Out of the Depths

Saturday, March 16, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.
First Free Methodist Church (3200 3rd Ave W)

advance tickets: Brown Paper Tickets or 1-800-838-3006

Orchestra Seattle
Seattle Chamber Singers
William White, conductor
Laura Thoreson, mezzo-soprano


Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)
Du fond de l’abîme

— intermission —

César Franck (1822–1890)
Symphony in D minor, FWV 48

About the Concert

“La mer jaune” by Georges Lacombe

From tragedy to triumph, this concert explores the extremes of human feeling as expressed by three of history’s greatest composers. Johannes Brahms captures anguish and hope in his Tragic Overture, a work of singular power and intensity. Next, we present the apex of Lili Boulanger’s achievement as a composer, Du fond de l’abîme (“Out of the depths”), written in 1917, only a year before her tragic death at the age of 24. In this astonishing work, Boulanger interweaves voices and instruments into a free-flowing mélange of styles and textures, incorporating all the major strains of musical thought that were present during the early years of the 20th century.

We conclude with the paramount achievement of French Romanticism, César Franck’s Symphony in D minor, a work that encapsulates infinite shadings of darkness and light in its three movements. A favorite of audiences and performers alike, this symphony is notable for its use of “cyclic form,” in which musical themes appear and reappear throughout the symphony, interacting with each other like characters in an opera.

About the Soloist

Laura Beckel Thoreson

Mezzo-soprano Laura Beckel Thoreson, hailed by Oregon ArtsWatch as “one of the loveliest voices in the Northwest,” enjoys a widely varied singing career spanning opera, oratorio, recital and ensemble performances. She has appeared as a solo artist with Portland Opera, Eugene Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Augusta Opera, Early Music Vancouver, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony, among others. An avid proponent of both early and new music, Ms. Thoreson frequently participates in world-premiere performances and appears on Billboard Top Ten recordings. Upcoming and recent engagements include Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Ensemble of Oregon, Pluviosity by Northwest composer Stacey Phillips, Bernstein’s “Jeremiah” Symphony with Portland Youth Philharmonic, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Willamette Master Chorus, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Oregon Sinfonietta, Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Portland Opera and Handel’s Messiah with Portland Baroque Orchestra. A native of Vancouver, Washington, and a graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Ms. Thoreson was a member of the voice faculty at the University of Portland for three years. She currently holds a faculty position at Clark College and maintains a full private voice studio in the Portland area. Learn more: laurabeckelthoreson.com

Program Notes