Music at CSB/SJU

Program

COLLEGE OF SAINT BENEDICT – SAINT JOHN’S UNIVERSITY

CHORAL ARTS ENSEMBLE

AXEL THEIMER, Director

PROGRAM

TOKYO – OKINAWA – SEOUL – BEIJING – HONG KONG

May 9 – June 1, 2005

Sacred

O Heiland reiss die Himmel auf Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
     G. Schirmer – 8545

Brahms wrote three sets of Motets. (Opus 29, 74 and 110). O Heiland reiss die Himmel auf, (Opus 47/2) reflects Brahms’ high art of contrapuntal writing, very much influenced by his familiarity of music by Bach. All movements are based on a chorale, which is sung as “cantus firmus” alternately by the sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. The fourth section (verse), Hie Leiden wir die grˆsste Not, is especially expressive and represents a harmonic beauty typical for many of Brahms’ works.

1) O Savior, tear open the heavens, flow down to us from heaven above;
Tear off heaven’s gate and door, tear off every lock and bar.
2) O God, a dew from heaven pour; in the dew, O Savior, downward flow.
Break, you clouds, and rain down the king of Jacob’s house.
3) O earth, burst forth, burst forth, O earth, so that mountain and valley all become green;
O earth, bring forth this little flower; O Savior, spring forth out of the earth.
4) Here we suffer the greatest distress; before our eyes stands bitter death.
Ah, come lead us with your powerful hand from this misery to our Father’s land.
5) Therefore we all want to thank you, our redeemer, for ever and ever.
Therefore we also want to praise you at all times, always, and forever. Amen

O Magnum Mysterium Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943)
     Peer Music 2227209

One of the most common texts used the Season of Christmas, this calm and beautiful setting has become one of the favorite selections of choirs throughout the United States.
O great mystery, and wondrous sacrament,
that animals should see the new born Lord lying in their manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear the Lord Jesus Christ.
Alleluia!

Hush! (Spiritual) arr.: Brazeal Dennard
     Shawnee Press A-1802

          Soprano Solo: Anna Petersen

The simplicity of this setting is striking. The story of the African slaves in the US – their religious believes was for many the one ‘Road to Glory” knowing that the only way to be freed from slavery in this world is to receive ‘the call’ from death to pass on into a better world.

Hush, somebody’s callin’ my name. Oh, my Lord, what shall I do?
I’m so glad that trouble don’t last always. Oh, my Lord, what shall I do?
I’m so glad I got my ‘ligion in time. Oh, my Lord, what shall I do?
Soon one mornin’ death come creepin’ in my room. Oh, my Lord, what shall I do?
Hush, Somebody’s callin’ my name. Oh, my Lord, what shall I do? Hush.

Every Time I feel the Spirit (Spiritual) arr.: William Dawson
    
Neil Kjos Music T-117

          Baritone Soloist: Alex Adams - Leytes

                 Spirituals express so many moods and emotions. This one is pure exuberance…

Ev’ry time I feel the spirit, moving in my heart, I will pray.
Upon the mountain my Lord spoke, out of his mouth came fire and smoke;
Looked all around me, it looked so fine, till I asked my Lord, if all was mine.
Jordan river is chilly and cold, it chills the body, but not the soul;
There ain’t but one train upon this track, it runs to heaven an’ right back.

O Vos Omnes Pablo Casals (1876-1973)
     Alexander Broude A.B. 128

Pablo Casals, best known throughout the world of music as a phenomenal cellist, was also an accomplished conductor and composer. O vos omnes shows his mastery in expressing this dramatic text through music – using beautiful harmonies and melodies.

O all you who pass along this way, behold and see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow.

Steal Away (Traditional Spiritual) arr.: Joseph Jennings
     Hinshaw Music HMC1189

          Baritone Solo: Ben Westlund
          Soprano Solo: Tonia Sauer

This arrangement was made for Chanticleer, a professional men’s ensemble in the United States. Many different versions exist of this Spiritual. This one certainly is one of the most haunting and moving. The message, as in “Hush”, encourages us to have faith that a better world is waiting for us.

Steal away to Jesus. Steal away home. I ain’t got long to stay here. My Lord he calls me,
He calls me by the thunder. The trumpet sounds with in-a my soul. I ain’t got long to stay here.
Green trees are bending, poor sinner stands a-trembling. The trumpet sounds within-a my soul.
Oh, I ain’t got long to stay here. Stea away to Jesus. One of the old days I’m gonna Steal away home.
I ain’t got long to stay here!

Daniel, Servant of the Lord (Spiritual) arr.: Undine S. Moore
    
Warner Brothers W3475

          Tenor Solo: Daniel Giancola
          Bass Solo: Brian Heilman

                      A dramatic setting of this old story from the Old Testament – in the style
                      of an African American Spiritual.

Oh, the king cried: Oh, Daniel! A-that-a Hebrew Daniel, Servant of the Lord.
Among the Hebrew nation, one Hebrew, Daniel was found. They put him in a the lion’s den.
He stayed there all night long. Now the king in his sleep was troubled and early in the morning
he rose, to find God had sent a-his angel down to lock the lion’s jaws!

Salve Regina Petr Eben (b. 1929)
     B‰renreiter 6429

Petr Eben is among the most respected Czech composers of our time. Most of his sacred music is based on traditional chant, which he combines with modern, dissonant tonality and rhythmic vitality.

