All concerts are at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Road, Kensington. Please see “Contact” tab for map/directions. Plenty of free parking available.

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TBA

Romance & Reconciliation

We are pleased to be joining forces again this season with UUCB and San Francisco Unitarian Church choruses in  two profound works. Ralph Vaughan Williams’ cantata Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us peace), with text by Walt Whitman, political speech and verses from the Roman Catholic mass form this somber and contemplative commentary on WWI and ominous foreboding of WWII. Preceding this are Five African American spirituals from Sir Michael Tippett’s massive secular oratorio, A Child of Our Time.  Inspired by events that affected Tippett profoundly: the assassination in 1938 of a German diplomat by a young Jewish refugee, and the Nazi government's reaction in the form of a violent pogrom against its Jewish population called Kristallnacht. Tippett's oratorio deals with these incidents in the context of the experiences of oppressed people generally, and carries a strongly pacifist message of ultimate understanding and reconciliation. 

 

The first half of the program will be dedicated to one of the greatest Romantic violin concertos in the repertoire: Max Bruch’s First Concerto in G minor featuring our own Concertmaster Jason Totzke as soloist. 

 

 

The British are coming the British are coming!

Saturday, June 13 @ 7:30 p.m.

We conclude the season with two more great British composers: Sir William Walton and his rarely performed Viola Concerto featuring our own Principal viola, Milda Martisius as soloist in one of the most important works ever written for solo viola. Following intermission, we will conclude the concert and the season with Sir Edward Elgar’s beloved set of Variations on an Original Theme, each of which is dedicated to and is structured as a musical “portrait” paying tribute to the composer’s close friends and  acquaintances as well as his wife Alice. In naming his theme "Enigma" Elgar posed a challenge which has generated much speculation but has never been conclusively answered. The Enigma is widely believed to involve a hidden melody. What is no mystery is the noble, expressive and stirring music that is this inspiring work.