Pacific Chorale features sublime love songs in Language of Love on February 24

Pacific Chorale’s stellar chamber choir showcases its captivating artistry on Language of Love, an intimate program of sublime love songs, on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at CSU Fullerton’s Meng Concert Hall. Artistic Director Robert Istad conducts a selection of treasured Broadway tunes, pop hits, dazzling vocal jazz, inspiring choral music and cabaret-style solos. An instrumental combo joins the choir.

Among the featured works is a rare complete performance of Morten Lauridsen’s Les Chansons des Roses, his masterful setting of Rilke’s exquisite love poetry hailed as “celestial and spine-tingling” (International Review of Music). UK’s Daily Express decreed, “contemporary choral music doesn’t come any better than this.”

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Photo by Doug Gifford

Pacific Chorale Artistic Director Robert Istad

Other highlights include Elton John’s touching “Your Song,” arranged by Mac Huff; James Taylor’s “Something in the Way She Moves”; Irving Berlin’s iconic “Cheek to Cheek,” arranged by Bill Cunliffe; Edith Piaf’s instantly recognizable “La Vie En Rose”; and Eric Whitacre’s poignant “With a Lily in Your Hand.” Istad also conducts Ben Folds’ “The Luckiest,” arranged by Jim Clemens; Samuel Barber’s “The Coolin from Reincarnations” and “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge.

According to Istad, “As familiar as much of the music is, Pacific Chorale will present these works anew. Audiences will be enveloped in an aural blanket of stunningly beautiful music when the choir infuses these breathtaking works with its rich harmonies and vocal textures.”

Istad, a Grammy Award-winning conductor, was appointed Pacific Chorale’s artistic director in 2017. Under his leadership, the chorus continues to expand its reputation for excellence for delivering fresh, thought-provoking interpretations of beloved masterworks, rarely performed gems and newly commissioned pieces. In July 2023, he led Pacific Chorale’s first international tour in seven years, conducting performances at leading venues in Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom.

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Courtesy of Pacific Chorale

Pacific Chorale performs “Language of Love” on February 24

Pacific Chorale, led by Istad, has risen to national prominence since its founding in 1968. The resident choir at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is noted for its artistic innovation and commitment to expanding the choral repertoire. It has given world, U.S. and West Coast premieres of more than 40 works, including numerous commissions, by such lauded composers as John Adams, Jake Heggie, James Hopkins, David Lang, Morten Lauridsen, Tarik O’Regan, Karen Thomas, Frank Ticheli, András Gábor Virágh and Eric Whitacre.

In addition to presenting its own concert series each season, Pacific Chorale enjoys a long-standing performance partnership with Pacific Symphony, including the choir’s highly anticipated Carnegie Hall debut in 2018. The chorus also regularly appears with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with which it won the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for its contribution to the live recording of “Mahler: Symphony No. 8, ‘Symphony of A Thousand,’” conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, featuring Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Master Chorale, National Children’s Chorus and Pacific Chorale.

Pacific Chorale’s 2023-24 season is made possible by generous support from Platinum Season Sponsor Phillip N. and Mary A. Lyons.

For tickets to Language of Love ($25-$80) and information, visit www.pacificchorale.org, or call 714.662.2345.

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