Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" and Oceana
February 27, 2013
Carnegie Hall – 7pm
Symphony No. 7--A Toltec Symphony by Philip Glass
Oceana by Osvaldo Golijov
Biella Da Costa, vocalist
The Collegiate Chorale
In an interesting pairing of contemporary choral compositions by Philip Glass and Osvaldo Golijov, The Chorale turns its attention towards Latin America with the New York premieres of Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" and Oceana.
American Symphony Orchestra
Manhattan Girls Chorus
James Bagwell, Conductor
Composed in 2004, Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" is Philip Glass’s personal homage to the ancient traditions and beliefs of the peoples of Mesoamerica, circa 1100 BCE to BCE. Although often cited for their accomplishments in mathematics, calendar making, building and architecture, Glass is most concerned with Toltec personal spiritual development: "The Toltecs emphasized the relationship with the forces of the natural world (the sun, earth, water, fire and wind) in developing their own wisdom traditions.” In his symphony, Glass portrays this spirituality with driving rhythms and varying textures in the orchestra and chorus.
Commissioned by the Oregon Bach Festival in 1996, Golijov wrote Oceana in the spirit of a Bach cantata, but in a Latin American musical style featuring a jazz/pop vocalist, percussion, and guitars. Set to the poetry of Pablo Neruda, Oceana, in Golijov’s words, is the “transmutation of passion into geometry” and that “water and longing, light and hope, the immensity of South America's nature and pain, are here transmuted into pure musical symbols, which nevertheless should be more liquid than the sea and deeper than the yearning that they represent.” Popular Venezuelan Jazz vocalist and Golijov specialist Biella Da Costa and the Manhattan Girls Chorus join The Chorale in performance of this powerful musical work.
Watch our latest video as James Bagwell and The Chorale prepare to perform Glass and Golijov!
To purchase commercially available recordings of these pieces, click on the images above.
Image Credit: Brian J. Skerry/National Geographic Stock, Red Pigfish and Blue Mao-Mao