A Choral Celebration of Mothers

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

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
Joshua Rifkin

Et incarnatus from Mass in B Minor
Netherland Chamber Choir and Orchestra of the 18th Century
Frans Brüggen
Live Recording

Bogoroditse Devo

The Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
Kent Tritle

Ave Maria

Voices of Ascension
Dennis Keene

Ave Maria

San Francisco

Ihr abt nunTraurigkeit
from the Requiem from Ein Deutsches Requiem
Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra
Otto Klemperer
Elisabeth Schwartzkopf, Soprano

The sky over my mother’s House from The Shadows Around the House
Tom Cipullo
I Cantori di New York
Mark Shapiro

Mother to Son
Undine Smith Moore
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers
Philip Brunelle
Yolanda Williams, Soprano

Totus Tuus
Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Robert Shaw

Et Misericordia ejus and Magnificat from Magnificat
CPE Bach
Dresdner Kammercor and La Stagione Frankfurt
Michael Schneider

Comments [7]

Fletcher from Westchester

I sit listening to the CD of Rifkin's Magnificat, which I felt compelled to buy after hearing it here. It's so _alive_ it seems able to turn stone to flesh. I need the energy, since I won't rest until I have Chanticleer's soul-drenching Ave Maria. Thank you so much - and the playlist is a gift.

Jul. 24 2011 07:22 PM
Gary Ekman from Manhattan NYC

Having had the honor and privilege of singing the Mass in B Minor under Kent Tritle's baton, I've always been struck by how unusual Et Incarnatus is. It sounds eerie, mounrful, dirgelike, almost anonymous. I don't have enough musical, theological or liturgical knowledge to understand why Bach wrote it the way he did, but the contrast between Et Incarnatus and Bach's more conventional baroque compositions is truly staggering.

May. 08 2011 08:59 PM

I really enjoyed the program today-the Biebl Ave Maria is so incredibly beautiful.Thank you for playing it.

May. 08 2011 04:07 PM
Michael Meltzer

A very beautiful program, but that's not a surprise.

May. 08 2011 09:58 AM
gary sick

I was so impressed with the Totus Tuus that I immediately went to your playlist, then to ITunes to buy the album. I'm listening to it again now. Extraordinary.

May. 08 2011 08:30 AM
susan rhoades

Just a quick amendment - I don't like CONTEMPORARY choral music as a rule - of course Handel, Bach, Mozart...etc. I've loved forever...just clarifying why the last piece played was such an exquisite surprise..

May. 08 2011 08:02 AM
susan rhoades

I don't like choral singing. I don't like most religious hymns. This "Maria" directed by Robert Shaw was so lovely...so touching...so sacred..so etherial...I've never heard it before and I feel you've given me a wonderful gift.
Thank you so much.

May. 08 2011 07:55 AM

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