Program Notes - Arizona Repertory Singers

Program Notes - Arizona Repertory Singers

Dr. Jeffry A. Jahn Music Director Gregg Reynolds Accompanist Moments in time April 2013 Festival Psalter Allen Koepke (1939 - 2012) If Ye Love Me ...

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Dr. Jeffry A. Jahn Music Director Gregg Reynolds Accompanist

Moments in time April 2013 Festival Psalter

Allen Koepke (1939 - 2012)

If Ye Love Me

Thomas Tallis (c.1505 – 1585)

Ave Verum Corpus

William Byrd (b?1543 – 1623)

Three Madrigals “O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming?” “Take, O Take Those Lips Away” “Sigh No More, Ladies, Sigh No More!” Tenebrae factae sunt

Emma Lou Diemer (b.1927)

Johann Michael Haydn (1737 – 1806)

Festival Te Deum

Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976)

Interval Våren (Spring)

Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907)/arr. Paul Christiansen

How fair is Thy face Ave Maria “Va, pensiero” (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco Bridal Chorus, from Lohengrin My Song in the Night

Edvard Grieg Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901) Giuseppe Verdi Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883) arr. Paul Christiansen

Feller From Fortune

arr. Henry Somers

Wayfaring Stranger

arr. Alice Parker

What Would You Do If You Married a Soldier? Alleluia

arr. Mack Wilberg Ralph Manuel (b.1951)

Program Notes - by Cathy Wolfson 1

Festival Psalter - Allen Koepke (1939 - 2012) was born and raised in Iowa. He received a master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, was Director of Choral Music at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, and taught for 16 years at Kirkwood Community College as Professor Emeritus. He received a number of awards for his compositions and teaching excellence, including “Iowa Professor of the Year” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and “Innovator of the Year” by the national organization, “League For Innovation.” Festival Psalter is based upon texts from Psalm 98: 5-10, Psalm 100: 2, and Psalm 29: 11. It joyfully praises the Lord and features a technique called “through-composing,” which, according to the composer, provides new musical themes for each verse - using rich harmonies to illustrate the themes of “joy, reflection, obedience, expectation and the blessings of peace.” If Ye Love Me - Thomas Tallis (c.1505 - 1585) was an English composer and organist. Though Tallis remained a Catholic, he wrote and published music for England’s Anglican monarchs - Henry VIII, Mary Tudor, Edward VI, and Elizabeth I - and managed to avoid being embroiled in the vicious religious struggles of his time. He taught and collaborated with William Byrd, and in 1575, Elizabeth I granted the two composers a 21-year license, and a monopoly on writing polyphonic music. If Ye Love Me is an example of what became a prototype of early English anthems – choral pieces written in four parts with clear syllabic wording. It was composed during Edward’s reign, and is a musical setting of two verses, John 14:15-16 – the words that Jesus spoke to the disciples shortly before his crucifixion. The sparse harmonies highlight the seriousness of Jesus’s message to his disciples. Ave Verum Corpus - William Byrd, (b?1543 - 1623) born in London, was a prolific composer of sacred choral music as well as secular songs and instrumental works that featured his brilliant contrapuntal talents. Touted in his time as the ‘Father of British Music,’ Byrd’s versatility as a composer is demonstrated by his wide range of sacred music styles – from fluid and penitential to devotional and concise. He studied with Tallis, and they collaborated on a collection of 34 motets dedicated to Queen Elizabeth. Byrd may have been raised as a Protestant, but in the latter part of his life he became more involved with Catholicism, which greatly influenced his personal and creative expression. As a result, the text of his motets became more focused on persecution and deliverance. Ave Verum Corpus is a sacred hymn, extolling the true body of Christ. Ave verum corpus, Natum de Maria Virgine: Vere passum, immolatum In cruce pro homine: Cuius latus perforatum, Unda fluxit sanguine: Esto nobis pregustatum In mortis examine. O dulcis, O pie, O Jesu fili Mariae, Miserere mei. Amen.

Hail, true body, Born of the Virgin Mary: With true anguish suffered On the cross for man: From whose pierced side, Flowed blood (and water): Be for us a consolation In the last hour. Oh loving, oh holy, Oh Jesus, son of Mary, Have mercy upon me. Amen.


