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Poetry of kings and prophets:
psalms from spain's golden age and beyond

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 7:30pm
Special Performance at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, 921 Madison Avenue at 73rd Street, NYC


Presented in association with the exhibition of Jacob and his Twelve Sons: Zurbarán Masterpieces on Loan from Auckland Castle at The Frick Collection

One of the most remarkable programs we have ever assembled, this concert is inspired by a fascinating series of 13 life-sized portraits by Francisco de Zurbarán portraying Jacob and his Twelve Sons. On loan from Auckland Castle in England, the paintings will be exhibited at The Frick Collection from January 31 – April 22, 2018.

The story of the portraits is fascinating for its radical narrative and has prompted an inspired concert program. Zurbarán, a painter from Spain’s Golden Age best known for his Christian religious subjects, painstakingly illuminated the founders of the Jewish faith. In a remarkable statement of religious, political and social tolerance, these overtly Jewish paintings were purchased in 1756 and displayed at Auckland Castle by Bishop Richard Trevor to show concern for the plight of oppressed Jews living in England at a time when Jews and other non-Anglican religious groups in Britain were treated with indifference, if not contempt. By surrounding his many influential guests with these imposing and exotic works, the bishop made a public appeal for social, political and religious consideration, which still resonates today.

In that same spirit of social, political, religious and artistic freedom of expression, Voices of Ascension presents a program anchored by Spanish Renaissance masters Morales, Guerrero and Victoria, complimented by Baroque compositions of Zumaya, Salamone Rossi and Ignacio de Jerusalem, and by instrumental pieces, vocal solos, and works for antiphonal chorus. Our concert will take place at Madison Avenue Presbyterian, just a few blocks away from the Frick, so that audience members may see the paintings and walk straight to the concert.