Beethoven Choral Fantasy
4 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW
Richard Eaton Singers were in the final stages of preparing a concert featuring the choral music of Ludwig van Beethoven on the 250th anniversary of his birth, when the Covid pandemic outbreak forced us, as well as many of Edmontons performing ensembles, to cease rehearsals and performances. After nearly two years of dormancy as a choir, we have been thrilled to resume regular rehearsals in preparation of remounting this project. Beethovens important legacy is most closely associated in his writing for instruments. In commenting on his writing of his lone opera Fidelio, he acknowledged a somewhat unsure stance when writing for the voice: When sound stirs within me, I always hear the full orchestra; I know what to expect of instrumentalists, who are capable of almost everything, but with vocal composition I must always be asking myself: can this be sung?. Indeed, it can and will! Our program begins with three miniature gems written in the early 1800s. Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur, Elegischer Gesang, and Welten singen Dank und Ehre, followed by his first really popular extended work involving the voice, Choral Fantasy. Written for piano, vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra, to intentionally draw together all the forces he was planning for a fund-raising concert. Beethoven himself played the piano solo part in the Fantasy as a conclusion of his concert, whereas our concert will end with Mass in C Major. The Mass has a particularly beautiful ending, where Beethoven brings back the opening phrases of the Masss Kyrie in setting the word pacem: peace. This may be seen as a segue to our June concert - Peace and Reconciliation.