THE BOSTON GLOBE – The Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra’s upcoming concert, “Mysteries of the Heart,” is a program that’s been awaited. Slated to be performed a year ago, it was postponed by a shutdown triggered by a resurgent COVID variant.
“But it was too good to put away,” music director Steven Karidoyanes said of the concert of Romantic music now programmed for Saturday, April 30, in Plymouth’s Memorial Hall. “This is important music. We have to do this.”
The program of three peak Romantic treasures is one of a number of upcoming spring concerts to be performed by regional ensembles, including a similarly deferred choral concert in celebration of the centennial of women’s suffrage in Plymouth and another choral program in Hingham.
“Mysteries of the Heart” consists of three orchestral works written within a period of 17 months at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th: “Finlandia” by Jean Sibelius; a piano concerto by American composer Amy Beach; and the much-loved “Enigma Variations” by Edward Elgar.
“Three pieces premiered within months of one another coming from three disparate regions,” Karidoyanes said. “The sonic language is really compatible. It’s heart on the sleeve and really exciting … Each composer represented conveys thrilling, unbridled emotion in their own sonic way, unleashing the power of the symphony orchestra in the process.”
The full 70-member Plymouth orchestra will be joined by members of the South Shore Conservatory Youth Orchestra to create a 90-piece ensemble. The youth orchestra’s conductor, Elijah Langille, called the students’ participation in the concert “an experience they’ll never forget, playing right in the middle of a renowned orchestra with seasoned musicians and an accomplished, charismatic conductor.”
The Beach concerto’s guest soloist is pianist Randall Hodgkinson, who has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and “brings intensity and excellence to this turbulent, robust, and riveting concerto,” Karidoyanes said.
Tickets range from $25 to $60 with a $4.50 service charge, with discounts for seniors and young people, and are available at plymouthphil.org. Karidoyanes will give an informal talk about the music at 6:30 p.m., before the concert’s 7:30 p.m. start.
Masks are required of all who attend, plus proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours.
Among other spring musical offerings, Choral Art Society of the South Shore, a regional ensemble, will present a concert titled “What a Wonderful World: Songs of Earth, Sea, and Sky” on Sunday, May 1, at 4 p.m. at House of Prayer Lutheran Church, 916 Main St. in Hingham.The chorus is conducted by artistic director Danica Buckley, accompanied by pianist Ellyses Kuan, and features flutist Sally Cole Tucker.
The chorus describes its program as music “steeped in the themes of earth, sea, and sky, along with engaging presentations by the region’s environmental organizations.” Buckley said the program is based on a popular concert she conducted some years ago “of songs about earth and creatures.” She revived that program, added new pieces, and collaborated with three local environmental groups to create a concert that brings attention to environmental concerns “while celebrating the extraordinary beauty around us.”
Tickets are $20 (free to ages 18 and under) and available at choralartsociety.org or at the door. Masks are optional for this program, the chorus stated, while advising people to check the website or the group’s Facebook page for possible updates.
Pilgrim Festival Chorus will present a concert titled “A Woman’s Voice” that was originally planned for 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which established American women’s right to vote. Built on themes of “girlhood, love, motherhood, faith, pain, rebellion, loss, and hope to describe some of the experiences common to women,” the concert will be performed on Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 8 at 4 p.m., at St. Bonaventure Parish, 803 State Road, Plymouth.
“Whether expressing the joy of youth, the intensity of love, the pain of loss, or the sacrifices made as a patriot or a pioneer,” the chorus stated, “this concert will reflect the many and varied voices of women.”
The program’s selections range from spirituals and gospel songs to folksongs and “sensitive settings of poetry.” Some pieces are based on texts by famous voices such as Abigail Adams, Helen Keller, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Others are choral settings by female composers, including “Down to the River and Pray” arranged by Gwyneth Walker, and “O Love,” by Elaine Hagenberg. “A Girl’s Garden,” based on a poem by Robert Frost, is set to music by American composer Randall Thompson.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens, $15 for students over 14; children 14 and under are free. Tickets may be purchased online at pilgrimfestivalchorus.org with a limited number available at the door because of venue capacity. Audience members are required to wear masks.
By Robert Knox