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Concert Program Cover

Third Concert of the 64th Season

Sacred and Secular Music of Hungary

Sunday, March 9th, 2003
Cordier Auditorium
Robert Jones, Conductor

  Missa Brevis Zoltán Kodály  

Agnus Dei
Ite missa est

  Amanda Myers-Walls, Kelsey Swanson, Megan Allen, women's trio
Laura Stone, alto
Nick Reynolds, tenor and incipits
Tyler Secor, baritone
Manchester College A Cappella Choir
Debra Lynn, conductor
  Rákóczy (Hungarian) March, Op. 24 from Faust Hector Berlioz  
  Roumanian Folk Dances Béla Bartók  

Stick Dance
Sash Dance
In One Spot
Horn Dance
Roumanian Polka
Fast Dance
Fast Dance

  Vltava (The Moldau) from Má Vlast Bedřich Smetana  

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Missa Brevis Zoltán Kodály

Kodály (pronounced "KOH-dye") was a Hungarian nationalist composer, teacher, and musicologist. He was a close friend of, and collaborator with Béla Bartók. The two of them took long tours through the Hungarian and Romanian countryside collecting folk songs. Of the two, Bartók was by far the more famous. It is hard to say whether it was because his music was better, or because of circumstance. Kodály remained in Hungary throughout the Second World War (he finished the Missa Brevis in the cellar of a convent!) While Bartok was in the United States, sponsored by the Sergei Koussevitzky Foundation, and championed by influential friends such as violinist Yehudi Menuhin and violist William Primrose. Both Bartók and Kodály spoke very highly of each other, and remained close friends until the death of Bartok of leukemia in 1945.

Kodály's unpopularity at home, owing to his opposition to Fascism as well as Communism, and his isolation from the West, first because of the war, and then the cold war, made it hard for him to gain a following, but eventually he surmounted all obstacles and has been honored both in Hungary and abroad.

There is still an odd fact about Kodály. Americans who know his music at all are likely to know his orchestral works, such as the suite from Háry János, or the Dances of Galánta. But Kodály was primarily interested in the voice. He was largely reponsible for a major change in musical education in Hungary and for the development of choral productions there.

His music is strongly Hungarian in character, with frequent references to folk music, but the Missa Brevis is an exception. It is not, however, a surprise. Kodály was a scholar who was familiar with early ecclesiastical music, and who also admired the music of Debussy. Hungarian folk music has oriental origins, pentatonic scales, and diatonic qualities . . . qualities favored by Debussy. Kodály was able to synthesize these various influences into a coherent personal style which could embrace both worlds . . . that of the nationalist and of the ecclesiastic.

In the Missa Brevis, Kodály exhibits his acquaintance with Baroque word symbolism, sometimes called "tone-painting" where the direction of the music fits the meaning of the words. Missa Brevis connects the present with the past by the alternation of homophonic and polyphonic sections (in the orchestral Introit, notice the polyphonic texture shortly after the opening).

  Rákóczy (Hungarian) March, Op. 24 from Faust Hector Berlioz

Some authorities date the origin of the Rákóczy March to about 1809, and credit it to an unknown composer, perhaps a Gypsy violinist. Hungarian musicologists, however, trace its roots far earlier, to college songbooks in the late 1700s. It was named for a Hungarian patriot, the Prince Francis Rákóczy, who opposed the Austrian occupation Hungary. It soon became the "theme-song" of Hungarian independence. Berlioz composed his own version for inclusion as a students' song in his Oratorio, La Damnation de Faust (he must have known its origin). Ferenc (Franz) Liszt made it even more famous when he included his own arrangement in his 15th Hungarian Rhapsody, in 1865. Johann Strauss used it in his Zigeunerbaron.

Berlioz' version is richly orchestrated and includes a bass drum to increase the drama. Hungarians had been concerned that it might be too tame, since they were used to loud Gypsy renditions. Berlioz did not disappoint them.

  Roumanian Folk Dances Béla Bartók

Bartók is a twentieth century composer of nationalist sympathies. He was a great collector of folk songs in his native Hungary and adjacent Roumania. Politics being what it is, he was born in Hungary, but his birthplace is now in Roumania! He took pains to distinguish Magyar music from Slavic music. Some Hungarian musicologists trace the origins of Magyar music back to China, and Bartók himself was interested in an Arab connection. He carried a wire recorded to remote villages to learn first hand of his musical heritage, and the result is unmistakably Hungarian-Roumanian music.

The six dances are:

Joccubata (Dance with Sticks), from Moroszobad, Transylvania, merry, energetic, and syncopated.
Braul (from Egres, Yugoslavia), gay and quick in duple measure.
Pe Loc (A stamping dance, also from Yugoslavia), rather slow, with a steady step and a melody notable for small intervals, like bagpipe music.
Buciumeana (a dance from Butschum from a district in Transylvania), graceful, three-quarter time, with a haunting melody.
Porga Romaneasca (Roumanian polka, from Transylvania), quick and lively, with a broken-chord melody, marked into groups of three beats, three beats, and two beats.
Maruntel (quick dance from Belenyes), a fast dance using very small steps and movements.

