Jubilate Deo! (O Be Joyful in the Lord!)
by Dan Forrest

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Songs of Celebration
by Paul Basler

Spring 2018 Concert Notes

Tina Johns Heidrich, Conductor
Joseph Jacovino, Jr., Accompanist
Louise Fauteux, Soprano
Jaime Thorne, French Horn
Connecticut Master Chorale Orchestra

Sunday April 8, 2018 - 3:00pm
First Congregational Church, Danbury, Connecticut

- Soloists - Tickets - Directions
Dan Forrest

Dan Forrest
b. 1978

Jubilate Deo! (O Be Joyful in the Lord!)
– Dan Forrest

Dan Forrest's Jubilate Deo brings to life the global aspect of the traditional Psalm 100 text, "O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands," by setting it in seven different languages and drawing from a wide spectrum of musical influences. Each movement combines some characteristics of its language-group's musical culture with the composer's own musical language.

The opening movement sets the ancient liturgical Latin translation of the Psalm in a rather American musical idiom, reflecting various influences from the composer's native country and introducing key musical motives for the work. The second movement sets the "from age to age" portion of the text in Hebrew and Arabic, evoking ancient cultures from the Middle East. The music intentionally intertwines the two languages in a symbolic gesture of unity between these cultures.

Movement three uses Mandarin Chinese in a tranquil setting of the shepherd-sheep metaphor from the traditional text and quotes "the Lord is my shepherd" from Psalm 23, while the orchestra evokes the sounds of traditional Asian instruments. The fourth movement shifts to Africa, setting celebratory portions of the text in Zulu and drawing from African vocal and drumming traditions.

Movement five represents Latin America, setting Spanish text to a folk-song style melody and blending traditional folk instrumental sounds with polyphonic textures from the classical choral tradition. The sixth movement, "Song of the Earth," portrays the Earth itself singing-first wordlessly, but eventually finding its own voice-and leads seamlessly into the final movement.

The finale unites many of the key themes and cultures from previous movements with other material, both old and new, as all the earth sings as one, "omnis terra, jubilate!"

Paul Basler

Paul Basler
b. 1963

Songs of Celebration
– Paul Basler

Songs of Celebration is a large scale, multi-movement work that explores and celebrates the American Spirit. Written in the Fall of 1998, as a "sequel" to Basler's acclaimed Missa Kenya, each of the five movements was written for a different conductor and choral ensemble. The work is in arch form, with a hymn tune setting surrounded by three Psalms and two Latin texts: "Psalm 150", "Ubi Caritas" (where charity and love are found), "Be Thou My Vision", "Sing to the Lord", "Psalm 23:, and ending with an exuberant "Alleluia."

Cross references between the movements abound, whether harmonic, melodic or gestural. Songs of Celebration was revised in the Winter of 2004 after several years of countless performances that have set a standard for the work's interpretation. Songs of Celebration is dedicated to Bernie Fisher, in heartfelt gratitude for the immense contributions he made over the years to the choral world.

Basler's music has been received with enthusiastic acclaim throughout the world. The New York Times describes his music as "virtuosic and highly athletic." The recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Composer's Fellowship and several National Endowment for the Arts Composer grants, Basler's compositions have been performed throughout the world, including at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, the Spoleto Festival, the Symphony Hall in Chicago, the Kennedy Center, the National Theatres of the Dominican Republic and Kenya, Lincoln Center, the Sydney Opera House, the Aspen Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and in Shanghai by the Shanghai Philharmonic.