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Sunday, June 27, 2004

ARCHIVE  •  2004  •  SUN 20  •  MON 21  •  WED 23  •  FRI 25  •  SUN 27

Newport Harbor Lutheran Church, 4 p.m.

Festival Finale

Claire Fedoruk, soprano
Joseph Mathieu, countertenor
Jonathan Mack, tenor
Christopher Lindbloom, baritone
Festival Chorus & Orchestra
Burton Karson, conductor


Wolfgang Carl Briegel (1626-1712)
Lobet den Herren
Motet on Psalm 160 for tenors, basses and orchestra

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Herr, wie lange willst du mein
so ganz vergessen, Op. 27

Motet on Psalm 13 for sopranos, altos and strings

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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75
Cantata for the First Sunday after Trinity

Chorus: Die Elenden sollen essen
Bass recitative: Was hilft des Purpurs Majestät
Tenor aria: Mein Jesus soll mein Alles sein
Tenor recitative: Gott stürzet und erhöhet
Soprano aria: Ich nehme mein Leiden mit Freuden auf mich
Soprano recitative: Indes schenkit Gott ein gut Gewissen
Chorus: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan

Sinfonia

Alto recitative: Nur eines kränkt ein christliches Gemüte
Alto aria: Jesus macht mich gereich
Bass recitative: Wer nur in Jesu bleibt
Bass aria: Mein Herze glaubt und liebt
Tenor recitative: O Armut, der kein Reichtum gleicht!
Chorus: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan

Intermission

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Jean-Joseph Mouret (1682-1738)
Suite de Symphonie No. 1

Allegro en rondeau
Gracieusement, sans lenteur
Allegro
Gay

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Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1634-1704)
Te Deum

Prelude
Bass solo: Te Deum laudamus
Chorus: Te aeternum Patrem
Soloists: Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim
      with countertenor Vincent Yi
Chorus: Pleni sunt caeli et terra majesatis gloriae tuae
Soloists: Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia
Chorus: Te devicto mortis aculeo
Bass solo: Judex crederis
Soprano solo: Te ergo quaesumus
Soprano & Bass duet: Dignare Domino dei isto
Soprano, Alto & Bass trio: Fiat misericordia tua, Domine
Chorus: In te, Domine

This performance of the Charpentier Te Deum is made possible in large part through a generous gift from Ralph and Georgene Smith.

Reception


The Baroque motet grew out of the Renaissance form — a polyphonic setting of a sacred text that was not an essential part of the Mass with the progressive addition of basso continuo and often other instruments. When soloists were added, the result might have suggested the cantata form, but without dramatic operatic recitatives. Renaissance motets were in Latin; Baroque motets were in both Latin and the vernacular.

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Briegel wrote hundreds of motets and cantatas, sacred songs and Psalm settings during the last four decades of his life, which he spent in the royal court of Hessen-Darmstadt. Many of these were intended for the modest resources of Protestant choirs in German towns and villages, yet they often demand well-rehearsed forces.

Psalm 150 for male voices, one of many of Briegel’s works found in the Archdual Library of Darmstadt by this writer, had its first performance since the late 17th century in our Festival in 1989 and is receiving only its second performance today. The male soloists and chorus are accompanied by basso continuo, adding strings here and there and, when expressively appropriate, trumpet, woodwinds and timpani. BACK

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The young Brahms spent much time copying and studying music of the Renaissance and Baroque. Later, he was one of the original subscribers to he new edition of the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach, the Bach-Gesellschaft. Much of the music of Brahms, including his very last compositions (11 chorale-preludes for organ) was inspired by Baroque antecedents. Psalm 13, for sopranos and altos, combines the high voices with strings in a luscious Romantic setting that nevertheless shows a Baroque influence on the composer. BACK

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Bach’s 200 extant church cantatas vary from short pieces for two or three soloists and choir with a few instruments to long and more dramatic works for soloists, chorus and full orchestra. Cantata 75 tends toward the latter, with solo recitatives and arias plus chorus accompanied by two oboes, bassoon, trumpet and organ. In two parts, originally performed before and after the sermon in the liturgy for the First Sunday after Trinity, the text deals with unremitting faith, delight in simple things, and, as heard in the musically similar chorales that conclude each part, an acknowledgment that “what God does is rightly done.” BACK

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The popular British television series “Masterpiece Theatre” began and concluded with Mouret’s now immediately recognized Rondeau, the opening movement from his first symphony suite, suggesting an English origin. Actually, the music is very French.

Mouret was born and rained in Avignon, arrived in Paris by his 25th year, and served for 20 years as composer-director of the New Italian Theatre during which time he, with his wife and daughter, lived on the Place du Palais Royal. He was a singer in the king’s chamber, held a royal privilege to publish his own music, and headed and composed for the Concert Spirituel. The celebratory trumpet and timpani lend an air of pompous dignity to this music from Mouret’s later years, yet its lightness and attractive melodies suggest courtly entertainment.

Of his substantial output of stage, church and chamber music, this irresistible composition represents Mouret’s most engaging work. BACK

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Charpentier, who studied with Carissimi in Rome, surely was the finest French composer of the 17th century, despite the royal favor accorded to the Italian-born Lully. He served French nobles, worked in the musical theater, composed large-scale works for royal events, and taught the Duke of Chartres, who later as Duke of Orléans became Regent of France. Charpentier’s compositional oeuvre for the church is staggeringly large, including a dozen masses plus hundreds of motets, antiphons, litanies, lessons, responsories, Psalm settings and oratorios. He also produced some serious airs and several drinking songs.

Of his four extant settings of the Te Deum, this one, for five soloists, a four-voiced choir, trumpet timpani, winds and strings, represents Charpentier at his best. The joyous text of praise was often historically used to celebrate military victories. Here soloists and chorus hand off singing assignments like batons in a relay, the solos and solo ensembles alternating in short order with choral sections, all progressing full bore to a rousing final choral setting of “O Lord, in thee have I trusted, let me never be confounded.” BACK

Notes by Burton Karson

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