Around the World in 80 Minutes
Spring 2011 Concert NotesTina Johns Heidrich, Conductor
Joseph Jacovino, Jr., Accompanist
Connecticut Master Chorale Orchestra
Saturday May 21, 2011 - 8:00pm
- Concert Photos -
Rehearsal Photos 1 -
Rehearsal Photos 2 -
Review - CD -
St. Rose of Lima Church, Newtown, Connecticut
Our May Concert, Around the World in 80 Minutes - Part II, will be a new and unique adventure in response to our well-received musical journey last year.
- Call of the Champions – John Williams (b. 1932).(America)
One of the most successful American orchestral composers of the modern age, John Williams is the winner of five Academy Awards, 17 Grammys, three Golden Globes, and two Emmys. Best known for his film scores and ceremonial music, he was delighted to be invited to compose a theme for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Salt Lake City. Searching for an appropriate text, he came upon a Latin phrase that was adopted as the official Olympic motto at the inauguration of the Modern Olympic Games in 1896, “citius, altius, fortius” or “swifter, higher, stronger”, and was inspired to use these words to emphasize the true spirit of the Games. On his 70th birthday, he conducted the premiere of this dramatic piece at the Opening of the Olympic Games with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony.
- Hallelujah! from “Mount of Olives” – Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827).
Wagner called Beethoven a “Titan” and Tchaikovsky referred to him as a “god”. Born in Bonn, he moved to Vienna in his early twenties, quickly gained attention as a virtuoso pianist, studied under Haydn, and was generally regarded to be the successor to Mozart. He tragically became deaf, but continued to compose masterpiece after masterpiece in spite of the fact that he could no longer hear what he had written. Beginning his career at the height of the Classical period, his genius was the bridge that carried music into Romanticism, and his remarkable musical legacy remains enriching and enduring today. “Christus am ÷lberg” (Christ on the Mount of Olives), the only oratorio that he wrote, is a lasting testimonial to the power of his faith.
- Sakura – arr. Keiko Yamada (b. 1972). (Japan)
Sakura means cherry blossom or cherry tree in Japanese, and this traditional folk song from Japan describes Spring and the blooming cherry blossoms in all their glory. It has been popular since the Meiji period and is often used in international ceremonial settings as a song representative of Japan.
- Babethandaza – arr. Daniel Hughes. (South Africa)
This creative arrangement pairs Babethandaza, a song about gaining strength from ancestors, with Siyahamba, a song about moving forward with God. This pairing combines older and newer forms of the Zulu language that are not normally found together in the same setting.
- Un Canadien Errant – arr. Donald Kendrick (b. 1947). (Canada)
In the late 1830s, farmers in what are now Ontario and Quebec were unhappy with their government, resulting in a rebellion in 1837. In the end, many of the rebels had to flee the country to escape punishment. This French-Canadian folk song pictures a French-Canadian exile in the United States looking at a river that flows back to his homeland and asking it to remember him to the friends he left behind. The translator and arranger, Donald Kendrick, was born in Calgary and grew up in bilingual Canada.
- Espiritu de Dios – arr. Brian Tate. (Cuba)
A traditional hymn from Cuba with a soft rumba beat expresses a fervent desire to be filled with the spirit of God in a compelling way.
- Chorus of the Philistines and Danse Bacchanale from
“Samson et Dalila” – Camille Saint-SaŽns (1835-1921). (France)
As an infant, Saint-SaŽns had an extraordinary sensitivity to musical sounds that was obvious to those around him, and he began his musical career as a prodigy, composing songs and piano pieces at the age of five. By the time he was in his early twenties he was an established musician held in high regard in Paris.Inspired by the well-known Biblical story of the heroic man undone by a beautiful woman, Saint-SaŽns completed his opera masterpiece “Samson et Dalila” in 1877. It was immediately rejected by the opera managers in Paris who felt it was too severe, too serious, and too Wagnerian. Franz Liszt disagreed, and arranged for its premiere in Weimar where it was a triumph. It took thirteen years for the opera to be seen in Paris, but by that time it had been produced and acclaimed in the most important European cities. The Chorus of the Philistines and Danse Bacchanale are found in the second scene of Act III, in the Temple of Dagon, as Samson’s ruin is celebrated by the Philistines.
