Charles Ives's choral works are not as well-known as his orchestral and chamber music, but they offer just as many challenges and delights to attentive listeners. His setting of Psalm 90, for example, is quintessential Ives in its pairing of hymn-tune simplicity (including the sounds of organ and church bells) and harmonic audacity. It is disturbing but ultimately consoling music. Madrigalia's performance of Ives's Psalm 90 is a highlight of their concerts this weekend, titled "Songs of the Soul." The program is an imaginative collection of settings of texts from the Book of Psalms, covering a full range of emotions. Besides Ives, the composers include Bobby McFerrin, Howard Hanson, and Alan Hovhaness. Madrigalia will be joined by Cordancia Chamber Orchestra and cantor Keri Lopatin Berger, all led by the choir's artistic director and conductor, Cary Ratcliff.
Madrigalia will present "Songs of the Soul" on Friday, May 19, 8 p.m., at Third Presbyterian Church, 4 Meigs Street; and again on Sunday, May 21, 4 p.m., at Temple Beth El, 139 South Winton Road. Pre-concert chat 45 minutes before each concert. $18 general; $5 for students. 230-2894; madrigalia.org.