SATB Choir, Trumpet, Oboe, Organ, Strings
Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra of New York, Mark Shapiro, music director
Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra of New York
Divis Cetera is a festive work for SATB choir and chamber orchestra on Horace's Ode to Mount Soracte. It was commissioned and premiered in Carnegie Hall by Cecilia Chorus of New York conducted by Mark Shapiro.
"After the intermission came the premiere of Raphael Fusco's Divis Cetera: An Ode from Mount Soracte, commissioned by The Cecilia Chorus. It is a splendid piece, a mature and wise piece, from a quite young composer: Fusco was born in 1984.
Fusco's chosen text was the “Ode from Mount Soracte” by ancient Roman poet Horace (65 BCE – 8 BCE). The poem is Horace at his best and most subtle: it brings to the familiar notion that the present moment must be cherished a sense of wise wistfulness about days gone by. The ode simultaneously looks to the hopefulness of spring while wet, heavy winter snows burden the landscape. The lovely present moment to be relished is never quite here: it is gone, or yet to come. It is elusive. Horace's deft and elegant verses compel us not to drink and be merry, but to consider why we make the choices we do.
Fusco's music and Horace's text inhabit each other well; the chorus sang beautifully. The opening lyricism of the piece evoked Respighi, successfully locating listeners in a remembered Rome. Some passages of the piece were light and flirtatious; others conveyed gentle world-weariness. The very last stanza of the ode contains its most ephemeral images – the quiet laughter of an unseen girl, a dropped lover's token. The musical conclusion of the work, though still reminiscently pastoral, was the most complex and demanding part of the piece, an ending appropriate to the depths of Horace's meanings. Simply wonderful.”
Jean Ballard Terepka - Theaterscene.net (Jan 1, 2013)