Three Madrigals - Emma Lou Diemer, b.1927, is a prolific composer of music for keyboard (acoustic and electronic), orchestra, chorus, and electronic media. She was a Fulbright Scholar, and earned a doctorate in composition from the Eastman School of Music. Diemer has set the texts of several well-known poets to music - including Walt Whitman, Sara Teasdale, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, and in this case - Shakespeare. In each of the Three Madrigals, Diemer underscores the text in a slightly different way. “O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming?” features sprightly harmonies and a rapid, almost manic tempo; “Take, O Take Those Lips Away,” mourns the false promises of a lover by using a dirge-like tempo and heavy harmonies; in “Sigh No More Ladies, Sigh No More!” the faster, upbeat tempo returns and the piece is mostly sung in unison, with ironic harmonic twists and teases in the accompanying piano. Tenebrae factae sunt - Johann Michael Haydn (1737 - 1806), younger brother of Joseph (Papa) Haydn, was an accomplished composer who is most remembered for his sacred music. He attended choir school with his brother at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. (The Arizona Repertory Singers presented a concert there during our first European tour in 1985). Michael was reputedly a better student than his older brother, and Joseph considered Michael’s compositions (more than 360 orchestral and choral works) superior to his own. Michael also knew “Wolfy” Mozart well, and his Requiem in C minor is thought to be an influence on Mozart’s later Requiem. The text of this hymn is about Jesus’s crucifixion; Tenebrae Factae Sunt has been set by many composers in the original Latin, and, various other translations. It is most commonly performed as a responsory on Good Friday. Tenebrae factae sunt Dum crucifixissent Jesum Judaei: Et circa horam nonam Exclamavit Jesus voce magna: Deus meus, ut quid me dereliquisti? Et inclinato capite, Emisit spiritum. Exclamans Jesus voce magna, ait: Pater, Pater, in manus tuas Commendo spiritum meum. Et inclinato capite, Emisit spiritum.

Darkness covered the earth When they crucified Jesus of the Jews: And around the ninth hour Jesus exclaimed in a loud voice: My God, why have you forsaken me? And inclining his head, Gave up the spirit. Jesus exclaimed with a loud voice and said: Father, Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. And inclining his head, Gave up the spirit.

Festival Te Deum - Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (1913 - 1976), a native of Suffolk, England, was an outstanding pianist, conductor and a prolific composer of hymns, song cycles, choral works, orchestral pieces and operas – including the wellknown Peter Grimes. He is considered a giant of 20th century British classical music, was influenced by British composer Ralph Vaughn Williams, and was a close friend of Aaron Copland and Dmitri Shostakovich. He wrote many pieces for his musical collaborator and lifelong partner, tenor Peter Pears. Festival Te Deum is Britten’s setting of “Te Deum Laudamus” (“We praise thee, oh Lord”). This text appears in the service called “Morning Prayer,” which occurs in churches of the Anglican Communion (Episcopal Church in the United States). Britten wrote this work in 1944 to celebrate the 100th anniversary, and strong choral tradition, of St. Mark’s Church in Swindon, England. Festival Te Deum mimics Anglican chant with its repetitive eighth notes, or quavers, as they are called in England. The intent is for the words to be chanted as closely as possible to the rhythms of


ordinary speech. While many of the phrases in Festival Te Deum are sung in unison, others are sung in polyphony.

Interval Våren (Spring) was originally composed by Edvard Grieg (1843 - 1907) as an elegiac melody for orchestra. The vocalise with accompanying words tells a sad story of a dying man who realizes that he is experiencing his last spring, but is glad he can still enjoy its beauty. However, in the vocalize without words, Grieg creates an interplay between expressive nostalgia and soaring melody with rich and dense harmonies that demonstrate Grieg’s joyful exaltation of the spring season - especially prized in the northern climes of Scandinavia, where spring arrives late after months of grueling winter. How fair is Thy face - The Norwegian, Edvard Hagerup Grieg, was a ‘noted’ lyrical composer, pianist and conductor born in Bergen. His music career began at age of six when his pianist mother started teaching him to play the piano. He began studying at the Leipzig Conservatory in 1858 where he continued his piano studies and became acquainted with early romantic music. One of Grieg’s most famous compositions is his Piano Concerto in A Minor, originally written in 1868, and Peer Gynt – incidental music that was composed at the request of Henrik Ibsen for the premiere of his play by the same name. How Fair is Thy Face was written in 1906 as one of Four Psalms, Op. 74. Like the others in the set, How Fair is Thy Face uses folk melodies, alternating major and minor themes with lush and powerful harmonies. The word “Shulamite” appears in Song of Solomon 6:13, and is commonly translated as a “bride” or “princess” from the Shulem or Shunem tribes that existed during the reign of David and Solomon. “Shulamite” may also to refer to Abishag, the most beautiful woman of her time, whom Solomon greatly desired. Ave Maria Giuseppe Verdi (1813 - 1901) was born in the small Italian village of Le Roncole, and began studying music composition when he was a child. At the age of twenty, Verdi went to Milan to continue his music studies, which included lessons in counterpoint and attendance at opera performances and concerts. It was during this time period that Verdi decided to pursue a career in theater music. Although Verdi composed other choral and orchestral works, he is most famous for his well-known operatic masterpieces. (See Notes for Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves). Later in life, Verdi composed his famous Requiem Mass, and in 1897, he composed his last composition – four sacred works including Ave Maria, a piece for mixed chorus based upon an enigmatic scale. Although Verdi did not want it to be performed publicly during his lifetime because he considered it to be a “musical rebus,” or exercise, it was published in 1898 in the newspaper, La Gazzetta Musicale di Milano. Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, Benedicta tu in mulieribus,

