(Psalm 81, Verse 1)
|Sing aloud to God our strength;|
Shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|
|Hail, true body, born of the Virgin Mary;
True sacrifice, made for mankind upon the cross;
From whose broken side flowed blood and water:
Let this suffering be a foretaste for us of the
sufferings of death.
|Cantique de Jean Racine|
Opus 11 (1865)
|O divine Word above, our home and consolation,
Eternal day of the heav'ns and the earth;
Our voices break the silence; cast thine eyes upon us,
Pour out upon us the fire of thy powerful grace,
That hell may flee at the sound of thy voice.
Dispel the sleep of a languid soul,
Which leads it to forget thy laws.
O Christ, show thy favor to thy faithful people
Now gathered to bless you;
Receive the hymns they offer to your immortal glory
And in thanks for your gifts,
which they return to you fulfilled.
|Alles, was ihr tut|
The combined choirs which to thank
Klaus Elwert, the director of the Washington Sängerbund
and The German School of Washington Choir
for his efforts on behalf of this program.
|Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt (4:03, 5.6 mb)|
(O Be Joyful in the Lord, All Ye Nations)
O be joyful in the Lord, all ye nations;
Serve the Lord with gladness and come
before him with a song....
O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving,
For the Lord is gracious and his mercy is everlasting;
His truth endureth forever.
|William Croft||Out of the Deep Have I Cried (3:24, 4.7 mb)|
|Soloists: Ron Boucher, countertenor
Tim Burr, baritone
Malcolm Ottaway, bass
|William Billings||Sing to the Lord a New-Made Song|
|Cantata: Ich hatte viel bekümmernis|
(My Spirit Was in Heaviness) BWV 21
(The complete text is in the program insert)
|Super flumina Babylonis (3:58, 5.5 mb)|
(2nd recording 4:01, 5.5 mb)
(Ths motet was edited last year by Michael Donaldson for the Ad Hoc Singers,
in memory of Priscilla Burr, daughter of Singers member Tim Burr.)
By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept;
We have hung our instruments in the willows;
Our harps have turned to mourning, and our
instruments to the voice of weeping;
The voice of musicians has turned to lamentation;
The pipe of the singers, the voice of the harpists,
And the sound of your harps will no longer be heard,
For we have hung our instruments in the willows.
|Heinrich Schütz||Two Motets for Passiontide|
|Johannes Brahms||Das Mädchen (2:22, 3.3 mb)|
Said the maiden, standing in the shadow of the mountain
and seeing her face reflected there;
"O countenance of mine, if you are to be kissed by an old man,
I shall pluck bitter roots and
bathe my cheeks with water from them!
But if a young man will kiss me, I shall press to
my face sweet water from roses in the green garden!"
|(Brahms)||O süsser Mai (1:33, 2.1 mb)|
O Sweet May,
I am cold to thy green and blooming beauty;
Set me free from this darkness in song.
|(Brahms)||Motet: Warum ist das Licht gegeben|
Why has the light been given
to those who long for death?
(The complete text is in the program insert.)
|I||The Ad Hoc Singers' portion of today's program begins with a group of three psalm settings:
Jauchzet dem Herrn ("Praise the Lord", Psalm 117) by Mendelssohn, written in 1847;
Out of the Deep (Psalm 130) written in 1724 by the English composer William Croft
(Croft is best known for two fine hymn tunes – St. Anne, "O God Our Help in Ages Past" and Hanover);
and Sing to the Lord a New-Made Song, a paraphrase of Psalms 96 and 98 by the American William Billings, written about 1795.|
|II||Cantata #21 Ich Hatte viel Bekummernis (excerpts) — J. S. Bach|
|Chorus:||"My heart was sorely troubled but my soul is refreshed by your comforting."|
|Soprano solo:||"Sighing, weeping, sorrow, care, anxious yearning, fear, death; all tear at my heart, all is grief and pain."|
|Tenor recitative:||"Why have you turned away from me, O God, in my fear and trembling? Ah! Knowest not your child? The voices of those bound in trust to you? You were my joy but are gone from me; I seek you everywhere, I cry, alone in sorrow if you know me not."|
|Tenor aria:||"From my eyes salt tears are flowing endlessly forth; storm and billows overwhelm me, this troubled sea shall break my mast and anchor; I sink to the bottom in darkest despair."|
|Chorus:||"Why are you troubled, my spirit, and so restless within me? Hope in the Lord! I will evermore thank Him, for He is my help and my God."|
|Tenor aria:||"Rejoice, my spirit, my heart; away now, sorrow and pain; my tears, be turned to wine, my grief to joy; a candle of love burns in my heart as the heavenly ardor of Jesus comforts me."|
|Chorus:||"The Lamb that was slain is worthy of might and riches and wisdom and power, honor, glory, and praise for evermore, alleluia!"|
The Italian composer Costanzo Festa lived for a while near the French court, before moving to Rome as singer and composer for the Papal Sistine Chapel.
It is thought that during this time he composed the motet Super Flumina Babilonis for the funeral of French King Louis XII in 1515.
Although the words begin with the first line of Psalm 137, the following text is a vivid elegiac one perhaps by Festa himself.
Interwoven in long notes in the tenor part is a line from the Latin Requiem, "Pie Jesu, Domine, dona eis requiem" ("Blessed Jesus, Lord, grant them peace").
The Schütz motets are from a set of five "Passions-Motetten" in Latin, written early in Schütz's career, soon after his study with Giovanni Gabrielli in Venice. Schütz lived from 1585-1672. This prodigious German master wrote no independent instrumental music that we know of. His immense output of vocal music spans the late Renaissance, early and middle Baroque periods and is remarkable for its expressive qualities.
|IV||Motet, opus 74 #1 Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Muhseligen — Brahms|
|Chorus:||"Why, why is the light given to those who are in misery, and life to sorely afflicted spirits, they who wait for death and it comes not, who seek it as one digs for hidden treasure, who rejoices to approach the grave? And the man who has lost his way, and hs path is veiled before him, why?"|
|Chorus:||"Let us all lift hour hearts and our hands to heaven, to God above."|
|Chorus:||"Truly we call them contented who have endured; you have heard of the patience of Job and the purpose of God has been shown to you; for the Lord is compassionate and merciful."|
|Chorus:||"In peace and joy I now depart, as God ordains. My heart and soul are comforted and peaceful. As God has called me, the sleep of death o'er takes me."|
|THE AD HOC SINGERS|
|Louise Lee, Director|
|Salome Meli Aellig||Sara Herlihy|
|Charlotte Bristow||Barbara Mann|
|Hellen Gelband||Stephanie Stauffer|
|Norma Meyer||Jane Takeuchi|
|Janet Glore Reese||Ronald Boucher|
|Andrea Shotkin||Brent Chivers|
|Jane Thomas||Timothy Burr|
|Nancy Dixon||Malcolm Ottaway|
|Carol Pierstorff||Klaus Alt|
|Laura Schneider||Jerry Kamens|
The Ad Hoc Singers, an amateur chamber chorus devoted to traditional choral literature from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries, has been in existence under the direction of Louise Lee since 1975. They perform regularly at The Lyceum, Anderson House, churches, and other locations throughout the area. Good sight readers interested in joining the group should speak with one of the members after the concert or call 703-538-2557 to set up an audition.