- Land of Hope and Glory (Pomp and Circumstance March #1) – Edward
Elgar (1857-1934). (England)
Sir Edward Elgar came by his musical talents naturally, since his father was the proprietor of a music store as well as a violinist and organist. His father was determined that his son would be a lawyer and Edward did make an effort to please his father, but eventually his passion for music won out and he gave up the study of law and devoted himself to music. Composed in 1901, the Pomp and Circumstance March #1 is certainly Elgar’s most celebrated work and is often heard in the United States at graduation ceremonies. Arthur C. Benson wrote the lyrics “Land of Hope and Glory” for the string melody that is the central theme of the march .
- C’e la Luna Mezzo Mare – Paolo Citorello. (Italy)
The origins of this popular Italian song are truly unknown, although it is often referred to as a Sicilian folk song. Paolo Citorello, a Sicilian seaman, claimed to have written it and did copyright it in the 1920s, but it appears to be actually based on a piece by Rossini. It has been recorded with different titles including “C’e la Luna”, “Oh, Ma, Ma”, and “The Butcher Boy”, and various lyrics by many singers including Rudy Vallee, Dean Martin, Pete Seeger, Lou Monte, and Louis Prima. It was also heard in the classic movie The Godfather. In this version of the song, a young girl tells her mother that she wants to get married. The mother replies that no matter what man she chooses, he won't be good enough for her daughter, but the girl still wants to marry anyway.
- Gloria from “Misa Criolla” (Creole Mass) – Ariel Ramirez (1921-2010),
arr. Padre Jesus Gabriel Segade (1923-2007). (Argentina)
When Argentine pianist and composer Ariel Ramirez composed his most famous work, “Misa Criolla” in 1964, it was widely regarded as a stunning achievement for its use of Spanish text combined with indigenous rhythms and instruments. His inspiration was a visit to post-Holocaust Germany where he felt a need to compose something that would be a tribute to human dignity, courage, and freedom.
- Loch Lomond – arr. Dede Duson (b. 1938). (Scotland)
First published in 1841 in Vocal Melodies of Scotland, this traditional Scottish song is commonly believed to date from the 1740s. Little is actually known of its true origins, but it is often associated with Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite Rebellion.
- Gerakina – arr. Tina Johns Heidrich (b. 1954). (Greece)
This beloved Greek folk song is one of the most popular in Greece and among the Greek-American community in this country as well. It describes a woman who is going to fetch cold water from a spring. “Droom-a droom-a droom” is the sound of her bracelet jingling on her wrist. In 7/8 time, it is traditionally sung while dancing, with clapping during the refrain. It is dear to the heart of our conductor, as she danced it often
- Zorba’s Dance from “Zorba the Greek” – Mikis Theodorakis (Greece)
(b. 1925), arr. Steven Verhaert (b. 1969). Born on the Greek island of Chios, Theodorakis is one of the most prolific Greek songwriters and composers. Internationally, he is best known for his songs and scores for films, especially Zorba the Greek, which was inspired by old Cretan traditional dances and is regarded as quintessential Greek music.
- Tatkovina – arr. Greg Jasperse (b. 1969). (Macedonia)
Tatkovina means “fatherland”, and this hauntingly beautiful Macedonian folk song is a tribute to their beloved country.
- Only the Moon Has Secrets – David Hamilton (b. 1955). (New
One of New Zealand’s most widely performed composers, David Hamilton created this captivating setting of a poem by Australian-born John Marsden.
- Chindia – Alexandru Paşcanu (1920-1989). (Romania)
A composer of choral, orchestral, and chamber music, Paşcanu was also a member of the faculty of the Music Conservatory in Bucharest. This is his most famous composition, based on an instrumental Romanian folk dance by the same name. Chindia refers to the time of day just before the sun sets and the place in the sky where that occurs. There are no words to this song – only the composer’s use of descriptive syllables. This festive, vigorous dance is performed by men and women in a closed circle, often outside, at the end of the day.
- Battle Hymn of the Republic – lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910),
music by William Steffe (1830-1890), arr. Peter J. Wilhousky (1902-1978).
The history of this beloved hymn begins with William Steffe, who collected and edited a camp-meeting tune with the “Glory Hallelujah” refrain that came to be used as the Union Army marching song “John Brown’s Body”. Julia Ward Howe, prominent abolitionist and poet, wrote the lyrics after a friend suggested to her that she write new words to the song. It was published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1862 and has remained popular since that time. This stirring arrangement by Peter Wilhousky is filled with drama and grandeur.
Phileas Fogg and
Monique La Roche
When in orbit, Space Shuttles such as Endeavour
circle the globe in about 90 minutes.