The Androscoggin Chorale will sing music by the Czech composer in Norway and Auburn.

Androscoggin Chorale will sing music by the Czech composer in Norway, Auburn.

To honor Antonin Dvorak, who died 100 years ago, the Androscoggin Chorale will sing the Mass in D in two performances during the pre-Easter season.

The concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at the Second Congregational Church in Norway and at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 28, at the First Universalist Church in Auburn.

For many Americans, Dvorak is known because of his popular “New World Symphony,” written after the Czech composer visited this country.

Through beautiful poignant melodies, he conveyed his strong feelings for America. Devoutly religious, Dvorak also expressed his deep “faith, hope and love of God” in his musical creativity for the church.

Dvorak’s Mass in D is unique in that it was composed for a patron’s private chapel, using an organ rather than an orchestra to accompany the chorus.

The Mass is elegantly crafted, while flavored in typical Dvorak fashion with folk melody themes ranging from quietly meditative ones to robustly exuberant. The composer was pleased with the result, which he felt fulfilled his mission to show his devotion to God through his music.

To complete the program, director Peter Frewen has selected a series of six a cappella songs entitled “Prayers from the Ark,” based on a collection of poems by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold and set to music by British composer Ivor R. Davies. With a sense of humor, the poet imagines what several creatures from Noah’s ark might ask of God, wryly giving them human traits such as meekness, selfishness, patience, faith and hope.

The music delightfully complements the text, conveying these varied supplications in a whimsical yet serious manner.

Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for seniors; at the door tickets will be $17.50. Student tickets are half-price, and children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Tickets are available at the Lewiston and Auburn Hannaford and Shaw’s supermarkets, Mr. Paperback in Lewiston, Hannaford and Books ‘n Things in Oxford, and Norway Savings Bank. They also can be obtained by calling the Maine Music Society at 782-1403 or by visiting the Web at www.mainemusicsociety.org.


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