experience. During a concentrated four-to-seven week rehearsal period, the singers learn a major choral work or group of smaller works. Chorus members are also coached in the fundamentals of choral singing and take the stage within that short time frame. The group has presented more than 40 concert projects, one South American and three European tours.
The group also regularly commissions new works and collaborates with other musicians and music groups on a variety of projects. Currently Texas Choral Consort is taking part in the "Requiem Project" - a re-imagining of Mozart's Requiem in collaboration with the Golden Hornet Project - and premiered the first segment at their August 2011 concert. The full work is scheduled to be performed in 2014.
Israel in Egypt will be performed on Feb 18 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students and free for children 10 and under.
Northwest Hills United Methodist Church is located at 7050 Village Center Drive. For more information and tickets, visit www.txconsort.org.
(Image courtesy TCC)