To Hope! A Celebration - Dave Brubeck
Te Deum – Anton Bruckner
Winter 2000 Concert Notes
Tina Johns Heidrich, Conductor
Joe Jacovino, Accompanist
Connecticut Master Chorale Orchestra
Sunday March 5, 2000 3:00 p.m.
St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Newtown, Connecticut
To Hope! A Celebration – Dave Brubeck
To Hope! A Celebration is an exciting work of grand proportion. It is a monumental affirmation of hope and exultation. Composed in 1979, To Hope! is a dynamic work. It is multi-faceted. It contains elements of fugal writing reminiscent of the Baroque period, the large scale chordal sections of Classical composers, the colors of the Romanticists, the rhythms and chord structures of the Modernists and the uninhibited joy of Gospel. It remembers the Latin and the Greek; it is Middle Eastern and Middle European; it is Native American and Hispanic; it is past and present. It evokes musical textures and images that ride on the meanings and rhythms of the text. It contains profoundly moving passages, dance-like rhythms, deep emotion, and optimism.
Legendary jazzman Dave Brubeck has also gained wide recognition as a composer of Classical orchestral works, ballets, chamber music, oratorios and cantatas. He is the creator of what has become a sizeable shelf of remarkable choral works. His superb choral writing spans the ages and captures an extensive timelessness. To Hope! is a musical symbol of what American Christians are – a collection of traditions and experiences, made one by faith in the Lord Jesus. Its emotional impact runs from expressions of sorrow to exulting joy and fervor. "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord" - Psalm 100 says - and this is the credo for Dave Brubeck and To Hope!
"The heart of To Hope! is found in the words themselves, living language full of deep meaning, born from the very human need to know God. It is language shaped by tradition and honed fine by usage, embodying within it the seeds for understanding. I approached the composition as prayer, concentrating upon the phrases, trying to probe beneath the surface, hoping to translate into music the powerful words which have grown through the centuries.
"Emotions that are life, from sorrow to exaltation, were part of my experience in writing To Hope! When the work was complete, I felt a strong sense of wholeness and affirmation. I pray that those who experience the work will share my feelings."
- Dave Brubeck
TE DEUM – Anton Bruckner
(Not included on CD)
Bruckner’s TE DEUM (We Praise Thee, O God) has been described as a "hymn in praise of Wagner", the composer Bruckner revered more than any other. The Te Deum was composed between 1881 and 1884 with Wagner’s death occurring in 1883. The Te Deum represents the most immediate declaration of Bruckner’s unshakeable belief in God. Cast in the jubilant key of C Major, the ritualistic elements, sounding with a primeval force, fully reflect the fervency and devotion of Bruckner’s faith as well as the grandeur of his symphonic choral writing. In between the chorus’ ceremonial cries in C major and D minor, come two contrasting sections in F minor while showcasing blazing dynamic contrasts. The work reaches an explosive climax of energy and ends with a heart-rending final statement of the chorus, "let me never be confounded." First performed in Vienna in 1886, the Te Deum quickly established itself and remarkably, in ten years, its popularity had extended as far away as Cincinnati, Ohio.