David Stabler, music reviewer for The Oregonian, says of In Dulci Jubilo "My favorites begin with Ralph Vaughan Williams' quietly joyful arrangement of "Wassail Song," where the choir blends in rich musical phrasing. Morten Lauridsen's radiant "O Nata Lux" and Peter Wishart's "Alleluya" draw a warm, reverberant sound. A pulsing drum infuses an Incan song, "Hanacpachap," and it's doubtful your Christmas collection already contains the delightful Filipino song "Pokpok Alimpako" with its intersecting rhythms, or a Mongolian song that gallops like a racehorse." In Dulci Jubilo is the perfect non-traditional holiday compilation!
In Dulci Jubilo
Music for the Season by Seattle Pro Musica
MUSIC FROM THE BRITISH ISLES
Sir William Walton began his musical life as a boy chorister at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Though most of his output is orchestral, he also wrote for the voice, with works ranging from short carol settings to the oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast.
What Cheer? was composed in 1960 to an anonymous 16th-century text.
Peter Warlock is the pen name of the Anglo-Welsh composer Philip Heseltine, friend of literary
luminaries such as D. H. Lawrence and Aldous Huxley. In addition to his work as a composer,
Warlock was an author, editor, and transcriber of early music who made an enormous contribution
to the revival of English medieval and Renaissance music. Bethlehem Down dates from 1927.
John Joubert was a British composer of South African descent. Though perhaps best known for his choral music,
particularly the carols Torches and There Is No Rose of Such Virtue, Joubert has composed over
160 works including two symphonies and seven operas.
Kenneth Leighton was a British composer and pianist. He composed within a wide variety of
musical forms and spent his last 18 years as Professor of Music at Edinburgh University. A Hymn
of the Nativity is a setting of a few stanzas from the much longer poem by the 17th-century
English poet Richard Crashaw.
Suo Gân is a well-known Welsh lullaby which first appeared in print c. 1800. Many
listeners may recognize the melody, which featured prominently in the film Empire of the Sun.
Herbert Howells is remembered primarily for his Anglican church music—motets, anthems,
canticles, organ works, and three major choral works with orchestra. His compositional style
shows the influences of his contemporaries and predecessors in English music Vaughan
Williams, Elgar, and the modal counterpoint of the early Tudor composers. His “carol-anthem”
Sing Lullaby Perfectly evokes the holiday season.
FROM THE AMERICAS
Composer in Residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1994-2001,, Morten
Lauriden occupies a permanent place in the standard vocal repertoire of the 20th and 21st
centuries. His works are featured regularly in concerts by distinguished ensembles throughout
the world; O Magnum Mysterium, Dirait-on, and O Nata Lux have become the all-time best-
selling choral octavos distributed by Theodore Presser.. The text of O Nata Lux, the central movement of Lux Aeterna, contains
references to light and is drawn from various sacred Latin works.
Music from 16th and 17th Century Latin America
The arrival of Spaniards in the New World changed forever the indigenous cultures of Latin
America. We are well aware of the terrible suffering in the form of enslavement, plundering,
forced conversion, and destruction of life and culture that the Conquest wrought upon the
native peoples of Central and South America. But there were also opportunities for American
and Spanish cultures to mingle and produce something unique and beautiful. Music was one
such meeting ground, and we have inherited a musical legacy from the 16th, 17th, and 18th
centuries in Latin America which is fresh, delightful and occasionally surprising in its
combination of Indian, Spanish, and African elements. Much of this music has lain hidden and
neglected for years in manuscript form in cathedral libraries in South and Central America;
over the past thirty years scholars have unearthed numerous works, but many more await
publication and dissemination.
Hanacpachap, sung in the Incan language Quechua, is the oldest printed polyphonic work from the Americas. The composer is unknown. Published in a book of ritual instructions for priests,
it was intended as a processional. The text may have originated as a monophonic hymn
to the goddess of the earth and was later modified to a hymn venerating the Virgin Mary.
