March 10, 2013
Offered by the combined choirs of
The Williamsburg Congregational Church
The First Churches of Northampton
This year our choirs have chosen to present sections of the Mass as conceived by composers of different eras and nationalities and which embody a variety of musical styles.
The first section, Kyrie, by Franz Schubert (1797-1828), is from his Mass in G.
Schubert was born in Vienna, Austria. His life was short (he lived for only 32 years), but during that time he composed over 600 songs for voice, nine symphonies, many liturgical pieces, operas and works for chamber groups and solo piano. Today he remains one of the world’s most frequently performed composers.
The Mass in G was composed in less than a week (March 2-7) when Schubert was 18 years old. We are singing the Kyrie from this work. The Kyrie is usually the first sung prayer in the Order of Mass. The text of the Kyrie remains in its original Greek form.
The Gloria is from a composition by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) entitled Gloria. Vivaldi was born in Venice, Italy. He was known as a violinist as well as a composer and spent much of his life teaching violin and leading the orchestra at an orphanage for girls in Vienna. The Gloria was written while he was teaching at this orphanage. Vivaldi became a priest in 1703 and was generally referred to as the “Red Priest” because of his red hair. He wrote over 500 concertos and had a great influence on J.S. Bach.
The Alleluia is a movement from the Regina Coeli by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Born in Salzburg, Austria, Mozart was a child prodigy.
He and his sister spent their childhood traveling throughout Europe performing for royalty and other dignitaries. This Regina Coeli is one of three settings by the young Mozart and was composed in 1771 when he was 15 years old. The Alleluia is described as being “sunny and bright,” adjectives which also apply to many of Mozart’s other works.
The Sanctus is part of the Requiem Mass composed by Gabriel Faure (1845-1924). Faure began working on the Requiem in 1887 simply, as he wrote, “for the pleasure of it.” The deaths of his parents in 1885 and 1887 may also have influenced the creation of the composition. He intended his Requiem to be a source of comfort and peace to its listeners. Faure was choirmaster at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris in 1887 and was just beginning to be recognized as a composer. We are singing from the edition published by John Rutter in 1984.
The Agnus Dei is part of the Missa Festiva by John Leavitt (1956–), an American composer who was born in Leavenworth, Kansas. This work was published in 1991 and has been performed by choirs around the world. Mr. Leavitt remains an active composer of sacred choral music.
Members of our Choirs
Williamsburg Congregational Church The First Churches
Cathy Adams Joanne Graves
Shirley Cranston Denise Karuth
Karen Mayer Jaye Matchett
Mary Smith Sharon Moulton
Linda West Doryne Pederzani-Dinneen
ALTOS: Sue Stone
BASSES: Betty McKown
Roy Beals Sue Norton
Larry Hanson Barbara Parsons
Larry West M.J. Pederzani-Dinneen
MINISTER OF MUSIC: TENORS:
Gretchen Burdick John Norton
Abigail Adams, violin BASSES:
Sally Bagg, cello Jeffrey Bubar
Cindy Naughton, flute and piano Dick Purrington
MINISTER OF MUSIC:
MINISTER OF MUSIC EMERITA: