paul paddock - chorale bass
kate biederwolf - chorale alto
"let it fall"
paul paddock - chorale bass
Claire klein - chorale alto
"Light of a clear blue morning"
phil reilly - choral tenor
"for the future"
lisa drost - chorale alto
I've always loved choral music and I've loved this piece since the first time I sang it. To this day, it gives me great peace, hope and strength. Regardless of my present circumstance, my mind can float free. . .weightless. . .limitless . . .
The lake lay blue below the hill
O'er it, as I looked, there flew
Across the waters, cold and still
A bird whose wings were palest blue
The sky above was blue at last
The sky beneath me blue in blue
A moment, ere the bird had passed
It caught his image as he flew
kevin navis - chorale tenor
"God bless america"
by Irving berlin
sung by kate smith
When we sang our national anthem and the South Africa national anthem at Orchestra Hall and on tour I had tears every time. I would give the world for the Chorale to perform this piece. I probably wouldn’t be able to sing!! Here's the story about this song, from a friend:
"The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.
"This was the era before television when radio shows were HUGE and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.
"Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring (sound familiar?). She had hope for America, and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer Irving Berlin (who also wrote "White Christmas") and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He went to his files and dusted off a song that he had written but never published, 22 years before - in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from it. Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts has received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.
"This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the background, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, “You're In The Army Now.”
"To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be during those years of hardship and worry... and for many generations of Americans to follow."
peter dimock - vox singer
"Across the vast, eternal sky"
sung by the CHoir of Royal Holloway
I love the tranquillity this piece promotes in me.
JUDY ARNSTEIN - CHORALE ALTO
"Bansull" by frank Havroy
sung by ensemble 96
kjetil almenning, conductor
I discovered this lovely Norwegian lullaby on MPR last year, and I've probably listened to it hundreds of times since. I have always found it to be comforting and soothing, and I can never seem to listen to it just once!
Paul paddock - CHORALE Bass
sung by chanticleer
arr. by michael bartholomew & james erb
This is one of my favorite pieces because of the lush warm harmonies and it reminds me of where I grew up. I sang bass to this in District VIII choir at Menchville High School in Virginia freshman year front row and center--talk about being wrapped in an intense chasmic blanket of a 200+voice sound! To me it fits the description of how you'd feel about the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains' nature/colors, and indeed you'd hear those echoes. Once you visit even once, it'll always be a part of you.
JIM HILD - chorale bass
"Auch mit gedämpften, schwachen Stimmen"
by j.s. bach
This aria comes from Bach's cantata #36. I love the way Bach sets this text and his use of the violin. I have always found this text and this music uplifting. The lilting 3/4 rhythm is especially fitting. Here is an English translation.
Even with subdued, weak voices
God's majesty is honoured.
for if only the spirit resounds,
there is such a cry to him
that he himself hears it in heaven
CINDY BERGSTROM - PRELUDE CONDUCTOR
by Cyndi Lauper, sung by Camden Voices
This popped up on Facebook when I was first adjusting to the pandemic. I found the simple message and harmonies very soothing. I immediately thought of the kids I work with and how some of them may be struggling with who they are. Let those true colors shine!
GLORIA FREDKOVE - CHORALE ALTO
Sung by Barbra Streisand
The Ave Maria is a wonderful prayer, and in these difficult times, it is hopeful and filled with faith.
HEATHER HOOD - CHORALE SOPRANO
O Salutaris Hostia
I was introduced to this piece by my friend, Tim Sawyer, who sings in the South Dakota Chorale. I love the ethereal beauty of the piece, the calming influence of interwoven harmonies, and the call to the Divine to give us strength in difficult times.
LOLA WATSON - CHORALE SOPRANO
Finale of "MeFistofele"
One of the most moving scenes I performed with the San Francisco Opera Chorus! The triumph of good over evil- the redemption of a soul wanting to be saved!
SCOTT CHAMBERLAIN & DANIEL bridston
"Cantique de jean Racine"
Scott: "Kathy programmed this piece while while we were still at Macalester. The work brings to mind his famous Requiem, but in a five-minute sound bite. This work seared my heart the first time I heard it, and its spirit of Divine Love moves me every time I hear it."
Daniel: "This work never fails to fill me with peace, and I am always astounded by its sheer beauty."
JERRY RUBINO - "Te Deum" - Haydn & "Dieu! Qu'il la fait bon regarder" (Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans - C. Debussy)Read Now
JERRY RUBINO - VOX ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
"Te Deum" - Haydn & "Dieu! Qu'il la fait bon regarder" (Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans - C. Debussy)
I think back to my amazing experience as a high school (kind of singer - was more of a cello player and drummer) and pianist/accompanist for my high school choir. The director pushed us to amazing things for h. s. things and I'm proud to remember that these 2 pieces were learned and performed in my junior year in high school! (Philadelphia suburbs!) had to learn the piano reduction of the Haydn - and I'm sure that it took weeks - to this day - I still have the opening memorized - smile!
