‘Fire’ gets world premiere by FCC in Norwalk
Phyllis A.S. Boros | Newstimes.com

Let’s be candid: Most great composers are dead. So when a living, breathing contemporary one comes along, it’s an opportunity to celebrate.

And that is exactly what the Fairfield County Chorale intends to do on Saturday, March 10, at the Norwalk Concert Hall.

A concert highlight will be the world premiere of Thomas Cabaniss’ “My Song is a Fire,” under the baton of Argentine guest conductor David Rosenmeyer.

“We are thrilled to be performing the world premiere of Thomas’ wonderful work,” FCC Executive Director John Parkinson said last week.

“The music uses today’s concepts to portray the ancient, yet most relevant words” from the Old Testament’s Book of Jeremiah. “The composer has used sometimes discordant sounds to express grief, but then resolves them into powerful harmonies to celebrate the happiness that eventually arrives.”

Jeremiah is alternately referred to by many as a Prophet of Doom and a Prophet of Hope.

Parkinson explained that “My Song is a Fire” is a cantata in six movements for chorus, chamber orchestra and three soloists. The text is adapted from passages from the Book of Jeremiah by the philosophy professor and poet Walt Hudgins (1929-1986).

“In this choral cantata, Cabaniss returns to the ideas of Jeremiah and the poems that Hudgins created based on the biblical texts. To Cabaniss, it seems another apt moment for the urgings of Jeremiah, a time when we are conflicted about the world and our nation’s direction.

“We usually perform works by composers long gone. What a pleasure it is to work with such a talented composer — in person.”

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