Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Time Line – "Christmas Through the Ages" with CONCORA

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This morning I spent a few minutes with my folder of music for CONCORA’s third and final performance of “Christmas Through the Ages” which takes place this Thursday evening, December 22 at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Connecticut. 

CONCORA presents “Christmas Through the Ages”
Richard Coffey, Artistic Director and Conductor
Thursday, December 22, 8:00 p.m.
Infinity Music Hall & Bistro, Route 44, Norfolk, CT
Information, Tickets, and Directions:
http://www.infinityhall.com/ or 866-666-6306

I wanted to be sure that all the music was in its proper place, ready for our warm-up rehearsal on Thursday. And of course, I wanted to spend some time with the music itself, to be sure that I had reviewed any spots where I had been challenged with music, text, or presentation. Most of this can be done just sitting quietly looking at the music and working on it entirely within my thoughts.

As I looked at the music, I felt renewed appreciation for the selection of music from several centuries that makes up “Christmas Through the Ages.” Mr. Coffey has not arranged the program chronologically by date of composition; rather, he has arranged the music to illustrate the Christmas story. It’s nice to hear old works next to newer ones, to hear how composers from different times and traditions add to the grand tradition of Christmas music.

But just for fun, I compiled a chronological list of the pieces on the program; it’s at the end of this post. Some entries appear twice, for example when a contemporary composer has made a new arrangement of an old favorite.

You can read all my posts about CONCORA’s Christmas programs, including lots more information about this upcoming concert, and a listing of all the selections on the program, here:
http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/search/label/CONCORA%20Christmas

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Ancient
“Ave Maria” ― A setting (2006) by John Rutter (b. 1945) of the text from the Gospel of Luke.

13th Century
“The Twelve Days of Christmas” ― The verse may be as old as the thirteenth century; the first printed version appeared in London around 1780. The 1992 arrangement is by John Rutter (b. 1945).

1328
“In dulci jubilo” ― A setting (1837) by Robert L. Pearsall (1795-1856) of words recorded in 1328 by Heinrich Seuse (ca.1295-1366). The tune was found in a manuscript dating from around 1400 or earlier. Additional verses were printed in hymnals in 1533 (Joseph Klug’s Geistliches Lieder) and 1545 (Valentin Babst’s Geistliches Lieder). The earliest English version was in John Wedderburn's Gude and Godlie Ballatis (c1540). The carol was published in Piae Cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae veterum episcoporum (“Devout ecclesiastical and scholastic songs of the old bishops”), printed in Finland around 1582.

14th Century
“There is No Rose of Such Virtue” ― A 2007 setting of an anonymous 14th-century text by Colin Britt (b. 1985).

14th Century
“A Tender Shoot” ― The words and music are by German-born composer and pianist Otto Goldschmidt (1829-1907). The text is Goldschmidt’s paraphrase of the well-known 14th-century German chorale “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen.”

14th Century
“Lo, How a Rose e’er Blooming” ― An arrangement (1988) by Jan Sandström (b. 1954) of the famous setting (1609) by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) of the well-known 14th-century German chorale “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen.”

1400
“In dulci jubilo” ― A setting (1837) by Robert L. Pearsall (1795-1856) of words recorded in 1328 by Heinrich Seuse (ca.1295-1366). The tune was found in a manuscript dating from around 1400 or earlier. Additional verses were printed in hymnals in 1533 (Joseph Klug’s Geistliches Lieder) and 1545 (Valentin Babst’s Geistliches Lieder). The earliest English version was in John Wedderburn's Gude and Godlie Ballatis (c1540). The carol was published in Piae Cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae veterum episcoporum (“Devout ecclesiastical and scholastic songs of the old bishops”), printed in Finland around 1582.

15th Century
“Alleluya! A New Work Is Come on Hand” ― A 1953 setting of an anonymous 15th century English verse by Peter Wishart (1921-1984).

