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May Festival

The concert included the world premiere performance of Ian Krouse’s “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,” an a cappella piece commissioned by May Festival Chorus members and alumni to honor their director. The California-based composer took for his inspiration Walt Whitman’s poem of love and loss from his cycle “Sea Drift.” Porco’s tempo was gentle for the somber, lullaby-like piece, and the chorus responded to his alert direction with a hushed quality and beauty of expression.

Janelle Gelfand
Cincinnati Enquirer

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May Festival Premieres

A= American     NA=North American     W=World

1873 AGeorge Frideric Handel Dettingen Te Deum in D Major
1875 AJohann Sebastian Bach Magnificat
1875AJohannes Brahms Triumphal Hymn (“Triumph Lied”), Opus 55
1878 WOtto Singer Cantata, Festival Ode (composed for May Festival
and opening of new Music Hall)
1880 WDudley BuckScenes from Longfellow’s Golden Legend
(prize composition)
1882 WWilliam Wallace Gilchrist Psalm 46 (prize composition)
1888 WJohn Knowles Paine Song of Promise, Cantata, Opus 43
(composed for May Festival)
1894 ACarl Goldmark Sappho, Overture, Opus 44
AAnton Rubinstein Moses, Oratorio, Opus 112, tableaux 3 and 4
1914AGustav Mahler Symphony No. 3
1916ARichard Strauss An Alpine Symphony, Opus 64
1918WEdgar Stillman Kelley The Pilgrim’s Progress, A Musical Miracle Play,
Opus 37 (May Festival commission)
WEugene Ysaÿe Exil, Poem for String Orchestra without Basses
1923WHenry Hadley Resurgam, Opus 98
1925 A Lodewijk Mortelmans Young America, a Children’s Cantata
1927 A Johann Sebastian Bach Der zufriedengestellte Aolus (Aeolus Appeased), Secular Cantata No. 205
A Jesús Guridi Thus Sang the Little Ones, Three Spanish Childhood Scenes
1935 W Martin Dumler Stabat mater
A Sir Granville Bantock Atlanta in Calydon, Symphony for Chorus
A Cyril Scott La belle dame sans merci, for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra
1937 W Robert Nathaniel Dett The Ordering of Moses, A Biblical Folk Scene
1939 W James Heller Watchman, What of the Night?, Oratorio
1944 W Bernard Rogers The Passion, Oratorio
1946 W Martin Dumler Te Deum
A Frederick Delius A Mass of Life (first complete performance)
1954 A Franz Schmidt The Book with Seven Seals, Oratorio
1956 W Wallace Berry Spoon River, Song Cycle for Soprano and Baritone
W Feliks Labunski Images of Youth
A Benjamin Britten Gloriana, Opus 53
A Franz Reizenstein Voces of Night, Cantata, Opus 27
1958 A Jenö Takacs The Chant of the Creation
1960 W Margaret Johnson Bosworth Queen City Suite
1963 W Gian Carlo Menotti The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi, Dramatic Cantata (May Festival commission)
1965 W Franz Waxman The Song of Terezin, Song Cycle
1968 W Hans Werner Henze Moralities, Three Scenic Cantatas
1969 W Peter Mennin The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Cantata de Virtute
1970 W Wilfred Josephs Mortales, Opus 62
1974 W Donald Erb New England’s Prospect, for Narrator, Chorus and Orchestra
1988 W Giuseppe Verdi Luisa Miller (Jeffrey Kallberg’s restored edition)
1992 A Carl Maria von Weber Oberon, Complete Opera (Gustav Mahler’s 1913 version)
1998 W Alvin Singleton PraiseMaker (May Festival commission)
1999 W Gideon Lewensohn Serenata Concertante for Woodwinds, Keyboards, Percussion & Strings
NA Kurt Weill Propheten from Der Weg der Verheissung (devised by David Drew)
2000 W Daniel Brewbaker Cincinnatus Psalm (May Festival commission)
2002 W Leonard Bernstein Symphony No. 3, Kaddish (first performance of a revised narration by Jamie Bernstein Thomas)
2003 W Franz Liszt St. Stanislaus
2004 W Stephen Paulus All Things Are Passing (May Festival commission)
2006 W Adolphus Hailstork Earthrise (May Festival commission)
2010 W Ian Krouse Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking (May Festival commission)