Sunday, February 25 , 2018, 12:47 am | Fair 48º

 
 
 
 

Edelweiss Choir Heralds Springtime

The sentimental, old-fashioned concert includes music in English and German languages

The Edelweiss Choir presented its spring concert Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church, delivering a vernal cascade of music in the English and German languages.

Over the years, Edelweiss has established itself as a provider of traditional “old sweet songs” whenever it takes the stage. On Sunday, Julia Neufeld was the able director, and Beverly Staples served as accompanist at the keyboard. The nave of Trinity Lutheran is vaulted, allowing the music to literally soar over the audience.

The first half of the program was mostly given over to traditional works, both classical and popular. The singers led off with Richard Rodgers’ evocative It’s a Grand Night for Singing. An especially nice touch is the choir’s attire — gray loden dress coats for the men and long black gowns with Alpine embroidered panels for the women.

Schubert Melodien followed — a vocal arrangement of Franz Schubert’s most familiar favorites. Then came Robert Schumann’s Frulingsgruss (“Greetings, Lovely Spring”). Felix Mendelssohn’s Lerchengesang (“Song of the Lark”) was another piece from the 19th century repertoire. Filling out most of the remainder of the first half were two folk songs, Johannes Brahms’ lovely In Stiller Nacht (“In the Silence of the Night”), and two more pieces by Mendelssohn.

The choir ended the half with a rousing medley of favorites by Irving Berlin: There’s No Business Like Show Business, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Blue Skies, Always and God Bless America.

For the program’s second half, Edelweiss presented folk songs, two early 19th century songs by Frederick Silcher, and a medley from the operetta Im Weissen Rossl (“The White Horse Inn”) by Ralph Benatzky. The folk music included songs from Rumania and the German region of Swabia.

In The White Horse Inn medley, soprano Susan Rudolf and tenor Hans Rudolf were featured in a sparkling duet, Die ganze Welt (“The Whole World Is Heavenly Blue When I Look Into Your Eyes”). Hans Rudolf also soloed with Zuschau’n kann ich nicht (“Just a spectator I cannot be, my heart breaks unless I am involved”).

The audience gave the choir a rousing curtain call at the end of this sweetly sentimental, old-fashioned concert. In the printed program, the choir announced it is looking for new members. Rehearsals take place every Tuesday at 7 p.m., resuming in September after the summer break, in Trinity Lutheran’s Fellowship Hall. As an added inducement, the program pointed out that past travel opportunities have included appearances in Germany, Brazil and Western Canada.

Call 805.682.1537 or 805.682.6346 for more information.

— Margo Kline covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor.

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