15th Century
“God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” ― An arrangement (1992) by David Willcocks (b. 1919) of a tune first published on a 1760 broadsheet; the lyrics date back to the 15th century.

15th Century
“Sir Christèmas” ― A 1969 setting by William Mathias (1934-1992) of a text attributed to Richard Smart, rector (1435-1477) of Plymtree in Devon, England.

1582
“In dulci jubilo” ― A setting (1837) by Robert L. Pearsall (1795-1856) of words recorded in 1328 by Heinrich Seuse (ca.1295-1366). The tune was found in a manuscript dating from around 1400 or earlier. Additional verses were printed in hymnals in 1533 (Joseph Klug’s Geistliches Lieder) and 1545 (Valentin Babst’s Geistliches Lieder). The earliest English version was in John Wedderburn's Gude and Godlie Ballatis (c1540). The carol was published in Piae Cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae veterum episcoporum (“Devout ecclesiastical and scholastic songs of the old bishops”), printed in Finland around 1582.

1609
“Lo, How a Rose e’er Blooming” ― An arrangement (1988) by Jan Sandström (b. 1954) of the famous setting (1609) by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) of the well-known 14th-century German chorale “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen.”

1610
“Glory to the Christ Child” ― A setting (2005) by Alan Bullard (b. 1947) of an anonymous text recorded around 1610.

1618
“Oculi Omnium” (“We Turn Our Eyes to Thee”) ― A setting (1618) by Hieronymous Praetorius (1560-1629).

1641
“Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light” composed in 1734 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) for his Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248). The chorale tune (“Ermuntre Dich”) was composed in 1641 by Johann Schop (1590-1667). The original German text is by Johann Rist (1607-1677); the English translation was made by John Troutbeck (1832-1889).

17th Century
“While by My Sheep” (“The Christmas Hymn” or the “Echo Carol”) ― A setting (1895) by Hugo Jüngst (1853-1923) of a 17th-century folk carol. The 16th-century text is “Als ich bei meinen Schafen wacht” by German Jesuit Friedrich Von Spee (1591-1635).

Before 1700
“Masters in This Hall” ― The tune was included in Raoul-Augur Feuillet’s 1703 collection, Recueil de contredanse and was used by Marin Marais (1656-1728) in his 1706 opera Alcyone, who called it Marche pour les Matelots (Sailors’ March). The tune was published as “The Female Saylor” in a 1710 English collection called For the Further Improvement of Dancing. William Morris (1834-1896) (yes, that one) penned the poem “Masters in This Hall” in 1860 expressly for the old French tune. The over-the-top arrangement (2001) performed by CONCORA is by American composer and conductor Mack Wilberg (b. 1955).

1734
“Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light” composed in 1734 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) for his Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248). The chorale tune (“Ermuntre Dich”) was composed in 1641 by Johann Schop (1590-1667). The original German text is by Johann Rist (1607-1677); the English translation was made by John Troutbeck (1832-1889).

1760
“God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” ― An arrangement (1992) by David Willcocks (b. 1919) of a tune first published on a 1760 broadsheet; the lyrics date back to the 15th century.

1780
“The Twelve Days of Christmas” ― The verse may be as old as the thirteenth century; the first printed version appeared in London around 1780. The 1992 arrangement is by John Rutter (b. 1945).

1837
“In dulci jubilo” ― A setting (1837) by Robert L. Pearsall (1795-1856) of words recorded in 1328 by Heinrich Seuse (ca.1295-1366). The tune was found in a manuscript dating from around 1400 or earlier. Additional verses were printed in hymnals in 1533 (Joseph Klug’s Geistliches Lieder) and 1545 (Valentin Babst’s Geistliches Lieder). The earliest English version was in John Wedderburn's Gude and Godlie Ballatis (c1540). The carol was published in Piae Cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae veterum episcoporum (“Devout ecclesiastical and scholastic songs of the old bishops”), printed in Finland around 1582.

