The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The UW Men’s Choir performs a FREE concert of Poulenc, Vaughan Williams, Durufle plus UW-Madison graduate Ty Kroll this Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

May 8, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

Although it is a student organization, not an actual University of Wisconsin chorus, the UW Men’s Choir (below) will give a FREE concert with a very appealing program this coming Friday night, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall on the UW campus.

uw men's choir close up

The Men’s Choir will perform under its leader,  Madison musician and UW-Madison graduate Ben Luedcke (below) who also directs the Lake Edge United Church of Christ in Madison, The Crossing and the Choral Arts Society Chorale as well as the Madison Summer Choir.

Ben Luedcke

The program includes Francis Poulenc’s “Four Short Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi”; Josef Rheinberger’s “Johannisnacht”; Ralph Vaughan Williams “The Vagabond”; Marcel Durufle’s “Ubi Caritas”; Ty Kroll’s “A Red, Red Rose” and the traditional song “In This Heart.”

For more information about the group, including how to join it, visit:

Choir member, UW-Madison graduate and composer Ty Kroll (below, in a photo by Marchia Yapp) writes about the program:

ty kroll Marchia Yapp

“The Poulenc (in a YouTube video at bottom) is nuts, actually beautiful, but certainly nuts in some of the voice leading and harmonic changes.

“The piece by Rheinberger (below) has apparently never been recorded, which seems a huge surprise. It’s a fine piece in a Brahmsian style. Possibly there is just no commercially available recording of it? If it’s really as hard to come by as it seems, I think our concert may be a rare opportunity to hear it.

Josef Rheinberger bw

“The Vaughan Williams has a piano arrangement, and is not the a cappella version.

“The Duruflé is a new arrangement by Liam Moore, who sings in the group.

“The Kroll is a new composition by me. The text is from the Robert Burns transcription of a traditional folk song “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose” (which is often credited to Burns himself these days), as well as verse or so borrowed from “The Turtle Dove,” a different folk tune which shares a lot of the same lyrics and possibly some history in the tune as well. The melody is new, but heavily pentatonic and has the “sound” of an English or Irish folk melody. For a bit I think our conductor actually mistook it for an arrangement of mine of a traditional tune, so I know I did my job of trying to make it sound traditional well enough.

“The arrangement is features viola solo and Mikko Utevsky (below) will play the featured viola part. (I’m selling the piece at musicnotes, but you can see the first page for free here:  So far it has sold about 10 copies, so it’s possible this will not be the world premiere, but as far as I know we are premiering the piece.)

Here is a link to Kroll’s own website:

MAYCO Mikko Utevsky by Steve Rankin

Finally, “In This Heart” is another premiere of a new arrangement of a traditional folk song by the conductor, Ben Luedcke.

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