The Festival Chorus of Collectio Musicorum (“Collection of Music”) will present a concert on Friday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in memory of two Wagner College music professors, Ronald Cross and Arnold Rosner.
The concert will be hosted by Christ and St. Stephen’s Church, 122 West 69th St., New York.
Collectio Musicorum presents concerts of music you will not hear elsewhere. Founded in 2013 by musicologist and Wagner College alumnus Jeff S. Dailey ’80, Collectio Musicorum is devoted to giving the best possible performances of music from the earliest of times.
The concert will focus on music by Mattheus Pipelare (ca. 1450-1515), a composer active in the Low Countries during the great flowering of Franco-Netherlandish music. He lived and worked in Louvain, Antwerp and Den Bosch; unlike many of his contemporaries, he seems never to have left to study in either France or Italy. A master of polyphony, his surviving music consists mainly of sacred works, and the Festival Chorus of Collectio Musicorum will present several of these works, including his magisterial “Missa de Feria” and “Magnificat.” Also on the program will be keyboard intabulations of works by Pipelare performed by the organist James Wetzel.
This concert is a tribute to the memory of Wagner College music professor Ronald Cross (1929-2013), whose work as a musicologist brought the compositions of Pipelare to light and life. Dr. Cross was also a composer, and several of his organ works will be heard at the concert, along with music by his Wagner colleague, Dr. Arnold Rosner (1945-2013), a composer inspired by Renaissance polyphony. In addition to choral music by Rosner, the concert will feature his “Wedding March,” which Cross performed at Rosner’s wedding at the United Nations Chapel.
Other works by composers associated with Cross will also appear on the program. Cross was a great admirer of Richard Wagner’s music, and he developed and taught a class on Wagner’s operas at Wagner College. The concert will feature two choruses from Wagner’s early opera “Rienzi,” with James Wetzel performing the organ part.
Although Cross was not known as a performer of the music of Arthur Sullivan, he was very supportive of Jeff Dailey’s scholarship in that area and wrote one of the evaluations of the latter’s study of the opera, “Ivanhoe,” that led to its publication. Dailey will conduct two pieces by Sullivan on the program: the anthem, “I Will Sing of Thy Power,” with Nathaniel Adams as the tenor soloist, and the original version of the madrigal, “When Love and Beauty,” from his early opera, “The Sapphire Necklace.” Although Sullivan wrote this opera early in his career, it was never performed. One of only two selections from the score that was ever published, the version of the madrigal that went on the market 2 years before the composer died was abridged and simplified. This concert will present the composer’s original intentions.
Christ and St. Stephen’s Church is accessible to the 72nd Street stations of the 1, 2, 3, B and C subways. For further travel information, visit the church’s website.
Collectio Musicorum is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 corporation.