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

~ plus ~

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 - CD & Clips - Concert Photos -
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 quote "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!" - "All the earth, rejoice!"

Dan Forrest has been described as having "an undoubted gift for writing beautiful music .... that is truly magical" (NY Concert Review). Since its first publication in 2001, Dan's music has sold millions of copies in the U.S. and world-wide. He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer's Award, the ACDA Raymond Brock Award, the ALCM Raabe Prize, and many others. His commissioned choral works have been premiered in major venues around the world and featured on national radio and TV broadcasts.

His major works, Requiem for the Living (performed by the Chorale in 2015) and Jubilate Deo have quickly become standard choral/orchestral repertoire of ensembles around the world. His newest major work, which the Chorale will perform in Spring 2020, LUX: The Dawn From On High has just been published this year. Dan Forrest's music will also be included in our Spring 2019 program with three pieces - Te Deum, In Paradisum and Psalm of Ascension.

Paul Basler

Paul Basler
b. 1963

Paul Basler with Jamie Thorne and Lisa Bontrager

Paul Basler with soloist Jamie Thorne
and Lisa Bontrager.
Thorne's teacher from Penn State,
Bontrager has collaborated with Basler
and is on many recordings of his works.

Songs of Celebration
– Paul Basler

Songs of Celebration is a 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. Dr. Basler's deeply moving arrangement of the traditional hymn Be Thou My Vision is surrounded by three Psalms and two Latin texts: Praise Ye the Lord (Psalm 150), Sing to the Lord (Psalm 98), The Lord Is My Shepherd (Psalm 23), Ubi Caritas (Where Charity and Love Are Found), ending with an exuberant Alleluia. Cross references between the movements abound, whether harmonic, melodic or gestural. It was revised in the winter of 2004 after several years of countless performances that have set a standard for the work's interpretation.

The piano and the French horn play very important roles in Songs of Celebration, and we are fortunate to have Jaime Thorne as our horn player. She has become friends with Paul Basler from her international horn experience and also performed the solo horn part on one of his pieces, Harambee, in London, England in 2014. Her teacher from Penn State, Lisa Bontrager, has collaborated with him and is on many recordings of his works.

Basler's music has been received with enthusiastic acclaim throughout the world. The New York Times describes his music as "virtuosic and highly athletic." He was the 1993-94 Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Music at Kenyatta University. A 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.