The freewheeling confederation of musicians known as the Buffalo Chamber Players are joining with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in a concert called “War and Peace.” It is conducted by chorus director Erin Freeman. There are two pieces, both intriguing and experimental in different ways.
Heinrich Biber’s mercurial Battalia, or Battle, has a touch of the kind of dissonance one would associate with the avant-garde, not the Baroque era. At one point, musicians are invited to clap. Another section is so dissonant that it sounds as if players are tuned to different frequencies. Strong stuff, for 1673.
Dominating the concert is Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man.” Subtitled “A Mass for Peace,” it is an antiwar statement that combines prayers from the Roman Catholic Mass with music and verses from other religious traditions. The first part, featuring bright melodies that sound like medieval dances and fanfares, accompanied by drums that sound like marching feet, reminded me of Carl Orff and “Carmina Burana.” That movement is followed by a Muslim call to prayer. Then comes a mournful, lovely Kyrie – the Catholic prayer traditionally said in Greek. Jenkins keeps the unexpected coming throughout the piece, which lasts over an hour and requires an adept, adaptable chorus.
The concert is at 8 p.m. Friday in Westminster Presbyterian Church (724 Delaware Ave.). Tickets are $20 (www.bpchorus.com). VIP tickets are $40 and include a pre-concert, 21-and-over reception. – Mary Kunz Goldman