The Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble recently attracted attention from Swiss composer Ivo Antognini. With three original jazz albums under his belt, the award-winning choral composer is also known as a composer of music for film and television.
“We did a piece of his last season,” Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble musical director Linda Raney said. “It was beautifully written. Apparently, he follows YouTube and viewed us singing on YouTube. He emailed us and asked if he could send us two pieces he wrote for women’s voices. We’re doing one during our winter festival. We’ll eventually perform the other one.”
Raney thought “Salve Regina Mater” by Antognini would receive its U.S. premiere during the group’s upcoming concerts. It turns out that the work is receiving its world premiere.
The Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble will perform “A Winter Festival of Song 2013” Dec. 13 through Dec. 21 at three Santa Fe venues. In addition to “Salve Regina Mater,” the group will sing works by Eleanor Daley, Benjamin Britten and David Willcocks.
“Tota pulchra es” by Maurice Durufléis the only piece the ensemble performed during its September tour of Spain. Thirteen singers performed concerts in Madrid, Seville, Barcelona and Grenada. “Tota pulchra es” was featured during the Barcelona show.
“This piece works well in our Winter Festival of Song, which is why I decided to include it when I put together this program,” Raney said.
Other concert highlights include a presentation of the Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble’s 2009 commissioned piece “Listen” by Houston-based composer Kinley Lange, “Ubi Caritas,” which was written in the Gregorian chant tradition by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, and contemporary works by Lloyd Pfautsch and Daniel Pinkham.
To add variety to the program, Raney asked harpist David Glen Ponder, a new Santa Fe resident who completed a master’s degree in music from the Peabody Conservatory and a master of arts degree from the University of Iowa, and glockenspiel player Angela Gabriel Goulden, who is on the faculty of the Santa Fe University of Art & Design’s department of contemporary music and co-director of the 7th Wave Community Singers, to play solo pieces.
“We decided to include instrumental solos partly to give the singers a break,” said Raney. “With just 12 voices, the singers can use a little rest.”
The concert will include “Glock Solo for Solo Glockenspiel” by Michael Sperone during the first half of the concert, while Bach’s “Largo from Violin Sonata no. 5” is presented as a harp solo during the second half.
Carols and inspirational songs also are part of this eclectic program.