Holiday Prelude Concert
Fall 2009 Concert Notes
Tina Johns Heidrich, Conductor
Joe Jacovino, Accompanist
Connecticut Master Chorale Holiday Brass and Steel
K. Lee Scott
Christmas Cantata - The Incarnation - by K. Lee Scott
A grand and glorious choral work featuring a fanfare of brass, keyboard, and timpani juxtaposed against gorgeous sonorous unhurried movements. Moving easily from magic to mystery and back again, the texts represent celebration, wonder, and devotion as expressed in five different centuries. The majestic "Glory Be to God on High" text was written by Charles Wesley in the 18th Century, while the beautifully tender "Love Came Down at Christmas" by Christina Rossetti is from the 19th Century. From the 20th Century, Timothy Dudley-Smith’s “Exult, O Morning Stars Aflame!” relates that Christ came for love and love alone, while "That Virgin's Child" is from a 16th Century text by John Gwyneth. The cantata’s final movement includes "See, See, the Word Is Incarnate", written by Godfrey Goodman in the Seventeenth Century and also reprises the opening exuberant and majestic theme "Jesus is our Brother now, and God is all our own!"
Hodie, Christus Natus Est (Today Christ Is Born) - Mark Hayes
A spirited and energetic composition with brass that joyfully announces and celebrates the Holiday season. It will kick off our concert in a jubilant fashion.
Fum, Fum, Fum - arr. Philip Kern
A popular carol with an innovative new arrangement. Kern has created a dazzling high altissima clarinet accompaniment that imparts a Klezmer-like feel to this old Catalonian carol. A traditional Christmas pastime in this part of Spain is to build a fire and sit around it to sing and talk. Translated, fum means “smoke” and is also believed to be an imitation of the sound of the strumming of a stringed musical instrument.
Ave Maria - John Rutter
Rutter’s beautifully moving setting, fashioned from a simple rocking theme, weaves serenely through different keys as the piece unfolds, and ends in a final hushed and reverent cadence.
Christmas Classic Celebration - arr. Patrick Liebergen
An ingenious blend of beloved carols with favorite classic choruses by the great masterwork composers. Included are Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”, “For Unto Us a Child is Born” and “Joy to the World”, Mendelssohn’s “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and his chorale setting of “Wachet Auf”, Pietro Yon’s “Gesu Bambino” incorporating “O Come, All Ye Faithful”, the English tune “Sussex Carol”, and the 15th century carol “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”.
Mary, Did You Know? - arr. Fred Bock
A touching and poignant setting of the beloved Christmas song. This arrangement for men’s voices perfectly captures the epic drama of the text and anticipates the baby's purpose on earth. (For men's voices)
Where Riches Is Everlastingly - Bob Chilcott
Turning to Africa for its influences and utilizing a 16th century text, this joyful and upbeat carol uses the syncopated rhythms of rumba. The choir sings a vibrant and engaging melody a cappella, while the congas, shaker, and cowbell provide a catchy rhythmic ostinato.
Here's a Pretty Little Baby - arr. André Thomas
Featuring steel drums and percussion, this calypso-style carol is energetic, engaging and very dynamic.
Calypso Carol - Michael Perry, arr. Allen Pote
Also with steel drums and calypso percussion instruments, this carol has a charming melody and a distinctive island flair.
Over the River and Through the Wood - arr. Wendy Williams
From a book of children’s poetry published in 1844 by Lydia Maria Child, one of the earliest American women to actually earn a living from her writing. Today she is best remembered for her nostalgic childhood memories of visiting her grandmother’s house on Thanksgiving Day, beautifully expressed in this serene a cappella setting by Wendy Williams.
African Lullaby - arr. Joan Szymko
Clever weaving together two folk melodies of African origin: the soothing African-American song “Angels Watching Over Me”, and “Abiyoyo” from the Bantu people of southern Africa. In “Abiyoyo”, children entice the ‘bedtime monster’ with their singing, causing him to dance, at which point he can be easily shooed away by watchful parents. (For women's voices)
Auld Lang Syne - arr. Mark Sirett
A stunning new arrangement by Mark Sirett utilizing the tune that the poet Robert Burns intended to be used with his adaptation of a traditional Scottish song. It is considerably different from the one that today is more commonly sung. Exquisitely done, this setting retains much of the original 18th century Scots wording, and embodies the unbreakable bond of friendship and goodwill.
S’Vivon - arr. Betty Bertaux
A traditional Hanukkah song about the dreydl, a small top with four sides. Each side of the dreydl contains one of the four Hebrew initials of the phrase “(A) Great Miracle Happened There”, which refers to the oil for the temple flame that miraculously lasted for eight days. The dreydl is used in games of chance by young and old alike during Hanukkah festivities.
Down in Bethlehem! - John Rowsey, arr. Larry Goss
We will close our concert with this rousing gospel number – offering driving rhythmic excitement straight through to its exuberant conclusion!