Faith Lutheran Church Presents
The Florida Premiere of
“Prayers from the Ark” by Gwyneth Walker
With the Qol Quartet and Pianist Joseph Holt
Saturday, April 25, 7 p.m. § Faith Lutheran Church
This family friendly program features a dramatic retelling of the Noah story and favorite spirituals and gospel songs.
(Sarasota, FL) Faith Lutheran Church presents the Florida premiere of “Prayers from the Ark,” a dramatic retelling of the Noah story by contemporary composer Gwyneth Walker, with the Qol Quartet, a vocal ensemble of four singers from Sarasota. The second half of the concert will feature favorite gospels and spirituals. The quartet will be accompanied by Dr. Joseph Holt on piano. The concert is Saturday, April 25, 7 p.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $15 (children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge) and available online at www.faithsarasota.com or during business hours at Faith Lutheran Church: 941-924-4664.
Dr. Joseph Holt, director of music at Faith Lutheran Church and artistic director of Gloria Musicae, says that the poems for “Prayers from the Ark” were written by the French poet Carmen Bernos de Gasztold during the Second World War, at the time of the German occupation of France. “These are short sacred texts, described by Ms. Walker as ‘lamentations, celebrations, self-portraits and offerings,'” he says. “This delightful work attributes a unique voice to each animal and a unique request in prayer: a worm for the bird, water for the ducks, a saucer of milk for the cat. Noah’s request is the most general–less noise from the animals!”‘
He adds that the musical setting takes the form of a mini-opera, with 10 short scenes. Each creature (solo voice, or, occasionally an ensemble) takes center stage to present a message. The music is often in free meter, in recitative style. The more established rhythmical sections are created to allow the animals to dance.
“The poems selected for these songs were chosen for their charm, humor, wit and sincerity,” notes Gwyneth Walker in an essay she wrote about the work. “The variety of expression from one creature to the next is appealing for dramatic presentation. Yet, the underlying spirit of prayer unites the individual scenes. As Noah releases the dove as a gesture of hope, so too do all of the creatures lift up their prayers for salvation. Amen!”
For more information about this concert at Faith Lutheran, visit www.faithsarasota.com or call 941-924-4664.