10th Anniversary Concert
Our First Ten Years
Spring 2009 Concert NotesTina Johns Heidrich, Conductor
Joseph Jacovino, Jr., Accompanist
Connecticut Master Chorale Orchestra
Saturday May 16, 2009 - 8:00pm
- Photos -
Review - CD -
St. Rose of Lima Church, Newtown, Connecticut
Thank you for sharing in our 10th Anniversary celebration. In the decade that we have enjoyed bringing exciting and dynamic music to you, we have performed over 250 works in 10 languages. As we began our planning for this very special event, we felt it was important to ask our supporters to assist us by voting on our website for their personal favorites from our first 10 years. We are especially grateful to everyone who helped us choose our repertoire for this concert.
The program featured steel drums, Russian folk songs, Verdi opera choruses, music from “Star Wars”, works by G.F. Handel, Karl Jenkins, John Rutter, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Williams, plus a few surprises.
- O Clap Your Hands - Ralph Vaughn Williams
Our program opened with O Clap Your Hands by Ralph Vaughan Williams, a glorious uplifting number with text from Psalm 147. Dating from around 1920, this piece is typical of Vaughan Williams’ ceremonial works for the church. The joyous mood of the text is capitalized upon in a setting of extroverted jubilation.
- For the Beauty of the Earth - John Rutter
John Rutter has been one of our favorite composers over the years. His For the Beauty of the Earth is an engaging melody with lovely vocal lines over a flowing orchestral accompaniment, with a tasteful blend of text and warm musical expression.
- Hallelujah, Amen - George Frideric Handel
One of George Frideric Handel’s most recognized choral anthems and a repertoire standard, Hallelujah! Amen! is the well-known and rousing conclusion to his oratorio “Judas MaccabŠus.”
- I Believe / Ave Maria - Ervine Drake, Irvin Graham,
Jimmy Shirl & Al Stillman; arr. Stan Beard / Barry Tucker
A great inspirational favorite, I Believe is combined with Ave Maria in a touching and poignant number that builds to a powerful ending.
- Sanctus - arr. Guido Haazan
The introduction of the Sanctus from "Missa Luba" into the movie "If..." was a far cry from the English public school ambience of the story, but it proved effective. Because of the film, this part of the Congolese Mass was elevated to chart-topping status in the United Kingdom.
- Pie Jesu - Andrew Lloyd Webber
Pie Jesu by Andrew Lloyd Webber is the most beloved selection from his “Requiem”. This hauntingly beautiful and expressive work has been made popular by such singers as Charlotte Church and Sarah Brightman.
- Ocho Kandelikas - Flora Jagoda, arr. Joshua Jacobson
Flory Jagoda revives the exciting memories of Hanukkah celebrations from her childhood in Yugoslavia with Ocho Kandelikas (“Eight Candles”). It is written in Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish dialect spoken by Sephardic Jews who settled throughout the Ottoman Empire after leaving Spain in the 15th century.
- A Welsh Lullaby - arr K. Lee Scott
A Welsh Lullaby is a tender choral setting of the well-known tune Suo Gan, as used in the movie "Empire of the Sun". This is a traditional Welsh melody and the title simply means lullaby: (suo = lull, gan = song).
- Volga Boat Song - as sung by the Red Star Red Army Chorus
Work songs are among the most ancient genres of folk music. Barge haulers sang “Ey, ukhnem!,” derived from the exerted “Ukh” as they dragged the boats upstream. This is the same arrangement of Volga Boatsong that has been made famous by the Red Star Army Chorus.
- Kalinka - arr. Tina Heidrich
Kalinka (“Snowball Tree”), with its bold and spirited refrain, is derived from an old Russian dance form. It continues to enjoy a great popularity in Russia and around the world.
- Triumphal Scene - Guiseppe Verdi
Guiseppe Verdi’s magnificent “Aida” remains one of the best loved of all his operas. The plot centers around a love triangle and a conflict between the Ethiopians and the Egyptians. The Triumpal Scene occurs in the Finale of Act II in the city of Thebes in Egypt when the victorious Radames is welcomed back from the war with elaborate ceremonies. The King, accompanied by his courtiers, priests and standard bearers, enters through a triumphal arch and ascends a throne. The chorus joins in a song of victory singing "Gloria all’ Egitto" (“Glory to Egypt”).
- Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves - Guiseppe Verdi
“Nabucco” was a triumph when it was introduced at La Scala, and Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves was the first "hit" number to emerge from a Verdi opera. “Va, Pensiero” (“Go, my thoughts”), sung by a chorus of captives longing for a return to their beloved homeland, became almost a second national anthem to the people of Italy. Upon his death sixty years later, Italians felt so deeply bonded to Verdi by this chorus that some 250,000 mourners spontaneously joined in singing it as the composer was laid to rest.
- The Prayer - Carole Bayer Sager & David Foster; arr.
The Prayer, made popular by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, was featured in the animated film “Quest for Camelot”. It won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song in 1999.
- Palladio: I. Allegretto - Karl Jenkins
Karl Jenkins has been another one of our favorite composers. Perhaps his most-heard piece of music is the classical theme used by De Beers diamond merchants for their famous television advertising campaign. He later included it as the title track in a compilation of various works called Diamond Music.
- Adiemus - Karl Jenkins; SATB arr. Nicolas Hare; May
Steinberg - Recorder
Today, Jenkins is probably best known for his Adiemus project and other classical works. Originally composed as a separate piece unrelated to Jenkins’ advertising music, Adiemus was ironically introduced to the American public as the background music to a Delta Airlines commercial.
- Santo - Glenn McClure
Steel drums have become a staple in our Holiday Prelude Concerts. With a Latin Samba beat, Santo from Glenn McClure’s “Caribbean Mass” is lively and dance-like with driving rhythms and was an immediate hit with our audience.
- Dry Your Tears, Afrika - John Williams
“Amistad” engendered some of John Williams’ most evocative writing ever, a musical setting of Bernard Dadie’s poem Dry Your Tears, Afrika. This is a wonderful African chorus with ethnic percussion and great horn passages – an unforgettable piece of music.
- Duel of the Fates - John Williams
Another remarkable film score from the prolific John Williams, Duel of the Fates is the musical theme recurring in many “Star Wars” prequels. Williams took one line from Robert Graves’ translation of an old Welsh poem, “Cad Goddeu” (“Battle of the Trees”), and used that phrase translated into Sanskrit as a chant in this powerful symphonic piece with chorus.
- When the Saints Go Marching In - John Rutter
All the potential of this spiritual cooker is realized in John Rutter's full-blown arrangement from his medley "Feel the Spirit". There's even a little taste of Battle Hymn thrown in. "Glory, Hallelujah!"
Thank you for helping us celebrate the Connecticut Master Chorale's 10th Anniversary!