Videos

Videos
Documentaries

A Visit with the Peninsula Women's Chorus
The Peninsula Women's Chorus is a 50-voice chorus that's been around since the 60's. They are well known in choral circles: they have won prizes in international competitions, and they have been recognized by ASCAP for their adventurous programming.

We visited the PWC during rehearsal and chatted with their Artistic Director and several members of the Chorus. We then taped their Spring 2009 concert at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park.

Although they're well known in choral circles, the PWC is not well known in the local community in general. Come out and see them. You'll be impressed.

TheMediaCenter

Bringing New Music to Life: A Season of Peninsula Women's Chorus Commissions
Our video highlights the 2013-2014 season’s three new commissions and composers Kirke Mechem, Mark Winges, and Kirstina Rasmussen. In the video, we hear them speak about the inspiration behind their music and how they complemented the poetry settings with song. As singers, we embark on a journey each season: we discover a wide range of emotions through our interactions with the music and the composers who opened us to the ideas that gave life to the pieces. In hearing our music performed, it is our hope that our journey will become yours as well.

With special thanks to Family Portraits Video.

The Face & Heart of New Music

A documentary about the production and premiere of a new choral work for treble voices performed at the New Music for Treble Voices Festival 2011 in Palo Alto, California. Includes interviews with artistic directors, performers, audience members, and concert performance of the commissioned work.

Video produced by the Mid-Peninsula Community Media Center of Palo Alto, California. Sound design by Andrew Heller.

Repertoire

Mostly Made in America (2015)

This CD is an homage to the musical heritage of America, giving voice to celebration, uncertainty, the spirit of struggle, as well as the tranquility and familiarity of the sounds of home. Featured on the CD are some the PWC's signature and most intimate performances, including the heart-wrenching "Let Evening Come," the battling interludes of "Thou Famished Grave," the intricate and exuberant "Venite Exultemus Domino" and the well-loved Songs of Night, commissioned to celebrate Artistic Director Martín Benvenuto's tenth anniversary with the PWC in 2013.

Aglepta

Composer: Arne Mellnas (1933-2002).

Aglepta is based on a 19th century Swedish invocation and presents an innovative relationship between text and music. Phonetic fragments of the five words introduced by the speaker, "Aglaria pidhol garia ananus qepta," are woven in a succession of pitches and random sounds: shouts, chants, and whispers. Here, Mellnas exhibits his skill as technical innovator and avant-garde stylist. Chosen as a compulsory piece at a childrens choir competition in Sweden in 1970, it stirred up much controversy but is now considered a landmark composition for treble voice.

Recorded Spring 2009 in Menlo Park, CA. Our thanks to Stan Ng of the Media Center of Palo Alto, California for the video production.

Äike (Thunderstorm)

Composer: Veljo Tormis (b. 1930).

from Suvemotiivid ("Summer Motifs") "Summer Motifs" from the series Looduspildid ("Nature Pictures")

Recorded Spring 2009 in Menlo Park, CA. Our thanks to Stan Ng of the Media Center of Palo Alto, California for the video production.

Cape Breton Lullaby

Composer: Kenneth Leslie (1892-1974). Arranged by Stuart Calvert.

Recorded Spring 2009 in Menlo Park, CA. Our thanks to Stan Ng of the Media Center of Palo Alto, California for the video production.

Les Sirènes

Composer: Lili Boulanger (1893-1918). Soloist: Cathleen Kalcic.

This piece was composed by Boulanger at the age of 18 and two years before she won the prestigious Prix de Rome competition, the first woman to have done so. In Greek mythology, sirens, those sisters of the sea, embody beauty, allure and danger, enchanting and luring sailors with their lovely song.

Recorded Spring 2009 in Menlo Park, CA. Our thanks to Stan Ng of the Media Center of Palo Alto, California for the video production.

Let Evening Come

Composer: Brian Holmes (b. 1946). Poem by Jane Kenyon(1947-1995).

"Let Evening Come is a setting of a poem of Jane Kenyon (1947-1995). After she married the poet Donald Hall, nineteen years her senior, they moved to a farm in New Hampshire. The poem was written when Kenyon learned her husband had cancer; the words offer resignation and consolation, linked with vivid images drawn from their farm. Ironically, Hall survived, while cancer carried Kenyon away instead. The premiere was by Cantilena of Arlington, Massachusetts, just two weeks after Kenyon’s death. Cantilena has recorded the piece, while The Choral Project has recorded a later version for mixed chorus. I hope the Peninsula Women’s Chorus will sing this piece at my funeral, preferably in the distant future.”
- Brian Holmes

Recorded Spring 2009 in Menlo Park, CA. Our thanks to Stan Ng of the Media Center of Palo Alto, California for the video production.

Oblivion

Composer: Cristian Grases (b. 1973).

In this piece Venezuelan composer, Cristian Grases, weaves two texts: the first verse of Dies Irae from the Latin Requiem Mass and Proverb 46 by Spanish poet Antonio Machado. In his poem, Machado describes a dream sequence which juxtaposes a sleeping world - an allegorical drifting away from connecton to the Divinity (a threat of the inevitable return to ashes) - and a sleeping God who might sometimes seem to forget our plight. "Alerta!" (be alert!), we warn each other. "Despierta!" (wake up!), we implore. In the closing chant, we are left in an impassioned dream or limbo where we fight against darkness and the threat of oblivion.

Recorded Spring 2009 in Menlo Park, CA. Our thanks to Stan Ng of the Media Center of Palo Alto, California for the video production.