The Salt Lake Children’s Choir ready to sing at the First Presbyterian Church.
Tonight, May 11, is our last Spring Concert in Salt Lake for 2013. Here are a few more program notes for pieces being performed tonight:
Anicka dusicka arr. M. Schneider-Trnavsky
This lovely dance song has the combination of spice and melodic charm for which Slovak songs are so widely known and loved.. It is one of the most popular folk songs of Slovakia.
Las Amarillas arr. by Stephen Hatfield
Back in 1997, when I first saw this arrangement of a southern Mexican huapanago, I thought it was one of the best (but most difficult) arrangements of ethnic music I had ever seen. However, not wanting to avoid a worthwhile challenge for the choir, I immediately had our kids prepare and perform it–and was glad I did (as was the audience!). Since then, it has been sung all over the world (mostly by groups older than ours)– and we have also done it once since. However, it has been many years since we have tackled it and I am delighted this year’s group has the opportunity. It is rhythmically complex, exciting, and great fun for all involved.
Springtime in the Rockies by Robert Sauer
By the time we come to this sentimental favorite, we will have been on a wonderful musical journey (including a trip to the Norwegian mountains) and it will feel good to be back home. Of local interest is that the composer, a German immigrant, was a member of the BYU music faculty when the song was written in 1927. There will be more great things yet to come on the program, but this will start us on the home stretch.
In many ways, I relate more to the music of Robert Scumann than any other composers of the German Romantic Era, and this is one of the greatest of all his songs.
The characteristic interplay between piano and voice is exquisite, and the overall effect of the song is simply transporting (especially as sung by these young voices). As with all our settings of such music, the accompaniment is left untouched, the vocal parts enhanced with appropriate harmonies only sparingly and at strategic points. I don’t think this song can ever be programmed too often.
Text of the English translation sung by our choir:
It seemed as if, serenely, by heav’n the earth were kissed
That she so bright and queenly must dream of heav’nly rest
The breeze was lightly straying through cornfields waving light
and forest leaves were sighing as starlit was the night
And my rapt soul, her pinions, in eager joy out spread,
moved o’er the earth’s dominions as homeward on she sped.
Leading up to the concerts this weekend, we will be publishing some “Program Notes” by the choir’s director, Ralph B. Woodward, about pieces you will hear :
Stars (verse, Sara Teasdale) by R. Woodward
The poem conveys in simple, vivid terms the wonder and reverence elicited by being outdoors witnessing the infinite majesty of the heavens. The music uses in great measure the ethereal, openness of the whole-tone scale (in similar fashion to that heard in some of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”). Despite the other-worldly sounds of the song, our young singers really respond to its evocative effect and message.
Alone at night
On a dark hill
With pines around me
Spicy and still,And a heaven full of stars
Over my head,
White and topaz
And misty red;
Myriads with beating
Hearts of fire
Cannot vex or tire;
Up the dome of heaven
Like a great hill,
I watch them marching
Stately and still,
And I know that I
Am honored to be
Of so much majesty.
The Salt Lake Children’s Choir, Ralph B. Woodward, Artistic Director, will present its 33rd annual spring concert on Mothers’ Day Weekend, Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11 at 7:30 PM in the First Presbyterian Church (South Temple and C Street). In addition to its angelic sound and artistry, the choir is widely known for the extraordinary scope of its repertoire, and the coming performances are no exception–as they will, musically speaking, “bring the world to Salt Lake City.” The program will include music of the Italian Renaissance, the German Art Song and charming folk songs from the British Isles, Scandinavia, Central and Southern Europe and the Americas.–including Robert Schumann’s sublime “Moonlit Night,” “Sweet Woodlark” from Scotland (on a text by Robert Burns), “Varmland” from Sweden, “Anicka dusicka” from Slovakia, the electrifying huapango, “Las Amarillas” from Chiapas, Mexico, and “Zuni Sunrise” by Laughing Eyes,” Edaackie. Also heard will be Gerald Finzi’s charming “Rosy Maiden Winifred,” Woodward’s own evocative “Canto al Sol,” the calypso, “Down by the Seashore” and the sentimental favorite, “When It’s Springtime in the Rockies.” The evening will conclude with the choir’s traditional “A Day in Spring”