Today, the Choral Mix is honoring mothers with a very special program. Some of the selections describe relationships with mothers while others are taken directly from the biblical story of Mary. Among the works featured this week, we hear Bach's Magnificat, which is an important musical working of Mary's story. We also hear a variety of Ave Maria settings, Brahms' Requiem as well as secular music.
J.S. Bach composed his Magnificat, BWV 243 in 1723. For such a joyous story, Bach employs a large orchestra, five-part choir and five soloists. In the first movement, Mary learns that she is with child. She is overjoyed and sings a glorious song, which is accompanied by fanfares in the flutes and trumpets. While Bach's work grasps the sentiment of a mother's joy, Brahms's Requiem takes more of a sorrowful tone, which he composed shortly after his mother's death. In the movement And ye now therefore have sorrow, Brahms features text that speaks of a mother’s comfort sung by a soprano solo. Brahms scores the orchestra in such a way that the soloist sounds angelic, floating on a light cloud that is the orchestral texture.
Undine Smith Moore's Mother to Son is based on a moving text by Langston Hughes and depicts a mother encouraging her son through difficult times, something which many can relate. Also featured are works by CPE Bach, Holst, Rachmaninoff among others.
First Movement from Magnificat
The Bach Ensemble
Et incarnatus from Mass in B Minor
Netherland Chamber Choir and Orchestra of the 18th Century
The Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
Voices of Ascension
Ihr abt nunTraurigkeit from the Requiem from Ein Deutsches Requiem
Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra
Elisabeth Schwartzkopf, Soprano
The sky over my mother’s House from The Shadows Around the House
I Cantori di New York
Mother to Son
Undine Smith Moore
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers
Yolanda Williams, Soprano
Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Et Misericordia ejus and Magnificat from Magnificat
Dresdner Kammercor and La Stagione Frankfurt