Newport Harbor Lutheran Church, 4 p.m.
A Celebration of Thirty Seasons
Susan Montgomery, soprano
Daniel Roihl, countertenor
Jonathan Mack, tenor
Christopher Lindbloom, baritone
Festival Chorus & Orchestra
Burton Karson, conductor
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott,
Chorus: A mighty fortress is our God
Duet (soprano & bass):
All that which of God is fathered
Recitative (bass): Consider well, O child of God
Aria (soprano): Come in my heart’s abode
Chorus: And were the world with devils filled
So stand then under Christ’s bloodstained
Duet (alto & tenor):
Blessed are those who proclaim God
Chorale: That word they must allow to stand
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Nun ist das Heil, BWV 50
Cantata in one movement, for double chorus
Now is the health and the strength and the kingdom and might
of our God and of his Christ come to us, for he who was accusing
thee day and night before God is cast down.
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
O Heiland, reiss die Himmel
auf, Op. 74, No. 2
A cappella motet for mixed voices
Versus I: O Savior, throw the heavens wide; come down
with speed unto our side. Unbar the gates and let us in; unbar
what once was lock and pin.
Versus II: As gentle dew from heaven falls, descend,
O Lord, and cover all. Ye rainclouds break, and torrents bring;
let Israel receive her king.
Versus III: O earth, in flower be seen! Let hill and
dale be ever green. O earth, bring forth one blossom rare, O Savior,
from the meadow fair.
Versus IV: Here suffer we a heavy doom: before us yawns
the cheerless tomb. Ah, come, lead us with steady hand from exile
to our native land.
Versus V: So let us all be thanking thee, for thou
has ever set us free. So let us praise Thee o’er and o’er,
from this time on and evermore. Amen.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
Grosso No. 3 in F
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
Magnificat from Vespero
di Santa Cecilia
Luke 1: 46-55
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those
who fear him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and he has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
for he has remembered his promise of
The promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his posterity forever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Coronation Anthem No. 1, Zadok
From I Kings 1: 38–40
Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet
anointed Solomon King.
And all the people rejoic’d and said:
God save the King! Long live the King!
May the King live for ever, Allelujah, Amen.
2010 Festival Finale caps thirty seasons of inspiring,
uplifting, entertaining and even frivolous Baroque, Romantic neo-Baroque,
and Contemporary music, some of the latter commissioned for us.
Several first performances anywhere in recent centuries have been
here in new editions from scores discovered in European libraries.
Today’s Festival Finale reprises favorites from past seasons,
some using the full Baroque orchestra, some only strings, one a cappella.
great chorale cantata A Mighty Fortress is our God is set
to a text and tune by Martin Luther, the 16th-century monk who translated
the Bible from Latin into German, was responsible for the Protestant
Reformation that began in Germany and spread throughout Europe and
England, and who prized the value of sacred music for the people’s
participation in liturgies and for singing in their homes. This
universally recognized chorale is found today in hymnals of nearly
every Christian denomination, including Roman Catholic.
Luther’s text and tune are heard throughout Bach’s
cantata that was written for Leipzig’s Reformation Festival
of 1724 (revised from a version of a year earlier, with substantial
musical borrowings from a cantata of 1715, now lost). The congregation
would have joined on the final hymn-like movement. BACK
ist das Heil might well have been intended as the opening
chorus of a longer cantata, lost or uncompleted. The maturity of
this fugal setting (the only double chorus in all of Bach’s
cantatas) of the tenth verse of Revelation 12 that was appointed
for the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel suggests that it was
a late work. The ascending pitches on Heil (salvation),
Kraft (strength), Reich (kingdom) and Macht
(might) of the opening phrase create a strong and compellingly dramatic
admired Baroque polyphony so much that he often wrote polyphonic
settings that actually sound like J. S. Bach, although with late-Romantic
harmonic excursions. He was an original subscriber (his name printed
on the published list of subscribers) to the Bach-Gesellschaft,
a society formed in 1850, exactly a century after Bach’s death,
in order to publish his collected works.
O Heiland reiss die Himmel auf is a set of variations
on an Advent chorale. Each successive section (Versus) contains
clearly delineated moods and descriptive phrases that are dramatized
intensely, sometimes even through modified tone painting. Brahms
here creates an economical choral statement of both feverish yearning
and exuberant joy. BACK
Sanctus in C is a single standing movement, not a portion
of a complete mass. In fact, Bach wrote several such movements,
including four Lutheran Masses that consist of only Kyrie
and Gloria. Even his monumental Mass in B minor is
a collection of mass movements created at various times from portions
of earlier cantatas. This Sanctus, like his festive Cantatas 50
and 80, requires three trumpets in addition to oboes, bassoon, timpani,
strings and organ. BACK
lessandro Scarlatti was the father of Domenico
Scarlatti, famed as the composer of harpsichord sonatas for the
Queen of Spain. Alessandro, born in Sicily, is noted especially
for his cantatas and other sacred works written in Rome under the
patronage there of Queen Christina of Sweden, and he is credited
with being the creator of the 18th century Neopolitan School. He
produced nearly 70 operas (plus contributions to operas by others),
nearly 40 oratorios and large sacred works that include masses and
mass movements, more than 600 secular cantatas, over 80 motets,
27 responsories, solo keyboard pieces, and dozens of concertos and
sonatas plus theoretical and pedagogical works.
This Concerto Grosso in F is No. 2 of 12 dating from
1715. For string orchestra, it contains intermittent solo first
and second violin and violoncello passages that contrast with the
tutti strings. BACK
carlatti’s Magnificat is a setting
of the Song of Mary, found in Luke 1, that is essential to Evening
Prayer or Vespers. Composers through the centuries have lavished
great efforts on this poignant canticle. Here Scarlatti employs
the stile concertato to splendid effect, writing
dramatic contrasts among the five soloists and between the soloists
and the five-part choir. Dramatic changes in meter and tempo give
musical expression to the words, and the overall drama of the piece
reflects the Roman celebration of Saint Cecilia’s Day 1720,
for which Scarlatti composed and conducted it.
Our edition of this Magnificat was prepared by this writer
from a microfilm of the never-published manuscript score and performed
for the first time in America on the Festival Finale of our 1992
season. After great demand, it was repeated here in 1994 and 2005,
and it provides a vivid inclusion to our 30th season. BACK
andel’s Zadok the Priest is the
first of four choral anthems composed for the coronation of George
II in Westminster Abbey on 11 October 1727. It has been performed
for the coronations of every British sovereign since then. First
Kings from the Hebrew Scriptures tells about David who called Zadok
the Priest and Nathan the Prophet to anoint his son, Solomon, king
over Israel. They mounted Solomon on King David’s mule, escorted
him down to Gihon, took the horn of oil from the Tent of the Lord
and anointed Solomon.
“They sounded the trumpet and the people shouted, ‘Long
live King Solomon!’ Then the people escorted him home in procession,
with great rejoicing and playing of pipes, so that the very earth
split with the noise.” BACK
Notes by Burton Karson