Hail, O Queen, Mother of mercy; our life, our sweetness, and our hope: hail! To thee we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee we send up our sighs, groaning and weeping in this valley of tears. Hasten therefore, our Advocate, and turn your merciful eyes toward us. And show us Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb, after this exile. O merciful, O pious, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Psalmo 150 Ernani Aguiar (b. 1949)
      Earthsongs

Music from South America… An exuberant setting of this very exciting text. No doubt: this piece, with its driving rhythm makes it difficult to not want to dance!

Praise the Lord in his sacred places, praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts, praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet, praise him with the psaltery and the harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and the dance, praise him with strings and pipes.
Praise him with high-sounding cymbals, praise him with cymbals of joy.
Let everything that breath praise the Lord!

Elijah Rock (Traditional Spiritual) arr.: Moses Hogan
    
Hal Leonard 08705532

                     A challenging setting of this very popular spiritual by Moses Hogan

Oh Elijah, Elijah rock, comin’ up Lord.
Come on sister help me to pray, tell me my Lord done pass dis way.
Satan ain’t nothin’ but a snake in the grass. He’s a conjur. He’s a liar. Hallelujah Lord.
If I could I surely would stand on the rock where Moses stood. Elijah rock. I’m coming up Lord.

 

INTERMISSION

Secular

Chorus from “The Lark” Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) French Chorus Spring Song
      Amberson Enterprises/G. Schirmer 45242

          Counter - Tenor Solo: Kevin Gust

This piece uses the old French melody: Revecy venir le printemps and, in a fashion, which is unmistakably “Bernstein” – the composer of West Side Story, Chichester Psalms - turns it into a celebration and song of thanksgiving, as we welcome the return of Springtime.

Springtime is returning. Let us praise the Lord.

Shenandoah (American Folksong) arr. James Erb
     
Lawson-Gould 51846

A traditional American Folksong about the river Shenandoah: it describes the beauty of this slow flowing river which holds us captive and triggers memories which urge us always to return to where we have grown up.

O Shenandoah, I long to see you and hear your rolling river. ‘Way, we’re bound away,
across the wide Missouri. I long to see your smiling valley and hear your rolling river, ‘Way, we’re bound away…
‘Tis seven long years since last I see you and hear you rolling river. ‘Way, we’re bound away….

And So It Goes Billy Joel. Arr. Bob Chilcott
      Hal Leonard 08758501

           Baritone Solo: Eric Stinson
           Soprano solo: Ashley Blake

An American ‘classic’. A gentle love song by Billy Joel in a beautiful setting by Bob Chilcott (one of the founding members of Great Britain’s vocal group “The King’s Singers”).

In ev’ry heart there is a room, a sanctuary safe and strong. To heal the wounds from lovers past, until a new one comes along.
I spoke to you in cautious tones; you answered me with no pretense. And still I feel I said too much. My silence is my self-defense.
And so it goes, and so will you soon I suppose.
But if my silence made you leave, then that would be my worst mistake. So I will share this room with you. And you can have this heart to break. And this is why my eyes are closed, it’s just as well for all I’ve seen. And so it goes and you’re the only one who knows.
So I would choose to be with you. That’s if the choice were mine to make. But you can make decisions too. And you can have this heart to break. And so it goes, and you’re the only one who knows.

I’m goin’ away (North Carolina Folk Song) arr Mack Wilberg
     
Hinshaw Music HMC-1129

A beautiful folk song from North Carolina – a song of ‘good bye’ that also looks forward to return and be reunited with family and loved ones – in a very expressive and emotional arrangement by Mack Wilberg.

I’m goin’ away for to stay a little while, but I’m comin’ back if I go ten thousand miles. Oh, who will tie your shoe? And who will glove your hand? And who will kiss your ruby lips when I am gone? Look away over Yandro. Oh, it’s Pappy will tie your show and Mammy will glove your hand, and I will kiss your ruby lips when I come back. Look away over Yandro.

The Drunken Sailor (Sea Chantey) arr. Robert Sund (b.1942)
      Walton Music Corporation WSK 104

                                         A traditional American Sea Chantey describing vividly
                                        what can happen to a sailor on the first evening on land
                                        after a long journey across the oceans…. A challenging
                                        setting of this well known song.

Hic! What shall we do with the drunken sailor, earlye in the morning.
Hooray and up she rises earlye in the morning.
Put him in the long boat till he’s sober. Pull out the plug and wet him all over.
Put him in the scuppers with a hosepipe on him. Heave him by the leg in a running bowlin’.

Folksongs
Japan

   Sakura arr. Axel Theimer (b. 1946)

   Hana arr. Axel Theimer

South Korea

   Arirang arr. Axel Theimer

China

   Naiman Sharag Se Enkhbayar (b. 1956)
      (The Eight Chestnut Horses)
        Kang Ding Qing Ke arr. Liu Zhuang (b. 1932)

          Tenor Solo: Paul Just

Mongolian songs often praise horses, real and legendary, reflecting the close relationship between horses and humans. A 13th century chronicle refers to the eight chestnut horses of Chinggis Khan, and they have thus become a symbol of national identity which embodies the Mongol's love for their native language and culture. Indigenous Mongolian musical rhythms are often patterned after the rhythm of a running horse. Such rhythms represent one of the major ethnic features of Mongolian music, and can be found throughout this piece.