Sunday, May 10, 2009 4 PM
A French Spectacular
Join us as the Cathedral Choral Society, under the direction of Music Director J. Reilly Lewis, performs the Berlioz Te Deum and the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony, with Michael Gallant, tenor, Scott Dettra, organist, the Childrens Chorus of Washington, Joan Gregoryk, founder and artistic director.
If you only think of French music as charming, witty and elegant, hold on to your seats. The Berlioz Te Deum was inspired by the composers hero, Napoleon, and it is indeed music of imperial grandeur. Scored for large orchestra, organ, two choirs and a childrens chorus, only in a setting like Washington National Cathedral can this masterwork be played to maximum effect. That is equally true of its companion piece on the program: Saint-Saëns Third Symphony, better known as the Organ Symphony, or as one French conductor called it, the goosebump symphony. And in the hands of our resident organist Scott Dettra, both works provide a glorious realization of the fullest potential of the king of instruments.