  The Moldau (from Má Vlast) Bedřich Smetana

Bedřich Smetana was born in Bohemia (now Czechoslovakia) at a time when it was under Austrian rule. He was a prodigy, composing at the age of eight and performing publicly at the age of five. Smetana was a nationalist, and did for his native Bohemia what his friend and teacher, Liszt, did for Hungary. He became the first truly Czech composer. Smetana wrote a number of tone poems and several operas of nationalist character, the most popular of which was The Bartered Bride.

Smetana was a great promoter of "program music," which has been out of fashion with critics for some time, though still very popular with audiences. He thought music ought to be related to the world around, not "absolute" or "abstract."

His most popular work is The Moldau, or Vlatava, from the cycle of tone poems called Má Vlast (My Fatherland). It is a very picturesque work, depicting the river Moldau as it flows through Bohemia from its twin sources to its mouth. We first sense the trickle, then the stream, the village fair, the rapids, its passage through Prague, and finally its grandeur as it broadens on its way to the Elbe.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

Linda Kanzawa Ard, Concertmaster
Joyce Dubach *
Benita Barber
Martha Barker
David Blakely
Sarah Cole
Linda Kummernuss
Adele Maxfield
Ervin Orban
Ilona Orban
Margaret Piety
Moo Il Rhee

Naida MacDermid *
Peter Collins
Emily Mondock
Julie Sadler

Tim Spahr *
Sarah Reed +^
Tony Spahr
Sara Thomas

Darrel Fiene *
Mark Huxhold
George Scheerer

Barbi Pyrah

Kathy Urbani *
Crystal Waggy +

Rita K. Merrick *
George Donner
Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. Huntington

Erich Zummack *
Jessica Kleckler

Nancy A. Bremer *
John Morse
Tammy Keirn
Kim Reuter +^

Steven Hammer *
Nathan Reynolds +^ (Asst.)
Ray Hart +
Rich Pepple

Jon Hartman *
Larry Dockter
Scott Hippensteel

William DeWitt

Jason Spangler

David Robbins
Greg Wolff

Megan Stout

Debora DeWitt

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes Keister Scholarship recipient

Manchester College A Cappella Choir

  Debra Lynn, conductor  
Megan Allen
Tiffany Bohnstedt
Nicole Cataldo
Jessica Hamlyn
Jennifer Hann
Rachael Heath
Amy Hoffman
Larissa James
Carey Konkle
Amanda Myers-Walls
Sarah Oren
Sharon Osborne
Samantha Peko
Sherita Septiani
Kelsey Swanson

Robbie Bucher
Steve Harshman
Mitchell Herniak
Dennae Lytle
Nick Reynolds
Ethan Terry
Beth Allen
Sara Baker
Trish Bowers
Stacy Carpenter
Ashleigh Casazza
Emily Davies
Meagan Harlow
Carrie Hook
Sara Kerkhoff
Rachel McFadden
Kellie Mullin
Laura Stone
Janina Traxler
Megan Wenger

Brad Bohnstedt
Torrance Dean
Dennis Gates
Michael Good
Seth Hendricks
Krzysztof Kardaszewicz
Andy Liszewski
Grant Merrell
Tyler Secor
Daniel Smalley
The Manchester College A Cappella Choir is an auditioned ensemble consisting of 40-50 students. A variety of majors are represented by our membership including music, peace studies, education, the sciences, accounting, athletic training, history, religion, and communication. Alghough members come from majors across many disciplines, they are truly drawn together by their common love of choral music. The A Cappella Choir was founded in 1946 by conductor Clyde Holsinger. Prior to that time, various glee clubs and small ensembles were formed according to student interest; however, A Cappella Choir was the first to maintain a stringent audition criteria and limited membership year after year. Their repertoire included mostly unaccompanied standard choral repertoire dating from the Renaissance period through the 20th Century. Under the baton of Dr. Lynn, A Cappella Choir has expanded their repertoire to include both accompanied and unaccompanied choral literature from all style periods, including Gregorian Chant, opera choruses, and folk song arrangements. In the spring of 2001, the A Cappella Choir was honored to perform in New York's Carnegie Hall. In addition to their own solo concert, the choir joined alumni of the ensemble in a performance of works composed and conducted by John Rutter. Next year, the ensemble will travel to Italy for a concert tour. Performing venues will include San Marco in Venuce, Basilica di St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Peters Basilica (the Vatican) in Rome.
Debra Lynn in in her fifth year as Assistand Professor of Music at Manchester College where she serves as Director of Choral Organizations and instructor of applied voice and conducting. Choral ensembles under her direction include Manchester Choral Society, A Cappella Choir, and Chamber Singers. Her ensembles have performed at various locations throughout the U.S., including Carnegie Hall in New York. Debra holds a Doctor of Arts in Music degree with an emphasis in choral conducting and voice performance from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Prior degrees from Truman State University and William Jewell College include emphases in choral conducting, voice performance, and music education. Debra has studied conducting with Douglass Amman, Paul Vermel, Paul Crabb, and Arnold Epley. She has studied voice with Jeffrey Ballard, Mary Hagopian, Nicholas DiVirgilio, Paul Crabb, and Dean Wilder. Dr. Lynn has held teaching and conducting positions at Northeast Missouri State University, William Jewell College, and Mid-America Nazarene College. She has served as opera chorus director for Illinois Opera Theatre and as guest conductor for various composer forums and honor choir festivals. Debra is married to Robert Lynn, a tubist. They reside in North Manchester with their four daughters, Bethany, Abby, and twins Emily and Erin.