Hail Mary, full of grace, The Lord is with you, Blessed are you among women, 4

Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, mater Dei, Ora pro nobis pecatoribus, Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, Pray for us sinners, Now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

“Va, pensiero” (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) - Verdi is best known as an expressive, Romantic Italian composer - especially of large scale operas including Aida, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto and La Traviata - one of the most popular operas of all time. Many of his opera choruses have become standards in popular music culture, with tunes that are easily recognizable by both musicians and the general public. Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, also known as “Va, pensiero,” based on the first two words of the chorus, is from Verdi’s opera Nabucco. Following the death of his wife and two children within a three-year period, plus the unpopularity of his second opera, Verdi swore that he would give up composing music altogether. Fortunately for all of us, a friend convinced him to write Nabucco, which was a huge hit at its opening performance in 1842; it has continued to charm audiences for 200 years. Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate, Va, ti posi, sui clivi, sui colli Ove olezzano tepidie e molli L’aure dolci del suolo natal! Del Giordano le rive saluta Di Sionne le torri arterrate… O mia patria si bella e perduta! O memoranda si cara e fatal! Arpa d’or fatidici vati, Perche muta dal salice pendi? Le memorie nel perto raccendi, Ci favella del tempo che fu! O simile di Solima ai fati Traggi un suono di crudo lamento, O t’ispiri il Signore un concento Che ne infonda al patire virtu

Fly, thought, on wings of gold, Go settle upon the slopes and the hills Where the sweet airs, soft and mild Of our native land smell fragrant! From Jordan, greet the banks From Zion the towers topple… Oh, my country, so beautiful and lost! Oh remembrance, so dear and so fatal! Golden harp of the prophetic seers, Why do you hang mute upon the willow? The memories of our bosoms rekindle, And speak to us of times gone by. Mindful of the fate of Jerusalem Give forth a sound of cruel lamentation, Or may the Lord inspire a harmony Which may instill virtue to suffering.

Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin - Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883) was a German composer and conductor born in Leipzig, Germany. He is famous for producing grand scale operas, and for writing his own libretti as well as musical scores - unusual for opera composers. Wagner is best known for his concept of opera as a Gesamtkunstwerk, or, “total work of art” that integrates all the artistic elements – poetry, visual effect, drama and music. His later compositions are noted for their complex textures, harmonies and chromaticism; in fact, the opera Tristan and Isolde, is thought to mark the beginning of “modern music.” Lohengrin, one of Wagner’s romantic operas, represents two characteristics common to many of them: redemption through a woman’s love and stories based on German or Norse myths. The famed Bridal Chorus is a triumphal paean to marriage. Treulich gefuhrt ziehet dahin, Wo euch der Segen, der Liebe bewahr! Siegreicher Mut, Minnegewinn Eint euch in Treue zum seligsten Paar. Rauschen des Festes, seid nun entronnen, Wonne des Herzens, sei euch gewonnen!

Faithfully guided, draw near To where the blessing of love shall preserve you! Triumphant courage, the reward of love Joins you in faith as the happiest of couples. Flee now the splendor of the wedding feast, May the delights of the heart be yours! 5

Duftender Raum, zur Liebe geschmucht, Nehm euch nun auf, dem Glanze entruckt. Truelich gefuhrt, ziehet nun ein, Wo euch der Segen, der Liebe bewahr!

