Alice Reid Pruisner - Conductor
Oxana Khramova - Pianist
Ann Fienup - Harpist
World Premiere of
in the day
by resident composer
Pilgrims' Hymn - Paulus
Herbstlied - Schumann
Joy to the World! - arr. Rutter
This Little Babe - Britten
Jingle Bells - arr. Langford
Go Where I Send Thee - arr. Thomas
James Healy, baritone
Seasons of Life - Mulholland
in the day - Carey
Kate Hahn, soprano; Emily Forssberg, alto
The Bells - Leavitt
Muie Rendera - Fonseca
Set Me As a Seal - Clausen
I'll ay call in by yon town - arr. Wilberg
A NOTE FROM THE CONDUCTOR
Snow. Ice. Christmas. Dark. Family. Love. Gratitude. Bells. Stars. Cold. In today’s concert we take a trip through winter, November - February, to celebrate the highs and lows of the coldest time of the year. November opens with Stephen Paulus’ Pilgrim’s Hymn. Written entirely in a hymn-like chordal setting, Piligrim’s Hymn is intensely introspective and heart-breakingly beautiful. The final song of our November set is Herbstlied (Autumn Song) by Robert Schumann. Herbstlied was originally composed as a duet, but makes a charming partsong as arranged by William Hall.
John Rutter’s traditional setting of Joy to the World starts the month of December off with a bang. Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols,” composed in 1942, is an eleven-movement work for harp, boys choir, and treble soloists that sets Christmas poetry from Medieval and Renaissance eras. This Little Babe, here scored for SATB choir, depicts the Christ-child set for battle, armed with tears and babish cries. In contrast, Jingle Bells, arranged for the internationally acclaimed a cappella ensemble The King’s Singers, is light, bright, and cheerful - full of charm. We leave December with the rocking spiritual, Go Where I Send Thee.
January, the month of reflection and new beginnings, opens with James Mulholland’s Seasons of Life. Here the composer gives each of the four seasons a unique musical setting. in the day, by resident composer Joseph Carey, is our feature commission for this season. Here is what he has to say about his composition: “in the day is a setting of a powerful poem by American poet Stephen Crane, best known for his novel The Red Badge of Courage. Narrative passages depicting the passing, cyclical nature of time alternate with group reflections on the relationship of humankind to God, leading to a subtle but startling change in understanding in the third stanza. Musically, I’ve attempted to step back and let the text speak for itself throughout; narrative passages are set as simple solos and the group reflections in simple hymn-like homophony.” We leave January with The Bells, John Leavitt’s whimsical setting of the first stanza of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem.
February, the month of love, begins in Brazil. Muié Rendêra is a fun, rhythmic combination of two popular folk tunes from Northeast Brazil. Set Me As a Seal, René Clausen’s setting of Song of Songs 8:6-7, is a beautiful and serene affirmation of love’s constancy. I’ll ay call in by yon town is a Scottish folksong written in 1795 by Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard. Wilberg’s arrangement is a four-hand piano tour de force.
Thanks for joining us! We hope our concert has brought you joy, peace, and a moment of warmth to take with you as a talisman against the winter cold.
Thank you to First Christian Church for hosting us!
First Christian Church
1302 W. 11th St
Cedar Falls, IA