Fate and Faith

Sunday, March 10, 2024 • 3:00pm

Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel:  Lobgesang (Song of Praise)

Johannes Brahms:  Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny)

Felix Mendelssohn:  Psalm 42

Dana Lynne Varga, soprano
With professional orchestra

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Choral music of the 19th century is well known for its melodic, romantic and expressive elements, often exploring themes of faith and fate. Our March concert provides a delicious feast from two of this period's best known composers, Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, and a third, Fanny Mendelsshohn Hensel, who but for the social mores of her day, would likely be as well known. 

To celebrate her son’s first birthday, Hensel wrote Lobgesang using biblical texts to create a choral symphony celebrating spirituality and praising life. Given the hazards of child-birth in her time, perhaps Hensel’s music also celebrates trust in fate and a leap of faith! Brahms’ much loved Schicksalslied is an elegant choral setting of a poem with the same name (Song of Destiny); it, too, explores the joys of human existence and the cruel whims of fate. Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 provides vivid visual and sensual imagery of a stag or deer, likening its desire for fresh water to the soul’s need for God and encouraging the reader to have faith that God will provide.

Whatever your religious or theological beliefs, the rich harmonic textures, expressive melodies, and meticulous craftsmanship of these compositions, with their balance of classical form and romantic sentiment, will lift your spirits and feed your soul!


Church of the Holy Name
1689 Centre Street
West Roxbury, MA

       Featured Soloist


Dana Lynne Varga

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