This sweet-smelling room, decked for love, Now takes you in, away from the splendour. Faithfully guided, draw now near, To where the blessing of love shall preserve you!

Siegreicher Mut, Minne so rein, Eint euch in Treue, zum seligsten Paar. Wie Gott euch selig weihte, Zu Freuden weihn euch wir. In Liebesglucks Geleite Denkt lang der Stunde hier! Treulich bewacht bleibet zuruck Wo euch der Segen der Liebe bewahr! Siegreicher Mut, Minne und Gluck Eint euch in Treue, zum seligsten Paar. Streiter der Tugend, bleibe daheim!

Triumphant courage, love so pure, Joins you in faith as the happiest of couples! As God has united you in blessing, Happiness for you we pray. Eternal love professing Think long of this hour here! Faithfully guarded, remain behind To where the blessing of love shall preserve you Triumphant courage, love and happiness Joins you in faith as the happiest of couples! Champion of virtue, remain here!

My Song in the Night - Paul Joseph Christiansen (1914 - 1997) was the youngest son of F. Melius Christiansen, famed choral conductor of the St. Olaf Choir. Christiansen carried on his father’s legacy as the founder of the Concordia Choir at Concordia College in Minnesota, which he conducted from 1937 to 1986. He has greatly influenced American choral music and composers, which includes Dr. Maurice Skones, a student of Paul Christiansen, internationally-known Professor Emeritus, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arizona’s School of Music and mentor to our ARS Music Director, Dr. Jeffry Jahn. My Song in the Night is a southern folk hymn, and Christiansen uses the sparse harmonies found in many American folk hymns to highlight the melancholy nature of this hymn’s theme. Feller From Fortune - Harry Somers (1925 - 1999), considered the “foremost EnglishCanadian composer of his period,” wrote both vocal and instrumental music. He started writing music while he was a teenager, although he had no composition training until 1942 when Somers began studying with John Weinzweig, who introduced him to 12-tone techniques. Somers was influenced further by French composers Messaien and Boulez during his studies in Paris, but never abandoned traditional tonality. Feller from Fortune (a small seaside town in Newfoundland) is a rollicking fisherman folk tune, and one of Somers’ mainstream choral arrangements from his Five Songs of the Newfoundland Outports (1969). Follow the story of the Feller from Fortune and find out what happens when a young woman falls in love with him. Wayfaring Stranger - Alice Parker, b.1925 in Boston, is a respected composer, conductor and teacher who is particularly well known for her collaboration with Robert Shaw as a choral and vocal music arranger of folksongs, hymns and spirituals. She received her master’s degree from Julliard and was a choral conducting student of Robert Shaw, who described Parker as a person who “... possesses a rare and creative musical intelligence.” She has been commissioned by several renowned music organizations, including Chanticleer. In 1985 Parker founded Melodious Accord, Inc., which presents concerts, workshops and teaching seminars She lives in western Massachusetts and continues to be active as a musician and educator. William Bradley Roberts, who was the 6

Choir Director at St. Philip’s in Hills Episcopal Church in Tucson, Arizona at that time, commissioned this arrangement of Wayfaring Stranger. It is a traditional folk tune, and in this arrangement, Parker alternates unison phrases with plaintive, simple harmonies in a minor key – consistent with the simplicity of this plangent and lovely tune.

What Would You Do If You Married a Soldier? - Mack Wilberg, b.1955 in Utah, is the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in addition to being a composer and arranger. Choirs and notables such as Renée Fleming, Frederica von Stade, the King’s Singers, Natalie Cole and narrator Walter Cronkite, among others, have performed his works. Wilberg uses driving rhythms in this setting of an Irish folk tune, which alternates rhetorical questions with answers that embody this philosophy: If life hands you lemons, make lemonade! Curiously, “What would you do if you married a soldier?” is followed by the question, “What would you do if he died in the ocean?” This question would be more logical if the first question was, “What would you do if you married a sailor?” but this is a minor quibble! You will hear the word “praties” mentioned several times, which is an Irish colloquialism for “potatoes.” Alleluia - Ralph Manuel, b.1951 in Oklahoma City, received a master’s degree in church music from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife spent 24 years as music missionaries for the Baptist Church in Recife, Brazil. His Alleluia is a lovely, lyrical song of exaltation to the Almighty, and if you listen closely, you can hear passages reminiscent of Randall Thompson’s composition by the same name.