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Concert Program Cover

Fourth Concert of the 42nd Season

 

Sunday, May 10th, 1981
Cordier Auditorium
Robert Jones, Conductor

  Water Music Suite No. 2 George Friedrick Handel  
 

Allegro
Gigue
Alla Hornpipe
Minuet
Lentement
Bouree

   
       
  Gloria Antonio Vivaldi  
 

Gloria in excelsis - chorus
Et in terra pax
- chorus
Laudamus te
- soprano duet
Gratias agimus tibi
- chorus
Propter magnam gloriam
- chorus
Domine Deus
- soprano aria
Domine Fili unigenite
- chorus
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei
- alto aria and chorus
Qui tollis
- chorus
Qui sedes ad dexteram
- alto aria
Quoniam tu solus sanctus
- chorus
Cum sancto Spiritu
- chorus

 
  Featuring Manchester College Choral Ensembles
Floyd Slotterback, director
Pamela Duffey, soprano
Mary Tilsy, soprano
Julie Wagoner, alto
Kim Yaussy, soprano
 
       

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Suite in D from The Water Music George Friedrick Handel
(1685-1759)
 
 

Handel was an exact contemporary of Bach, born in the same year, and dying only nine years later than Bach. Both came from north German middle-class families; both were Protestants, and both took their religion seriously. However, while Bach remained a provincial, family man, Handel became a well-traveled man-of-the-world. His stay in Italy stamped his music with an Italianate quality most notable in his oratorios. Apart from his Messiah, the most popular of his works is probably the Water Music suite.

Handel wrote the Water Music on a commission from King George for a royal river party on the Thames. Five years before, Handel had been the Kapellmeister to the Elector Georg of Hanover. He had been granted permission to leave Hanover for a stay "of reasonable length" in England, but he had liked it so well there that he showed no inclination to return. The Elector Georg soon became King George of England, a fact which put Handel in an awkward situation. Legend has it that the Water Music was written as a peace offering to Handel's erstwhile patron.

The music was performed in 1717 by an orchestra of fifty, unusually large for the period, and it was a tremendous success, having to be repeated three times. The music consisted of a suite of between 20and 26 pieces (depending on the source), of which we hear six today. There have been a number of different arrangements, most omitting several sections. The organization of the pieces varies from version to version. For instance, the final movement in the well-known arrangement by Sir Hamilton Harty appears today as the third movement. It is described simply as Allegro deciso by Harty, but is called Hornpipe on this edition.

The first movement, Allegro begins with a fanfare of trumpets, overlapped by descending violins. This is followed by a repeat of the ascending motif in the horns with descending low strings. There begins a series of echo effects (a device much admired by Handel), and strings and brass alternate playing in echo and in counterpoint to one another. After a series of modulations, in which the harpsichord may be heard, there is a segue into the second movement, Allegro.

The second movement is a lively piece, featuring the trumpet.

The third, Hornpipe, is the most famous of the pieces in this suite. it is regal and dramatic, which is why Harty chose it to end the suite in his arrangeement. The movement is in A-B-A form, again with the echo effect. The middle section is in a minor key, and features the violin against a woodwind accompaniment. it is in this section that the Italian influence is most notable with hints of Vivaldi.

The fourth movement, Minuet, opens tutti, but with strings dominating. The Menuet is played three times with the middle section featuring the double reeds and horns.

The fifth movement, Lengement (slowly), again begins and ends with the full orchestra, but with strings dominating. The middle section again features the woodwinds.

The sixth movement, BoureƩ, is a fast piece, and again, the middle section is given over to the woodwinds. The suite ends in a gay mood suitable to the royal soireƩ.


 
       
  Gloria Antonio Vivaldi
(c. 1675-1743)
 
 

Antonio Vivaldi was an Italian violinist and composer. He was born in Venice around 1675, the sone of a locally esteemed violinist in the service of St. Mark's Cathedral. The known circumstances surrounding Vivaldi's youth and early manhood are meager, but it has been established that he was ordained to the priesthood in 1703. Folklore tells us that he was defrocked within a short time for interrupting a mass to dash into the sacristy and jot down a theme that had come to him at the altar.