BARB BROOKS - CHORALE ARTISTIC ADVISOR & PIANIST
I love Esenvalds in general but I really love this piece (we sang it at First Unitarian Society), as I feel it is so poignant in how it deals with loss and memory, and how it describes time being forgotten in sleep and dreams. It really speaks to me during this crisis as I have been reliving my life and all the beautiful memories of people, places, and life experiences I encountered and am so grateful for.
Only in sleep I see their faces,
Children I played with when I was a child,
Louise comes back with her brown hair braided,
Annie with ringlets warm and wild.
Only in sleep Time is forgotten--
What may have come to them, who can know?
Yet we played last night as long ago,
And the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair.
The years had not sharpened their smooth round faces,
I met their eyes and found them mild--
Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder,
And for them am I too a child?
Pat Arasim, MYC Founding Conductor
As we all are staying home and hearing the death numbers rise, I thought this piece by Stephen Paulus helps underscore the enormity of the word HOME. It was also sung by the Basilica Cathedral choir at my father’s funeral. It is very special to me.
Barbara Lundervold, Soprano & Special Projects Coordinator
The highlight of my "extensive" solo career was when I was asked to return to Mankato in 1968 to be the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah... with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra and Oratorio Chorus. I don't know if the concert was recorded, but if it was, I don't have it. So, I have selected a beautiful rendition by Kathleen Battle. I'm sure that I sounded just like her! :-) The frosting on the cake was that I was given $67 for my performance! (To put that in perspective though, my teaching salary at Edina High School was $5600.) Since then, I've done so many Messiah performances as a chorister and have never tired of the experience. Enjoy!
Walter Tambor, MYC Assistant Conductor
I came to formal choral music rather late in life (post college!) spending the majority of my HS career as pianist, accompanist, and musical theater kid. I saw the original production of Sondheim's Sunday in the Park as a HS Junior. The themes of order, design, tension, balance, and HARMONY resonated with me then, and still guide almost all my choices to this day.
Alyssa Breece, Soprano & Chorale Operations Director
We have been listening to this a lot in our home. This song brings me to tears every time I hear it. As a parent in this sometimes-scary world I want to make sure that they know that no matter what they hear on TV, or as adults are discussing scary topics, that they are safe, loved and that everything is possible for them. For all of us, really.
BOB PESKIN, BASS & Chorale Executive Director
This is the Sanctus from Maurice Duruflé’s setting of the “Requiem.” I chose it because it was the first choral piece I ever sang, with my high school choir. M. Duruflé conducted our performance, and his wife, Marie, was the organist. With a first-ever concert like that, it’s no wonder I wound up making a career in choral music! (And when Robert Shaw conducted the Chorale in a performance of this same piece in the 1990s, he mentioned that he was using tempi from a concert recording of “a wonderful American high school choir conducted by the composer back in 1971.” Yup, that would be the same concert I sang in.
Featuring the Yale Glee Club directed by Minnesotan Jeffrey Douma, whose brother Greg is married to David Nordli’s daughter, Kari.
KATHY SALTZMAN ROMEY - CHORALE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
J. S. Bach - B minor Mass, Dona Nobis Pacem English Baroque Soloists & Monteverdi Choir Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner
Bach's B Minor Mass has always held a special place in my heart. It is the work that brought my father together with Helmuth Rilling and which ultimately led to the founding of the Oregon Bach Festival fifty years ago. It is music which I studied and sang under the baton of my mentor and teacher, Helmuth Rilling. It is a staple of the Oregon Bach Festival and the opening concert of the 2020 Festival. Most recently, it is music that I prepared just three weeks ago with the 2020 JSB Ensemble (Young Stuttgart Bach Ensemble) of the International Bach Academy of Stuttgart.
We were 80+ musicians from 30 countries, who came together on March 6th in a beautiful German monastery to study and prepare Bach's B Minor Mass and Köthener Trauermusik under the baton of Hans-Christoph Rademann. It was a week of intense rehearsals, joyous music making, shared meals, new friendships, and global exchange. The final performance was to have been in Stuttgart on March 21st – Bach's 335th birthday. With the impending threat of the coronavirus, we had to suspend all workshop, masterclass, and concert activity in Stuttgart so that everyone could safely return home to their respective countries. On the evening of Thursday, March 12th, we came together one last time to perform the B Minor Mass for ourselves. There were no trumpets or timpani, so the oboe professor played the first trumpet part from his pocket score. There were no vocal soloists so members of the chorus and vocal masterclasses stepped out to sing the arias. Teachers and students sang and played side-by-side with incredible focus and passion. It was not a perfect performance but one of great emotion and celebration, reflecting our collective love of music and the time we had shared together. I will never forget that evening nor the final Dona nobis pacem (Grant us peace), which slowly unfolded and grew in intensity and fervor – an international prayer for global health and cooperation, and a musical exaltation of faith, love, hope, charity, and peace.