Concert Preview: “Sursum Corda’s spring ode to love and life May 23 at Canterbury UMC”

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Sursum Corda, the 18-voice Birmingham choir, can never be accused of mundane programs, and “Songs of Love and Life,” the free concert on Thursday, May 23, bears that out.

Two choral cycles by the prolific and highly regarded American composer Ned Rorem anchor the program, which takes place at Canterbury United Methodist Church. Representing the Renaissance are works by Jacques Arcadelt and Hans Leo Hassler, complemented by Morten Lauridsen’s “Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts,” from 1983.

Equally intriguing are three choral art songs by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, the sister of Felix Mendelssohn, from her cycle, “Gartenlieder.” American popular music and folk song arrangements round out the program.

Led by Birmingham-Southern music professor Lester Seigel, the choir has been together since 2006, and since then has grown from 12 to 18 members and produced a CD. Alabama Symphony musicians will accompany the concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m. The church is located at 350 Overbrook Road in Mountain Brook.

Written by: Michael Huebner for (Alabama Media Group, The Birmingham News) on May 13, 2013