Home violin LA Master Chorale’s “Lux” with Billy Childs and Anne Akiko Meyers

LA Master Chorale’s “Lux” with Billy Childs and Anne Akiko Meyers

by Madonna

The Los Angeles Master Chorale, led by Grant Gershon, delivered a poignant and transcendent performance in their recent concert series titled “Lux.” The program featured two works by prominent Los Angeles composers, exploring the themes of light and flight in the context of death and the beyond. Guest artists Anne Akiko Meyers on violin and Billy Childs on piano and composition, along with the Lyris Quartet and the Billy Childs Jazz/Chamber Ensemble, enriched the emotional tapestry of the concert.

The world premiere of Billy Childs’ “In the Arms of the Beloved” took center stage. Inspired by the 14th-century Persian poet Rumi’s poem “Gone to the Unseen,” as translated by Coleman Barks, the piece delves into the concept of the soul leaving the body as a bird in flight, seeking solace in the arms of the Beloved. Childs, joined by mezzo-soprano soloist Laura Smith Roethe, Meyers on solo violin, a string quartet, and a jazz ensemble, created a diverse musical landscape. The composition skillfully traversed symphonic, nightclub, cadenza, and jazz elements, providing a multi-faceted exploration of the poem’s themes. The words of the poem, projected onto the stage, enhanced the audience’s connection with the narrative.

Meyers’ solo violin work added an ethereal quality, complementing the emotional depth of the poem. Childs demonstrated a masterful command of musical styles, creating a cohesive piece that beautifully encapsulated the poem’s central ideas.

The second half of the concert featured Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna,” a composition for orchestra and choir. Drawing from the Requiem Mass and sacred Latin texts, the piece explored the theme of eternal light and aimed to offer solace and strength to those mourning departed souls. The LA Master Chorale showcased its exceptional vocal prowess, achieving purity of pitch, sound, tone quality, and syllabic uniformity. The collective beauty of the choral and orchestral sound delivered a powerful and comforting experience.

“Lux” proved to be a captivating journey through the exploration of light, flight, and the transcendent aspects of the human experience. The concert demonstrated the LA Master Chorale’s commitment to delivering impactful and emotionally resonant performances, leaving the audience with a sense of solace and beauty.

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