Songs from the New World

Saturday 24 February 2018 / Amsterdam, Waalse Kerk, Walenpleintje 159. From 1:30 pm.
Opening of 2nd edition of festival Couleur Vocale – Short presentations by participating Amsterdam based choirs: Photonen, Ensemble Hermes, Amsterdam Bach Consort, Amsemble, Vrouwenkoor Nordlys, Collegium Musicum Amsterdam and Lelikoor.

Sunday 15 April 2018  / Utrecht, Oud-Katholieke Gertrudiskerk, Willemsplantsoen 2.
Songs from the New World. 4 pm – 5 pm.

Saturday 21 april 2018 / Amsterdam, Waalse Kerk, Walenpleintje 159.
Songs from the New World. 8:15 pm.

On ‘Songs from the New World
As in Europe, North America has a vibrant choral tradition. The lively role of spirituals, however, gives it something incomparable. Photonen wishes to surprise you with sounds from the New World. Compositions by reknowned names like Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber, but also by contemporary American composers who gained fame in the USA and elsewhere, such as Whitacre, Paulus and Gjeilo. And several spirituals as well. Photonen invites you to a fine and balanced programme with choral music from the States, from the 20th and 21st century. More info will follow.

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Sunday 10 December 2017: Vespers for the Blessed Virgin – Claudio Monteverdi

Photonen vocal ensemble performed Monteverdi’s Vespro della beata Vergine (1610) on Sunday 10 December in the Dominicuskerk in Amsterdam. A choral performance with renowned soloists, accompanied by Photonen Project Orchestra.

Pious church goers of the early 17th c. probably did not believe their ears, when they heard the mind blowing music of the Vespers for the Blessed Virgin by Claudio Monteverdi for the first time. Monteverdi had created an absolutely revolutionary work, a compositon that changed religious music profoundly and permanently. The vespers introduced an unprecendented theatrical approach to liturgical music, unheard of at the time. Numerous styles and special effects alternate, from the cheering fanfare at the beginning to the use of echoes in the Audi coelum. At the same time, the work was deeply rooted in church tradition: as a basis for its structure, Monteverdi chose the ancient Psalm songs from the Gregorian liturgy, with lyrics in Latin.

The Vespro della Beata Vergine, as the composition is called in Italian, was a breathtaking experience in 1610. And it still is.

Musicologist Wout Strootman gave a a short introduction (in Dutch).

Photonen is an Amsterdam based chamber choir of about 26 seasoned choir singers. Twice a year it offers varied programs at the highest possible artistic level. The choir featured in the TV series ‘Klem’ that was broadcast on Dutch television in spring 2017. Photonen was founded in 1996, and Jeroen Spitteler has been its conductor ever since.

Sunday, December 10th, 2017 – 3:15 p.m.
Dominicuskerk, Spuistraat 12, 1012 TS, Amsterdam

Photonen Vocal Ensemble / Photonen Project Orchestra with conductor Jeroen Spitteler.
Heleen Koele, Ingrid Nugteren soprano
Steven van Gils, Gerben Houba, Maarten Stevens tenor

Tickets: at the door € 25 / online presale € 22,50
Students / Stadspas with green dot: at the door € 17,50 / online presale € 15
Children under 16: € 5

For online pre-sale with discount look here.  A small handling fee does apply.
Presale ends on Friday December 8th.

Dominicuskerk is situated in the city centre of Amsterdam, close to Amsterdam Central train station.

Wednesday 28th June 2017: ‘Driekorenconcert’

Photonen vocal ensemble closes this season with a ‘Driekorenconcert’ (Three choir concert) together with Utrechts Vocaal Ensemble, both ensembles are conducted by Jeroen Spitteler, and renowned Kammerchor Manila  from the Filipines and now on tour in Europe with its conductor Anthony Villanueva.