As to Vivaldi's contribution to music, it needs only to be recalled that J.S. Bach was so entranced by his instrumental forms that he made them his own. Although he composed operas, cantatas, motets, and works in various other forms, it is by his violin concerti that Vivaldi is best known today. In the category of music for church use, the present Gloria, "rediscovered" in the 1930s, is already recognized as an authentic masterwork.

The Gloria in Excelsis is a canticle (song or hymn) taken from the Gospel of St. Luke. It is sometimes called the "Angelic Hymn" because its opening lines are from the anthem sung by the heavenly choir above the fields of Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born.

The earliest manuscript of the Gloria dates from the fourth century, written in Greek for the Eastern Church. In its original form, it was a "private psalm" for the bishop's services. It was most likely introduced into the service of Communion in the Western Church in connection with the Christmas Vigil, because of its reference to the Song of Angels. However, since the eleventh century, it has been included in the festive services of the Church as a hymn of praise and joy. It is the joy of believers in God's merciful goodness in sending his Son into the world. For a brief moment it stoops to invoke mercy and help for mankind, but then lifts the worshipper to a Trinitarian ascription of worship and praise to Christ and the Holy Ghost as "most high in the glory of God the Father."


 
       
 

Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin
Marion Etzel, Concertmaster
Carla Slotterback *
Mary Berkebile
Carolyn Caldwell
Rosemary Manifold
Ervin Orban
J. Renee Rose +
Kirsten Rupel +
Britta Samuelson +
Mary Weatherholt +

Viola
Ronda Mendenhall *+
Gordon Collins
Vanessa Cox +

Cello
Jerry Lessig *
Robert Allen
Christine Beery
Joellen Placeway

Bass
Calvin Bisha *
Mark Tomlonson
Oboe
Carla A. Joseph *+
Stephanie Jones

Bassoon
Amy Smith *+
Mary Patterson +
Amy Statler +

Horn
Michael Wells *
Eric Jones +

Trumpet
Alan Severs *
Keith Whitford

Harpsichord
R. Gary Deavel

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
       
 

Manchester College Choral Ensembles

The choral program at Manchester College includes three choirs. Two of these choirs rehearse regularly throughout the entire school year. They are the A Cappella Choir and the Manchester Singers. Each group draws its membership by audition from the entire student body. The A Cappella Choir was founded by Dr. Clyde Holsinger in 1946 and has consistently achieved high musical standards over the years. When Floyd Slotterback came to Manchester in 1979, he formed the Manchester Singers to meet the needs of those students whose schedules, interests, or experience were not compatible with the A Cappella Choir. Membership in this new ensemble has quickly expanded to thirty-six. During one term of each academic year, these two choirs are combined into an evening chorus whose membership is also open to anyone from the college or community. This chorus is the Manchester Choral Society, whose purpose is to perform large-scale major works, often with orchestra. This fall the Choral Society will meet every Wednesday from 7:00-9:00 p.m. to prepare Handel's Messiah.

The combination of the A Cappella Choir and Manchester Singers for today's concert of Vivaldi's Gloria is a special project of the Music Department.

Thee soloists for today's performance are all Manchester College students and members of the A Cappella Choir.

Pamela Duffey, soprano, is a junior majoring in church music and religion, studying voice with Professor John Planer. She is from Hagerstown, Maryland.

Mary Tilsy, soprano, is a voice student of Professor Floyd Slotterback. She is a sophomore majoring in music education and is from Marley, Illinois.

Julie Wagoner, alto, is a sophomore from Rushville, Indiana, and is majoring in music.

Kim Yaussy, is a sophomore social work major from Beavercreek Ohio. She is a voice student of Professor Slotterback.