Dios Itlazo Nantzine is one of the earliest extant compositions by a native Mexican
composer (Don Hernando Franco). The percussion patterns used in this performance
(and in Asi Andando) are adapted from drumming notations found in the codex Cantares
Mexicanos, which was compiled between 1550 and 1585 by Aztec musicians and historians.
Tomás Pascual was a native Mayan who was the maestro de capilla at San Juan Ixcoy in
Guatemala between 1595 and 1635. Pascual’s manuscripts were discovered in 1963 by
Daniel Jensen, a priest in Guatemala, who found them in the eaves of the village church roof
when it was undergoing reconstruction. As maestro de capilla in a Guatemalan village,
Pascual would have exercised more influence in the town than the mayors and other officers
Juan de Araujo, one of the leading composers of 17th century Latin America, was
born in Spain and moved to Peru at a young age. He worked as choirmaster both in Panama and
at the Lima Cathedral in Peru, and spent his final years as choirmaster at La Plata Cathedral
in Bolivia. Araujo was a prolific composer, with over 200 extant works. Los Coflades de la Estleya is subtitled Negritos a la Navidad del Sr. (Black Song for the Birth of our Lord) and shows a strong
influence of African music. The text describes the joyful procession of a black brotherhood
toward Bethlehem, recalling the actual ceremonies and festivities of the numerous black
fraternal associations in Latin America.
MUSIC OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Pokpok Alimpako is based on a motif of a Maranao (Southern Philippines) melody and the words of a children’s chant. The Maranao people are one of the largest Islamic groups in the Philippines who live in the southern part of Mindanao, the Philippines’ second largest island. The text comes from a children’s circle game. The interlocking rhythms of Pokpok Alimpako are characteristic of a compositional practice found in music of the Kulintang, a traditional Filipino ensemble performing on seven or eight knobbed gongs which enter one at a time in special rhythmic patterns to create a layered sound similar to that found in the Indonesian gamelan. Francisco Felciano, one of the Philippines’ most important composers, studied at the University of the Philippines, the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, and at Yale University. Also active as a clinician and conductor, he has given composition workshops throughout the world and has conducted the Chicago Symphony and numerous orchestras in Asia.
Luk Luk Lumbu, in the Osing language, is typically sung at celebrations in the Banyuwangi region of southeastern Java. Traditionally, listeners will dance as a singer and kendang kempul ensemble perform. The ensemble plays a unique fusion of Banyuwangi gamelan music on western musical instruments. In this arrangement the choir imitates the sounds of various instruments with their voices. Budi Susanto Yohanes was born in 1979 in Blitar, Indonesia and was originally trained as an electrical engineer. He is the founder and conductor of the Gracioso Sonora Choir which has won numerous awards in Indonesia. A self-taught musician, he has made several arrangements of folk songs for Indonesian choirs.
Naiman Sharag (The Eight Chestnut Horses) —Mongolian songs often praise horses, real and legendary. A 13th-century chronicle refers to the eight chestnut horses of Chinggis Khan, which have become a symbol of national identity; indigenous Mongolian musical rhythms are often patterned after the rhythm of a running horse. Se Enkhbayar was born in 1956 in the Alsha Aimak of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China. He grew up in a rural, pastoral environment. As a child he learned traditional folksongs and acquired the nomads’ worship of nature, the two main features of his distinctive style.
Enkhbayar is employed as an urt duu soloist in the performance troupe of the Inner Mongolian Radio and Television Station. Naiman Sharag was awarded first prize in the 1991 Beijing International Choir Festival.
In Dulci Jubilo is believed to be the oldest of all German macaronic (mixed-language; in this case German and Latin) hymns. Tradition says that it was taught to the mystic Heinrich Seuse. Seuse studied with the mystic Meister Eckhart and achieved fame as a spiritual director of women's convents and for his Little Book of the Eternal Wisdom. This CD includes both a two-part version from the 15th century and an intricate version for double choir by Praetorius. Michael Praetorius was widely recognized by contemporaries as the leading Protestant composer of his generation. The majority of his work consists of sacred Lutheran choral music. These collections cover a wide range of styles and techniques from simple two-part and three-part settings to elaborate versions for divided choirs.