1857
“Jingle Bells” ― The words and music (1857) are by James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893); the arrangement (1992) is by David Willcocks (b. 1919).

1871
“See Amid the Winter Snow” (“Hymn for Christmas Day”) ― A setting (1871) by John Goss (1800-1880) of words (1851) by Edward Caswell (1814-1878), in an arrangement (1992) by David Willcocks (b. 1919).

1895
“While by My Sheep” (“The Christmas Hymn” or the “Echo Carol”) ― A setting (1895) by Hugo Jüngst (1853-1923) of a 17th-century folk carol. The 16th-century text is “Als ich bei meinen Schafen wacht” by German Jesuit Friedrich Von Spee (1591-1635).

Late-19th Century
“A Tender Shoot” ― The words and music are by German-born composer and pianist Otto Goldschmidt (1829-1907). The text is Goldschmidt’s paraphrase of the well-known 14th-century German chorale “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen.”

1911
“In the Bleak Midwinter” ― A setting (1911) by Harold E. Darke (1888-1976) of the poem composed around 1872 by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894).

1953
“Alleluya! A New Work Is Come on Hand” ― A 1953 setting of an anonymous 15th century English verse by Peter Wishart (1921-1984).

1954
“Hymne à la Vierge” (“Hymn to the Virgin”) ― A setting (1954) by Pierre Villette (1926-1998) of a poem by Roland Bouhéret.

1969
“Sir Christèmas” ― A 1969 setting by William Mathias (1934-1992) of a text attributed to Richard Smart, rector (1435-1477) of Plymtree in Devon, England.

1985
“There is No Rose of Such Virtue” ― A 2007 setting of an anonymous 14th-century text by Colin Britt (b. 1985)

1988
“Lo, How a Rose e’er Blooming” ― An arrangement (1988) by Jan Sandström (b. 1954) of the famous setting (1609) by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) of the well-known 14th-century German chorale “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen.”

1992
“God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” ― An arrangement (1992) by David Willcocks (b. 1919) of a tune first published on a 1760 broadsheet; the lyrics date back to the 15th century.

1992
“The Twelve Days of Christmas” ― The verse may be as old as the thirteenth century; the first printed version appeared in London around 1780. The 1992 arrangement is by John Rutter (b. 1945).

1992
“Jingle Bells” ― The words and music (1857) are by James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893); the arrangement (1992) is by David Willcocks (b. 1919).

1992
“See Amid the Winter Snow” (“Hymn for Christmas Day”) ― A setting (1871) by John Goss (1800-1880) of words (1851) by Edward Caswell (1814-1878), in an arrangement (1992) by David Willcocks (b. 1919).

2001
“Masters in This Hall” ― The tune was included in Raoul-Augur Feuillet’s 1703 collection, Recueil de contredanse and was used by Marin Marais (1656-1728) in his 1706 opera Alcyone, who called it Marche pour les Matelots (Sailors’ March). The tune was published as “The Female Saylor” in a 1710 English collection called For the Further Improvement of Dancing. William Morris (1834-1896) (yes, that one) penned the poem “Masters in This Hall” in 1860 expressly for the old French tune. The over-the-top arrangement (2001) performed by CONCORA is by American composer and conductor Mack Wilberg (b. 1955).

2005
“Glory to the Christ Child” ― A setting (2005) by Alan Bullard (b. 1947) of an anonymous text recorded around 1610.

2006
“Ave Maria” ― A setting (2006) by John Rutter (b. 1945) of the text from the Gospel of Luke.

2007
“There is No Rose of Such Virtue” ― A 2007 setting by Colin Britt (b. 1985) of an anonymous 14th-century text.

2010
“Sleep, Little Baby, Sleep” ― A 2010 setting by Robert Cohen (b. 1945) of a poem by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894).

2010
“The Pie Carols” ― Words and music (2010) by Daniel Gawthrop (b. 1949).

Yes, I’m OCD; why do you ask?


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