Programme ‘Driekorenconcert’:
Guerrero  Ego flos campi
Jeroen Spitteler  Bloem der bloemen
J.P. Sweelinck  Canticum

Utrechts Vocaal Ensemble (UVE)
Tchaikovsky  Cherubic Hymn no. 3
Vytautas Miškinis  Angelis suis Deus
Put on the armour of the Lord (spiritual)
Nobody knows (spiritual)

Together Photonen and UVE will perform: Samuel Barber’s Agnus dei

Kammerchor Manila
Claudio Monteverdi  Zefiro torna e’l bel tempo rimena
Z. Randall Stroope  We Beheld Once Again the Stars
Eudenice Palaruan  Pasigin (Filipino folk song)
Moses Hogan  Elijah Rock (spiritual)
Nilo Alcala  Kaisa-isa Niyan (Filipino ethnic song)

Kammerchor Manila from the Filipines, conductor Anthony G. Villanueva, originated as a church choir and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It recently performed a special programme Argentum on several occasions througout the Filipines. The choir is now on its 4the tour in Europe, visiting seven countries. Kammerchor Manila won many prizes and received honours in festivals and competitions, among which in 2014 in Olomouc (Czech Republic) the ‘Absolute Winner Award’ in the Lied-competition. Kammerchor Manila is a versatile and enthusiastic choir, consisting of ca 30 dedicated and partially professionally trained singers. It has its own distinct ‘sound’ and colourful presentation, and performs all kinds of styles, from early music to pop ballads. Recent tour info can be found here.

Wednesday 28th June 2017 – 8 p.m. – De Krijtberg, Singel 446, 1017AV Amsterdam

Sunday 26th March 2017 : ‘Moving Music’

Do you hear the music when you watch a film? Everyone knows the famous theme tune of Star Wars, but how about the moment in The Hobbit when the dwarves sing of Misty Mountains and gold?
Perhaps you don’t always notice how the music makes you feel, swelling into the spaces between the words and telling its own story.

Photonen, the choir featured in the 2017 Dutch television series KLEM, is putting this ‘Moving Music’ centre stage in a performance on Sunday 26th March, at 15.15 in the Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam. The Waalse Kerk (‘Walloon Church’ – a national heritage site) is located in the heart of the city.

The chamber choir of around 26 experienced amateur choral singers has chosen classical and popular music including Dry your tears, Africa by Oscar-winning composer John Williams, I Lie by David Lang, from arthouse film La Grande Bellezza, music from KLEM‚ including Trois chansons by Debussy, and a piece written specially for the choir, Hondsdagen/Dogdays by Martijn Voorvelt – music that is just waiting to find its film.

The concert also includes Samuel Barber’s Agnus Dei — featured in films including The Elephant Man and Platoon — the widely-recognised Wagner’s Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (think of Bridget Jones’s Diary), and Star Wars – John Williams is the Man, with John Williams‘ music arranged by Mister Tim.

Come, listen, and let your own images play in your head!

Sunday 26th March 2017 – 3:15 p.m.
Waalse Kerk, Walenpleintje 157-159, Amsterdam

Claude Debussy     – Trois Chansons (Klem)
L. Andriessen         – Un beau baiser (Klem)
Josquin des Prez   –  Mille regretz (Klem)
John Tavener         – The Lamb (La grande bellezza)
Gregorio Allegri      – Miserere (Angela’s ashes / Maurice / Face off)
David Lang             – I lie (La grande bellezza)
Samuel Barber       – Agnus Dei (The elephant man / Platoon / Les roseaux sauvages / Lorenzo’s oil)
Howard Shore        – Misty mountains (The Hobbit)
R. Wagner              – Hochzeitsmarsch from Lohengrin (28 Days, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Out of Africa, and many other movies)
Martijn Voorvelt      – Hondsdagen / Dogdays
John Williams arr. Mister Tim  – Star Wars – John Williams is the man
John Williams         – Dry your tears, Afrika (Amistad)