Anton Bruckner, though primarily known as a composer of symphonies, also ranks as one of the 19th century's most significant composers of liturgical music. His motets span nearly the entirety of his compositional career and combine his unique chromatic harmonies with Renaissance-influenced contrapuntal technique. This seven-part Ave Maria aria premiered in 1861.
Felix Mendelssohn produced a prodigious oeuvre of symphonic, chamber, vocal, and choral music. From an early age he was caught up in the spirit of revival of older styles of choral music and had a keen interest in the music of Palestrina, Schütz, and Bach, which found its greatest expression in his 1829 first revival of Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Weihnachten is one of six cathedral anthems commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm IV for high feast days in the Berlin Cathedral.
Mykola Leontovich’s Shchedrik belongs to the category of songs sung by carolers in Ukrainian towns and villages, who approached each house offering wishes of health and prosperity and hoping to be invited inside for a treat. The word shchedrivka derives from the same root as do “bounty,” “generosity,” and “benevolence.” The genius of Leontovich’s setting lies in his treatment of the simple four-note motive—really nothing more than a children’s street cry—which he moves from voice to voice while weaving a polyphonic texture around it.
Stille Nacht! was heard for the first time in 1818 in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened as the voices of the assistant pastor, Fr. Joseph Mohr, and the choir director and composer, Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church to the accompaniment of Fr. Mohr's guitar. The text for the original six stanzas were written by Mohr in 1816 when he was a young priest in Mariapfarr, Austria.
Visit www.seattlepromusica.org for texts, translations, and more information.
The recordings on this CD are drawn from the Seattle Pro Musica performances of Weihnachten! A German Christmas (2002); An American Christmas (2006); Northern Lights II (2007); Navidad: Christmas in the New World (2008); Eastern Lights: Music of Asia and the Pacific (2009); and Nowell: An English Christmas (2010).
Recordings took place at the Chapel at Bastyr University, Kenmore; Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, Town Hall, and St. James Cathedral, Seattle.
RECORDING, EDITING, AND MASTERING: Bill Levey, Via Audio, www.viaaudioseattle.com
CONDUCTOR AND PRODUCER: Karen P. Thomas, Seattle Pro Musica
CD BOOKLET PROGRAM NOTES: Karen P. Thomas, Katie Skovholt
CD COVER DESIGN: Carole Jones Design
CD BOOKLET DESIGN AND LAYOUT: Laura McFarland, Communications Director, MCN, Inc.
CD BOOKLET EDITING: Laura McFarland, Katie Skovholt, and Gabriel Grant
Asi Andando, “Thus It Comes (the Virgin Birth at Bethlehem),” arrangement and translation © 1999 by Christopher Moroney. Exclusive licensing agent: World Library Publications, Franklin Park, IL. www.wlpmusic.com. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Dios Itlazo Nantzine, “Beloved Mother of God,” arrangement and translation © 1999 by Christopher Moroney. Exclusive licensing agent: World Library Publications, Franklin Park, IL. www. wlpmusic.com. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Stille Nacht verses 2 & 3 arranged by Gustav Schreck, published by Carus Verlag in Weihnachtsleiderbuch des Thomanerchores Leipzig.
ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL
The Most Reverend J. Peter Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle
The Very Reverend Michael G. Ryan, Pastor of St. James Cathedral
Dr. James Savage, Director of Music
Joseph Adam, Cathedral Organist
Dr. Clint Kraus, Associate Organist & Concert Manager
Corinna Laughlin, Cathedral Sacristan
Seattle Pro Musica is a Resident Ensemble of St. James Cathedral.
Madeline Bersamina, track 5; Kevin Kralman, track 6; Rebecca Bettilyon, track 12; Jonna Farley, track 13; Jennifer Price and Liz Reed Hawk, track 14; Liz Reed Hawk, track 17.
Gus Denhard, Baroque guitar and theorbo
Elizabeth C. D. Brown, Baroque guitar and archlute
Timothy Helming, percussion
Ronnee Fullerton, viola da gamba