21st May 2005 ~ St. Margaret's Church

Saturday 21st May 2005, 8.00 pm
St. Margaret's Church, St. Margaret's Road, Summertown

To celebrate the centenary of Sir. Michael Tippet's birth in 1905, the choir interspersed his famous settings of negro spirituals from "A Child Of Our Time" with Father Guido Haazan's "Missa Luba", based on African melodies and rhythms and accompanied by drumming. The Sanctus features in the 1968 film "If". Mozart's "Requiem" was also performed. Mozart died before completing the work at the age of 35 and the mystery surrounding the piece is dramatised in the film "Amadeus".

Sir Michael Tippet  Five Negro Spirituals (Child of Our Time)
Guido Haazen (arr.)  Missa Luba
Mozart Requiem Mass
Aaron Copland The Boatmen's Dance, Long Time Ago, Simple Gifts
R. Vaughan Williams Linden Lea, The Turtle Dove

Conductor:
Duncan Saunderson

Soloists:
Tara Overend (soprano)
Stephen Burrows (countertenor)
Ben Alden (tenor)
Tom Edwards (bass)

Accompanist:
Julian Littlewood (piano)

Concert Recording

A recording of this concert is available to choir members. To obtain a copy, ask any member of the committee or send your request via email to webmaster@summertownchoral.org.uk

Here are some samples from the CD.

  MP3 audio file MP3 Audio
Nobody Knows (Tippett Negro Spirituals, 2)  Listen
Benedictus (Missa Luba)  Listen
The Turtle Dove (Vaughan Williams)  Listen
Linden Lea (Vaughan Williams)  Listen
Cum Sanctis Tuis (Mozart Requiem)  Listen

 

Program Notes

Folk Music

The first part of tonight's programme is, in essence, a programme of folk music. Not all of it was written as such: Tippett's Five Negro Spirituals are from his oratorio A Child of Our Time and the Missa Luba is a Congolese setting of the Catholic Mass. But the words and the style of the musical settings are those of traditional folk music.

1 Steal Away Tippett 7 By and By Tippett
2 The Boatmen's Dance Copland 8 Agnus Dei Missa Luba
3 Nobody Knows Tippett 9 Linden Lea Vaughan Williams
4 Sanctus, Benedictus Missa Luba 10 Deep River Tippett
5 Go Down, Moses Tippett 11 The Turtle Dove Vaughan Williams
6 Long Time Ago Copland  

Tippett: Five Negro Spirituals

Tippett's oratorio A Child of Our Time was inspired by the assassination in Paris in 1938 of a German diplomat by a young Polish Jew (leading to the Kristallnacht pogrom of 1938), and was first performed in 1944. Tippett used the Five Negro Spirituals in the oratorio as Bach used the chorales in his settings of the Passions, and his publishers persuaded him to arrange them for unaccompanied chorus. He did so in 1958 with some reluctance, but later wrote that in this setting 'they became, as it were, the huge voice of a crowd of folk singing together.' He heard this for himself at a performance in Georgia, the home of the Negro spiritual in the Deep South, when the whole audience joined in together in singing them.

Missa Luba

The Missa Luba is a Congolese folk mass. With its strict rhythmic tom-tom beat and the simple repeated melody lines of African traditional music, it is not a formal musical composition, but in the words of Fr Guido Haazen who arranged the music, 'the product of a collective improvisation' by himself and the Congolese choir with whom he worked. The mass was originally recorded by tenor solo and choir of men and boys, and published in written notation in 1964. Tonight we are singing only three movements of the full mass, the Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei.

Copland, Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs

Copland and Vaughan Williams were, arguably, the two composers of the 20 th century who were most influenced by the traditions of folk music.

As a young man Copland studied in Paris, but his compelling interest was to develop a distinctively American style of music, and his success in doing so comes through clearly in three popular ballet scores, Billy the Kid, Rodeo and Appalachian Spring. His setting of The Boatmen's Dance is of a song first dated to 1843.

The influence of folk song on Vaughan Williams was more direct. During his thirties he spent 10 years building up a collection of over 800 songs and their variants from Norfolk, Surrey, Sussex, Herefordshire and other counties, establishing him as the leader of the English folksong movement. The last verse of Linden Lea expresses something more forceful than the simple rural idyll.

Five Negro Spirituals

Steal Away

Steal away,
steal away,
Steal away to Jesus;
O steal away home,
I han't got long to stay here.

My Lord, He calls me
He calls me by the thunder,
The trumpet sounds within-a my soul,
I han't got long to stay here.

Steal away, steal away,
Steal away to Jesus;
O steal away home,
I han't got long to stay here.

Green trees a-bending,
Poor sinner stand a-trembling,
The trumpet sounds within-a my soul,
I han't got long to stay here.

Steal way,
Steal away to Jesus;
O steal away home,
I han't got long to stay here.

Nobody Knows

Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord,
Nobody knows the trouble I see,
Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord,
Nobody knows like Jesus.

O brothers, pray for me,
And help me to drive old Satan away.


Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord,
Nobody knows the trouble I see,
Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord,
Nobody knows like Jesus.

O mothers, pray for me,
And help me to drive old Satan away.

Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord,
Nobody knows the trouble I see,
Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord,
Nobody knows like Jesus.

Go down, Moses

Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt land;
Tell old Pharaoh to let my people go.

When Israel was in Egypt land,
Let my people go; tell old Pharaoh.
Oppressed so hard they could not stand,
Let my people go; tell old Pharaoh.

"Thus spake the Lord," bold Moses said,
Let my people go; tell old Pharaoh.
"If not, I'll smite your first-born dead."
Let my people go; tell old Pharaoh.

Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt land;
Tell old Pharaoh to let my people go.

By and by

O by and by,
I'm going to lay down my heavy load.

I know my robe's going to fit me well,
I've tried it on at the gates of Hell.

O by and by,
I'm going to lay down my heavy load.

Hell is deep and a dark despair,
O stop, poor sinner, and don't go there.

O by and by,
I'm going to lay down my heavy load.

O by and by,
I'm going to lay down my heavy load.

Deep river

Deep river , my home is over Jordan ,
Lord, I want to cross over into camp ground.

Oh chillun! Oh don't you want to go
To that gospel feast,
That promised land, where all is peace.
Walk into heaven and take my seat,
And cast my crown at Jesus' feet.
Deep river , my home is over Jordan ,
Lord, I want to cross over into camp ground.

Mozart: Requiem Mass

Mozart was working on the Requiem Mass when he died in Vienna on 5 December 1791 at the age of 34, leaving it unfinished. The original commission appears to have been anonymous in a letter signed by 'a devotee of your art'. For these two reasons, since the time of Mozart's death there has been debate, at times heated, on the detailed authenticity and the artistic merit of parts of the work (for example, the brief and somewhat thin writing of the Osanna and its weak repetition).

Nevertheless, it is now accepted that the Requiem was commissioned by Count Franz Walsegg-Stuppach in memory of his wife who died in February 1791, and that it was Mozart's widow, Constanze, who ensured its completion by asking Mozart's pupils and friends, in particular Franz Süssmayer, to undertake the task. (Süssmayer says in a letter of September 1800 that, before he was approached, several composers were asked to finish the work.) The first movement, finished by Mozart, was performed at his memorial service on 10 December 1791. Süssmayer finished his completion by the end of spring 1792, and the first performance of the full work with Süssmayer's completion was given in January 1793 at a benefit concert for Constanze and her children.

The original scores of the Requiem are in two volumes in the keeping of the Austrian National Library. The first volume contains the complete score as presented to Count Walsegg by Constanze, with the autograph manuscript of the Introit and much of the Kyrie in Mozart's own hand and the rest of the work in Süssmayer's hand. The second volume contains the draft in Mozart's hand of the vocal parts and figuring of the instrumental bass for all the movements of the Sequenz and the Offertorium. In a letter of February 1800 to the Leipzig publishers of the first edition Süssmayer says that the Lacrimosa from bar 9 (the first eight bars having been written by Mozart), the Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei were his work. In a letter of March 1799 Constanze says that repetition of the material of the opening Introit and Kyrie for the closing Lux Aeterna was suggested by Mozart just before he died, and in another letter of March 1827 she says that Süssmayer had use of material sketched out by Mozart for the missing movements.

Clive Williams

TRANSLATION OF MOZART’S REQUIEM

The Requiem in D-minor, unfinished at the time of Mozart’s death (1791) and completed, in part from Mozart’s drafts, by Sussmayer, used the full Catholic liturgy for a Requiem Mass for the dead. The words of the opening movement (Requiem aeternam) are loosely based on Psalm 65 v.1-2 and on an Apocryphal passage from Esdras (ch.2 v. 34-35). The 47-line poem of the Dies irae (sections 2-7 below) was incorporated into the Mass in the 14 th-century, and is often attributed to the Franciscan Thomas of Celano; it has various Biblical sources, but is in part a meditation on Luke 21, v. 25-36. The Offertorium (Domine Jesu and Hostias, sections 8 and 9 below) originated as prayers recited for the sick and dying. The final movements (Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei, sections 10-12) accompany the consecration in all standard settings of the Mass.

The sections to be sung by the choir are in bold.

1. Requiem aeternam – chorus and soloist

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
Eternal rest grant unto them, Lord,

Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
And may light everlasting shine upon them.

Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion,
A hymn should be sung unto Thee, O God, in Sion,

Et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem.
And unto Thee shall a vow be made in Jerusalem.

Exaudi orationem meam,
Hear my prayer,

 Ad te omnis caro veniet.
Unto Thee shall all flesh come.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
Eternal rest grant unto them, Lord,

Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
And may light everlasting shine upon them.

Kyrie eleison! Christe eleison! Kyrie eleison!
Lord have mercy! Christ have mercy! Lord have mercy!

2. Dies irae – chorus

Dies irae, dies illa solvet saeclum in favilla,
The day of wrath, that day shall dissolve the mortal world in ashes,

Teste David cum Sybilla.
As prophesied by David together with the Sibyl.

Quantus tremor est futurus
How great a trembling there shall be

Quando judex est venturus,
When the judge shall come

Cuncta stricte discussurus.
And shall judge all things strictly.

