Sunday, May 10, 2015

University Singers: Program and Notes

2015 University Singers: (not in order pictured; click photo to enlarge) Brynn Allen, McKinlee Burkhardt, Meagan Blachly,  Berenice Ceja, Olivia Bright,    Michelle Hy,  Ana Ceja, Emily Hilkere, Ana Cruz, Hannah Kelly, Stevy Marquez,  Joselyne Loaiza,Jessie Rawson, Nawlah Madu-Powell, Cora Rickert, Allie Merten, Julia Gotico, Krishel Moura, Katherine Nunes-Siciliani, Catherine Rippetoe, Lorena Tamayo, Kenneth Bridges, Alex Albin, Fidel Cortez, Mark Berman,Victor Guerrero, Carey Dakin,Bryant Kellison , Stefan Flores, Luis Landin, Michael Levan, David Paden, Carter Long, Joseph Mayer, Matthew Nelson, Raul Yepez, John Pettlon, Christopher Parreira, Ryan Woempner.

Program
Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
 Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi (Fortune, Empress of the World)
 1. O Fortuna
 Mark Berman, Speaker
 2. Fortune plango vulnera
 Mark Berman, Speaker
 I. Primo vere (In Springtime)
 3. Veris leta facies
 Mark Berman, Speaker
 4. Omnia sol temperat
 Mark Berman, Speaker; Matthew Nelson, Baritone
 5. Ecce gratum
 Mark Berman, Speaker
 Uf dem anger (On the Lawn)
 10. Were diu werlt alle min 
 Mark Berman, Speaker
 15. Amor volat undique
 Mark Berman, Speaker; Meagan Blachly, Soprano
 16. Dies, nox et omina
Mark Berman, Speaker; Raul Yepez, Tenor
 17. Stetit puella
 Mark Berman, Speaker; Olivia Bright, Soprano
 18. Circa mea pectora 
Mark Berman, Speaker; Matthew Nelson, Baritone
 20. Veni, veni, venias
Mark Berman, Speaker
 21. In truitina
 Mark Berman, Speaker; Catherine Rippetoe, Alto
 22. Tempus est iocundum
 Mark Berman, Speaker; Christopher Parreira, Bass
 Jessie Rawson, Soprano
 23. Dulcissime 
 Jessie Rawson, Soprano
 24. Ave formosissima 
 25. O Fortuna (Fortune, Empress of the World)

City Called Heaven by Josephine Poelintz
 Lorena Tamayo, Mezzo-Soprano

Notes
Carmina Burana by Carl Orff

"Carmina Burana provides music that Carl Orff  hoped would cut across social, educational, and temporal boundaries to engage audiences in a powerful expression of music. For his text, Orff turned to a collection of irreverent medieval songs and poems discovered in 1803 at the Bavarian monastery of Benediktbeuren. Hence, Carmina Burana, or "Songs of Beuren." In these profane lyrics of minstrels and monks long dead, Orff heard clearly the voice of the human condition, with its indestructible hunger for the sensual pleasures of the world persisting through the capricious turns of Fortune's wheel. Setting this text to music of primitive force rivaled in our time only by Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Orff combined the medieval and the modern in a timeless vision of humanity's vitality and endurance.

Carl Orff (1895-1982) was a German composer and educator. After studying at the Academy of Music at Munich, he helped to found the G√ľnter School there in 1924. As a composer Orff wished to simplify music, to return to its primitive components. He attempted to adapt old monodic forms to modern tastes, employing dissonant counterpoint and vigorous rhythms. In 1960 he became head of the Orff School for Music in Munich. His work in music education has attracted a considerable following in the United States."
--from Harley Muilenburg

"Carl Orff is among the most misunderstood and thereby underestimated composers of the last century – which is odd when you consider that one work, Carmina Burana, is among the most popular pieces of music ever written. There is at least one performance of it somewhere in the world every single day of the year, and that has been going on for the last 30 years. And with over 300 different recordings extant in the catalogue today, it easily outranks even Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony."
--Tony Palmer classical music.com

"One of music's most resilient creatures is on the loose again, making tracks across the landscape of mainstream entertainment. It leaves traces on the vaguely medieval choruses of John Williams's score to ''Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace,'' and a heavier imprint on ''Hate Me Now,'' the creepingly catchy hip-hop hit by Nas. Its rhythmic echoes even resound behind a recent promotion for the ''South Park'' film.

What is that blasted music, ever present on soundtracks and in television commercials, surfacing everywhere from the video arcade to the ice skating rink? It is ''Carmina Burana,'' a cantata composed in the 1930's by the German music educator Carl Orff around a group of 13th-century ballads by wandering monks.

As the most likely musical background for jousting nobles or scary monsters, used in films from ''Excalibur'' to ''Natural Born Killers,'' Orff''s work defines the sound of the pop Gothic... Charlotte Church, the 13-year-old Welsh soprano sensation, sings from it on her album, ''Voice of an Angel,'' as did Barbra Streisand before her. Nancy Kerrigan and Torvil and Dean have skated to it, video game players annihilate enemies to it, and the German industrial rock group Einsturzende Neubauten and the teen-pop heartthrobs 98 Degrees have used it to herald the opening of their shows.

The piece's ubiquity is more pronounced in the classical world, where it is a staple for choruses, orchestras, opera companies and ballet corps. ''The audience turns out for it,'' said Julie Rushbrook, the outgoing president of the Grace Choral Society of Brooklyn. ''That's the bottom line for a community choral society. It really helps pay the bills.''

...It may not make for a sound legal argument, but the idea that ''Carmina Burana'' somehow belongs to everyone instinctively rings true. Its tenacious hold on the public imagination suggests a power that transcends most critics' dismissals of the piece as naive and overwrought. ''Carmina Burana'' exists between the high and the low, the modern and the traditional, reminding listeners just how seductive such border crossings can be..... Even its defenders value ''Carmina Burana'' particularly because it is accessible and fun...

 "The shadow of Nazism stains Orff's legacy. It is the main reason the cantata was not performed in the United States until 20 years after its debut... Orff never joined the Nazi Party, although he cooperated with it to survive."
--Ann Powers in New York Times June 14, 1999

City Called Heaven by Josephine Poelintz

"Poelinitz’s City Called Heaven expresses the deep longing a person feels during their pilgrimage through life. While the choir “trudges” toward the goal, the pleading, improvisatory-like solo lines evoke yearning for the heavenly home."
-- from Harley Muilenburg

"Josephine Poelinitz is an Elementary Music Specialist in the Chicago Public Schools. Her arrangement of City Called Heaven, a “sorrow song” performed in the style of “surge-singing,” has become a favorite of choirs of all ages."
--Dordt College 

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