Programme notes - Spring Concert 2018
Chichester Psalms, Leonard Bernstein
On this 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth, it is appropriate to include a performance of Bernstein’s three Chichester Psalms, commissioned for the 1965 Southern Cathedrals Festival in Chichester. This effervescent, very Jewish music features soloist, harp and organ, plus a colourful array of percussion. The number 7 is important in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and this is prominent in the harmonies and rhythms of the first movement.
Otčenáš (Our Father), Leoš Janáček
Janáček's Otčenáš was composed in 1906 and is a setting of the Lord’s Prayer for soloist, choir, harp and organ. This unusual scoring gives the work an intimate character, far removed from the prevailing Germanic romantic style. The music is divided into 6 tableaux, including an impassioned plea for our daily bread.
Missa Brevis, Zoltan Kodály
Kodály's Missa Brevis was written during WW2 and first performed during the siege of Budapest, receiving its first official premiere in Worcester in 1948. It is a beautifully crafted fusion of modal harmonies, neo-baroque counterpoint, and poignant, folk-like melodies, with high trio passages in the outer movements.
Morgengesang & Nachtlied, Max Reger
The programme will be bookended by Reger’s richly coloured Morgengesang and Nachtlied (1914) in which the musical language of JS Bach is discernible through a sepia-toned late romantic haze.