Wednesday, September 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

400 singers to pack Mondavi stage for Berlioz Te Deum

Jeffrey Thomas will conduct a chorus of 400 voices in the monumental Berlioz Te Deum on Sunday in Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center. Courtesy photo

Jeffrey Thomas is the artistic director of the American Bach Soloists, performing Monday at Davis Community Church. Courtesy photo

By
March 4, 2011 |

It’s going to be a big, big concert, with literally hundreds of singers onstage.

The UC Davis University Chorus will be joined by the orchestra from the University of the Pacific, as well as five other choral groups, for a performance of the monumental setting of the Te Deum by French composer Hector Berlioz at 7 p.m. Sunday in Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center.

The concert will feature what apparently will be the biggest chorus ever to take the stage at the Mondavi Center, with around 400 voices, plus an 80-piece orchestra and an organ. The Te Deum is one of the largest works by Berlioz, who often liked to do things in a grand way.

Participating choral groups include the University Chorus and Alumni Chorus of UC Davis, the Sacramento Children’s Chorus, the Pacific Boychoir and the Davis Children’s Chorale. There are also several guest artists, including tenor soloist Wesley Rogers and organist David Deffner.

Jeffrey Thomas of UC Davis, who also is artistic director of the American Bach Soloists, will conduct the Berlioz, which runs about an hour. Thomas said he originally invited D. Kern Holoman — a longtime faculty member at UCD, now semi-retired, and an internationally recognized expert on Berlioz — to conduct the Te Deum.

“But Kern very generously declined, saying he wanted me to experience Berlioz,” Thomas said. “Until now, I have never conducted Berlioz. And as it turns out, I really love this piece. I think I’ve seen what Kern saw in the music maybe 30 years ago, when he became one of the great Berlioz scholars in the world.

“The scale of the music is so magnificent. And conducting it is probably going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, because people don’t put on the Berlioz Te Deum all that often.”

Thomas said that when Berlioz wrote the piece in 1849-50, “he called for two large adult choirs, 500 children’s voices — 500 kids! — and an orchestra, with the organ to be antiphonal, in other words, placed in the back,” so that the organ responds from the back of the hall, while the enormous chorus is packing the stage at the front.

“It’s really ‘surround sound,’ ” Thomas said.

And even though he won’t be conducting, Holoman will give a brief talk titled “Berlioz’s Napoleon: Thoughts on the Te Deum,” which is free and open to the public, at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, the day before Sunday’s concert.

The program will open with about 30 minutes of music performed by the University of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, conducted by its director, Nicolas Waldvogel. First up will be Berlioz’s famous “Roman Carnival Overture,” followed by Albert Roussel’s second suite of music from “Bacchus and Ariadne.”

The suite was extracted by Roussel from his music for the original ballet, and premiered under French conductor Pierre Monteux in 1934. (A year later, Monteaux would become the conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, a post he held until 1952).

Tickets are $12/$15/$17 general and $8 for students and children, available at http://www.mondaviarts.org or (530) 754-2787.

Music lovers should note that Sunday’s performance of the Berlioz Te Deum is the first in a trifecta of choral blockbusters to be heard at Mondavi during March. On Thursday, March 17, the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Chorus will perform the monumental Mass in B Minor by J.S. Bach, under the baton of Ragnar Bohlin — the first time the San Francisco Symphony Chorus has appeared at the Mondavi Center.

And on Saturday, March 19, the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra will come to Mondavi to perform the Verdi Requiem, a huge piece involving a chorus of about 200 voices, plus a large orchestra.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8055. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    New water rates take effect in November

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    A pot o’ gold for Rainbow City revival

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Marsh trial guilt phase enters home stretch

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Weakened Odile heads toward U.S.; tourists evacuated

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Three women stuck in Putah Creek while paddleboarding

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: News about our modest college town

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Crews battle wildfire’s explosive growth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    AAUW hosts conversation with Gilardi

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Master Gardeners will answer questions Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Storyteller will draw on music, dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Show off your electric vehicles on Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Learn about youth leadership program on Sept. 28

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sign up now for free Community Yard Sale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Saylor meets constituents at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Free introductory yoga, chanting workshop offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Rotary seeks project requests

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Sign up soon for a new year of Writing Buddies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Register to vote by Oct. 20

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Senior Center to host jewelry sale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Forum

    Time to go get help

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Bicycle bells needed for safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Are we going to wait until someone here dies?

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

     
    Firefighters went above, beyond

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Grocery bags are biohazards

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Can’t we work collaboratively?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Please vaccinate your children

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Mental-health treatment lacking

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Braly’s column lightens the heart

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    UCD women take third at elite golf event

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Aggie men stay in 10th to finish St. Mary’s Invite

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Formidable UCD defense melts Hornets

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils go the distance to triumph at Chico

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Diamondbacks slam Giants

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Baseball roundup: Peavy, Posey lead Giants past Arizona

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sounders win U.S. Open Cup in overtime

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B2

     
    AYSO roundup: Ultra Violet illuminates a victory

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Alliance roundup: Soccer success comes on the road and at home

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Legacy roundup: Gunners get a win over Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Bamforth leads international brewing institute

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Name Droppers: UC Davis announces eight new fellows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Just desserts? A sweet treat is worth the effort

    By Julie Cross | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Arts

    Apply now for Davis Community Idol

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Classic ‘Hello, Dolly!’ wows at Woodland Opera House

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Davis students prepare dishes for Empty Bowls fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Nine Davis artists chosen to show in KVIE Art Auction

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Sacred Harp singers will gather

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A8