Raphael’s Carnegie Hall Debut

David Johnston

2011 Composer-in-Residence Raphael Fusco


The Cecilia Chorus of New York will perform the world premiere of our 2011 Composer-in-Residence Raphael Fusco’s new work Divis Cetera: An Ode from Mount Soracte at Carnegie Hall on December 22nd. Raphael has worked with the Chorus’ new music director Maestro Mark Shapiro for a decade, beginning at the Paris Schola Cantorum in 2002. Committed to adventurous programming and new works, Maestro Shapiro has commissioned several works from Raphael, including Lamentations of Jeremiah for strings, choir and mezzo-soprano and an arrangement of William Walton’s Belshaszar’s Feast for 4 pianos and choir.

Raphael’s latest commission by Maestro Shapiro and the Chorus (a first in its 100 year old history) is Divis Cetera (the rest to the gods), based on text by the Roman poet Horace. Here’s how Raphael describes his piece:

“I composed Divis Cetera in the summer of 2012 during a concert tour of southern Italy.  The rolling hills and majestic mountains of the picturesque Italian countryside greatly inspired me throughout my work, and their colors and contours have inevitably made their way into the work’s gestures and orchestration. The piece concludes with a triple fugue that reprises the first lines of the third through fifth stanzas and highlights the moral of the story: Carpe diem!  There is no use worrying about what tomorrow will bring; let us enjoy the present moment and leave the rest to the gods.”

And since the evening’s theme is “Mangia!  Holiday Music with the Flavor of Italy,” the concert will also feature works by Vivaldi, Mennin and Leonarda (whose motets Raphael arranged for the Chorus).

Tickets are selling fast, so don’t miss your chance to hear gorgeous holiday choral music!



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