Tickets: $20 at the door
A program of Magnificats and Marian Motets composed over 10 centuries beginning with an anonymous chant from the Sarum Rite, through works of Dunstable, Palestrina, Pelecis (a Latvian composer) and Frank La Rocca whose compositional style incorporates chant throughout the work. Interspersed are Marian Motets reflecting the same range of compositional style from an anonymous Regina Caeli and a Dios te salve to Poulenc's Ave Verum and MacIntyre's energetic Ave Maria.
Amuse is a small ensemble founded by Lee Ryder in the fall of 2002 to bring music written for women’s voices to New York audiences. An often overlooked area of choral literature, this repertory comprises serious works by a wide variety of composers throughout the last twelve centuries. Writing in the New York Times, Allan Kozinn said, “This choir’s real magic is in its delicate balance of serenity and intensity...a pure transparent tone and solid ensemble.”
Since its debut in 2003, Amuse has consistently programmed contemporary works written expressly for women’s voices by 20th- and 21st-century composers. The premiere of Women in Love by New York composer Matthew Harris in June 2006 continued that tradition and was the first commission undertaken by the group. More recently, Amuse performed a program of contemporary music from Scandanavia which included numerous North American premieres.
In the summer of 2004, Amuse participated in the US premiere of John Tavener’s The Veil of the Temple, the closing work of the Lincoln Center Festival. During past seasons, Amuse has also toured in Massachusetts under the baton of its first music director, Barbara Bruns, performing a variety of concerts in Rockport, Andover and Brookline.
In January 2007, Amuse performed a program of sacred works on the Sunday afternoon series at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church with guest conductors Nancianne Parrella and Andrew Henderson. Their September 2007 program, Wholly Holy, was the opening concert of the New York Early Music Celebration. In March 2009, members of Amuse joined the women of the Parish Choir at St. Ignatius Loyola to sing the chants in a collaborative performance of François Couperin’s Messe pour les couvents with Renée Anne Louprette, organist. June 2009 saw some Amuse members joining the Dessoff Symphonic Choir for performances of Britten’s War Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Lorin Maazel for the maestro’s concluding two performances of his tenure with the Philharmonic. Also that same year, Amuse was presented on the Serenade Concert series at the historic Christ Church on Staten Island.
Amuse’s seventh season began with Part-Song; Part Piano, a program of songs for women’s voices and piano as part of the Music on Madison series at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. In May 2010, Amuse made its debut with the Oratorio Society of New York in a cameo role in Mendelssohn’s Paulus under the baton of Kent Tritle at Carnegie Hall.
As a small ensemble, Amuse offers highly-skilled singers the opportunity to perform in a setting where every voice matters. With the expectation that singers learn their music prior to the first rehearsal, the group gathers in the two weeks prior to each concert for five rehearsals and a performance. It is intense, demanding and rewarding. The ensemble is coached by Phillip Cheah and performs without a conductor.