3. Tuba mirum - soloists

Tuba mirum spargens sonumPer sepulcra regionum,
The trumpet spreading its awesome sound Across the graves in all lands

Coget omnes ante thronum. Mors stupebit et natura,
Shall assemble all befiore the throne. Death shall be stunned and so shall nature,

Cum resurget creatura, Judicanti responsura.
When humankind shall arise To answer before the judge.

Liber scriptus proferetur, In quo totum continetur,
The written book shall be brought forth In which is contained everything

Unde mundus judicetur. Judex ergo cum sedebit,
By which the world shall be judged. And so when the judge shall take His seat,

Quidquid latet apparebit. Nil inultum remanebit.
Whatever is concealed shall appear. Nothing shall remain unpunished.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus ? Quem patronum rogaturus,
What am I, a wretch, then to say ? On which advocate shall I call,

Cum vix justus sit securus ?
When even the righteous is scarcely safe?

4. Rex tremendae – chorus

Rex tremendae majestatis Qui salvandos salvas gratis
O King of dreadful majesty Who freely saves those who are to be saved

Salve me, fons pietatis.
Save me, O fountain of goodness.

5. Recordare – soloists

Recordare, Jesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae :
Remember, good Jesus, That I am the reason for Thy pilgrimage :

Ne me perdas illa die. Quaerens me, sedisti, lassus,
Abandon me not on that day. In seeking me, Thou didst sink down, weary,

Redemisti crucem passus ; Tantus labor non sit cassus.
Thou didst save me by suffering the cross; Let not such toil be in vain.

Juste judex ultionis, Donum fac remissionis
Just judge of vengeance, Grant the gift of forgiveness

Ante diem rationis. Ingemisco tanquam reus,
Before the day of reckoning. I groan as though guilty

Culpa rubet vultus meus; Supplicanti parce, Deus.
My face reddens with guilt ; Spare a suppliant, O God.

Qui Mariam absolvisti, Et latronem exaudisti,
Thou who didst absolve Mary Magdalene And didst hear the prayer of the thief,

Mihi quoque spem dedisti. Preces meae non sunt dignae,
To me also hast Thou given hope. My prayers are not worthy,

Sed tu, bonus, fac benigne, Ne perenni cremer igne.
But Thou, all good, show mercy, Lest I burn in everlasting fire.

Inter oves locum praesta, Et ab hoedis me sequestra,
Among the sheep grant me a place, And from the goats separate me,

Statuens in parte dextra.
Setting me on Thy right hand.

6. Confutatis maledictis – chorus

Confutatis maledictis Flammis acribus addictis,
When the damned have been confounded and consigned to the bitter flames,

Voca me cum benedictis. Oro supplex et acclinis
Call me together with the blessed. I pray, a suppliant on my knees,

Cor c ontritum quasi cinis, Gere curam mei finis.
My heart contrite as ashes, Safeguard my end.

7. Lacrimosa – chorus

Lacrimosa dies illa, Qua resurget ex favilla
Weeping shall mark that day On which there rises from the ashes

Judicandus homo reus. Huic ergo parce, Deus :
The guilty man who shall be judged,. Then spare him, O God:

 Pie Jesu Domine : Dona eis requiem. Amen.
O merciful Lord Jesus : Grant unto them rest. Amen.

8. Domine Jesu – chorus and soloists

Domine, Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae
Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory

Libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum
Deliver the souls of all the faithful departed

De poenis inferni et de profundo lacu.
From the torments of Hell and from the deep abyss.

Libera eas de ore leonis
Free them from the jaws of the lion

Ne absorbeat eas tartarus ne cadant in obscurum ;
Lest Hell swallow them up or lest they fall into darkness.

Sed signifer sanctus Michael repraesentet eas in luem sanctam,
But let the standard bearer Saint Michael bring them back into blessed light,

Quam olim Abrahae promisisti et semini eius.
As once Thou didst promise to Abraham and to his seed.

9. Hostias – chorus

Hostias et preces tibi, Domine, laudis offerimus;
Sacrifices and prayers of praise we offer unto Thee, Lord;

Tu suscipe pro animabus illis, quarum hodie memoriam facimus.
Receive them for the sake of those whom we commemorate today.

Fac eas, Domine, de morte transire ad vitam.
Grant them, Lord, from death to pass into life.

Quam olim Abrahae promisisti et semini eius.
As once Thou didst promise to Abraham and to his seed

10. Sanctus – chorus

Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth !
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts!

Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.
The heavens and earth are filled with Thy glory

Hosanna in excelsis !
Hosanna in the highest!

11. Benedictus – soloists

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord

Hosanna in excelsis !
Hosanna in the highest!

12. Agnus dei – chorus and soloist

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,

Dona eis requiem. Agnus Dei,
Grant unto them rest. Lamb of God, 

Qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem aeternam.
Who takest away the sins of the world, give unto them eternal rest.

Et lux perpetua luceat eis,
And may everlasting light shine upon them,

Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum :
Together with your saints throughout eternity:

Quia pius es.
For Thou art good and merciful.

Translated by Valerie Worth: February 2005.