With Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia

Saturday, October 14, 2023
One performance * 4pm
The Church of the Holy Trinity
1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia opens its 150th season with WE REPLY TO VIOLENCE. Featuring the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, we present works historic and current, giving voice to our hope for peace in our world

The Mass in Time of War by Franz Josef Haydn is an impassioned response to the Napoleonic wars that played out on his native Austrian soil following the French Revolution. The composer juxtaposes moments of turbulence–uncharacteristic for his masses–with music of great joy and celebration. In doing so, he highlights the underlying struggle in the work from violence to peace.

Joel Thompson’s acclaimed Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, performed by the tenors and basses of Mendelssohn Chorus, was born out of the composer’s desire to channel his sadness and anger following the police killings of Eric Garner and Micheael Brown in 2014. “Emotional and raw” (New York Times), the work is set to text drawn from the final words of seven unarmed black men killed by police in America. Echoing the form of Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ, Thompson’s Seven Last Words will be remembered as a defining artwork of our time.

Also included on the program is our own Dominick DiOrio’s invigorating We Reply. Inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s famous quote about making art in the face of adversity, We Reply incorporates texts from the Jewish sacred prayers Shema and Hashkiveinu, and brings a concert of weighty themes to a propulsive and motivating conclusion.

With this inaugural concert, our voices rise as one in solidarity to speak to the atrocities of war and hatred that continue to plague our society, raising our voices in hope for a better world.

This concert is sponsored in part by Teri Gemberling-Johnson and Jay Johnson.

Please select a performance

Preferred Seating (First 10 Rows)

Adult $40

Senior $30

Student $30

General Admission

Adult $30

Senior $20

Student $20

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