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In Paradisum (May 17th, 2024)

Springfield Choral Society & Musicians of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra

Jacobsen Woollen, Conductor

Featuring the Faure Requiem, as well as works by Bruckner, Barber, Dalglish, Dodson, Duruflé, Kirchner, and Trumbore.

Friday, May 17th, 7:30pm

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield

Tickets: $20, available either online or at the door. 25% of ticket proceeds will go to benefit the SIU Alzheimer's Center.

About In Paradisum, the Springfield Choral Society’s May 17th Concert

Is paradise in our past, eternally lost in the Fall? Or is paradise in our future, a utopian vision towards which we eternally aspire? Can it be found here on Earth? Or is it located in the Beyond? Is paradise a place, an external environment? Or is it an internal state of the spirit, a way of seeing? 

With its May 17th concert, titled In Paradisum, the Springfield Choral Society presents a simple answer to all of these questions: yes.

The yearning for paradise—whether here or there, then or now, outer or inner—has inspired a profusion of great music: the Choral Society will present seven such works, each of which paints a unique portrait of the paradisiacal. 

With its focus on the promise of paradise, rather than the horror of damnation, Gabriel Faure’s Requiem is known affectionately as the “gentle Requiem.” From the Latin text of the Requiem, Faure excludes the hellfire of the Dies Irae, which looms so large in other Requiem settings, instead including a shimmering setting of the In Paradisum, which closes the work in a halo of blessedness. Here, the voices of the angelic drown out those of the demonic.

Dale Trumbore’s lilting and optimistic work You Find Yourself Here suggests that the path to paradise runs through the self: discover who you truly are, and then paradise is wherever you may be. Maurice Duruflé’s chant-based motet Ubi Caritas, on the other hand, locates paradise in the love of one’s neighbors: “where charity and love are, there is God.” For the devoted Catholic Anton Bruckner, in his famous Locus iste, the space of the church is an oasis of the immaculate, a sort of embassy of the paradisiacal. The narrator of Samuel Barber’s Sure on this shining night, seemingly suspended in the moments between life and death, looks with wonder upon the mystery that is to come: “I weep for wonder, wand’ring far alone, of shadows on the stars.” In the American folk song “Unclouded Day,” radiantly arranged by Shawn Kirchner, paradise is immeasurably distant—“O they tell me of a home far beyond the skies”—and yet, the faith in arriving there is inextinguishable—“they tell me that mine eyes shall behold.” David Dodson’s Farthest Field and Malcolm Dalglish’s Paradise, both of which stride ahead in the pace of a processional, place the focus on the journey: “Walk with me, and we will see the mystery revealed.”

Having focused on the start of life with our December program, "Unto Us A Child Is Born," this program will turn towards the latter phases of life. 25% of our ticket proceeds will be going to benefit the SIU Alzheimer’s Center, whose vital work is bringing us steadily closer to the vision of the novelist Jean Paul: “Recollection is the only paradise from which we cannot be turned out.”


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