Pyotr Tchaikovski  (1840-1893)
Tonight's Composers
Program notes: December 12, 2015

Program notes for tonight’s concert are abstracted from the following sources: wiki/George_Frideric_Handel;  https://en.;  https:// Messiah_Part_II#44;;;;; http://  Alfred; Wonderland; https://en. _Tchaikovsky; https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/The_ Nutcracker;  https:// en.wikipedia .org/wiki/Trepak; /Calvin_Custer;; https://en. wikipedia .org/wiki/Felix_Borowski; http://www. /biography; /se/id_no/ 040789/details.html; https:// /wiki/Eric_Jupp; http://www. item#.VlxzUE2FOpo; http:// 3298567.item#.VmZpgfkrJaQ; /wiki/Amy_Grant
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George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Eric Jupp (1922-2003)
Alfred Reed (1921-2005)
Felix Borowski (1872-1956)
Felix Barnard (1897-1944)

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The Nutcracker (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 1840-1893): Tchaikovsky was a late-Romantic Russian composer and one of the first Russians whose music made a lasting international impression. One of his most popular ballets was the Nutcracker which premiered in 1892; the Butte Symphony will play three popular selections:

March of the Nutcracker (Toy Soldiers): A Christmas Eve party begins. The children dance as part of the games, sometimes mimicking “marching” soldiers. Clara receives a “Nutcracker” as a gift.

Waltz of the Flowers: In honor of Clara’s victory over the Mouse King, the Nutcracker-Prince escorts Clara to the Land of the Sweets. The Sugar Plum Fairy honors Clara’s bravery with several dances, including the “Waltz of the Flowers”.

Trepak: Near the end of Clara’s journey, the Russian Dancers perform a traditional Ukrainian folk dance known as the “Tropak” or “Tripak”.

The Messiah (George Frideric Handel 1685-1759 - Mozart edition): Handel was a German-born Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London. His Messiah, which premiered in Dublin, Ireland, in April 1741, remains his best-known work and consists of three parts, 16 scenes, and 53 movements. After Handel’s death, Messiah was often arranged to accommodate performances by orchestras and choirs with as many as 500 musicians and singers. In 1789, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arranged “Messiah” for small-scale performance and the Butte Symphony with the Anaconda and Butte High School chorales will perform two movements.

And the Glory, the glory of the Lord (Part 1, scene 1 No. 4): This movement contains one of “Messiah’s” most well-known melodies. The altos begin by announcing: "And the glory, the glory of the Lord". The other voices answer and gradually the music grows. The words, "For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it" are set to solemn and repeated long notes that are first sung by single voices and then by all voices.

Hallelujah Chorus (Part 2, Scene 7, No. 44): Messiah’s Part 2 closes with the "Hallelujah". After a brief orchestral introduction, the choir introduces a simple musical motif based on the word “Hallelujah”. The first line, "For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" is first sung in unison and then by various voices with the rest of the choir offering Hallelujah-exclamations. The second line, "The kingdom of this world is become" is sung in a four part chorale setting. The third line, "And he shall reign forever and ever" starts as a fugue and the words "forever - and ever" take on the Hallelujah-motif rhythm. The final acclamation, "King of Kings...and Lord of Lords" is sung on one pitch and punctuated by repeated calls of "Hallelujah" and "forever-and ever". The final phrase is repeated on successively higher notes that lead to tense pause and a final augmented and joyful "Hallelujah".

The custom of standing for the "Hallelujah Chorus” originates from stories that King George II stood during its London premiere. The custom continues even though there is little evidence that King George was present, or that he attended any performance of “Messiah”.

Adoration (Felix Borowski 1872-1956; Arranged by Charles J. Roberts): Borowski was a British/American composer and teacher who studied in London and at the Cologne Conservatory in Germany. He later taught at the Chicago Musical College and at Northwestern University. “Adoration” is a single-movement work for solo violin that has a beautiful melody that builds to an ecstatic ending on high D. Tonight’s solo violin performance is by Butte Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Kyara Nelsen.

Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed 1921-2005; Orchestral transcription by Clark McAlister): Alfred Reed was an American neo-classical composer who, in 1944, was a staff arranger for the 529th Army Air Corps Band, then led by American composer Roy Harris. The Air Corps was preparing a holiday concert to promote Russian-American unity where new American and Russian music would be premiered; the American piece was to be the second movement of Harris’ “Abraham Lincoln Symphony”. The Russian work was to be Prokofiev’s “March”, Op. 99. However, just 16 days before the concert Harris discovered that the “March” had already been performed in the United States. Harris asked Reed to compose a new “Russian” work in time for the concert. Reed used a 16th-century Russian Christmas Song, “Carol of the Little Russian Children” as the introductory theme, gathered other thematic ideas from Eastern Orthodox liturgical music, and completed the score in 11 days. Although “Russian Christmas Music” consists of only one movement, it clearly has four sections:

“Carol of the Little Russian Children” is slow throughout; after a quiet opening by the chimes and strings, the clarinets and oboes carry the melody.

The relatively faster and louder “Antiphonal Chant” is presented by trombones, horns, and trumpets. The music builds and concludes with a massive percussive crash.

The “Village Song” has a time signature of 6/4 that creates a liturgical sense. Two-bar phrases pass back and forth between the woodwinds and strings while the basses play a long pizzicato eighth-note countermelody.

The “Cathedral Chorus” starts quietly. Crescendos build in the low brass, the rest of the orchestra enters, and the music builds to a majestic climax. An abrupt relaxation introduces the final chorale which reaches a thundering conclusion marked by chimes, tympani, and soaring brass.

Christmas-That Special Time of Year (Arranged by Calvin Custer 1939-1998): includes renditions ofRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (Johnny Marks); “Sleigh Ride” (Leroy Anderson); and “The Little Drummer Boy” (Katherine Davis).

Snow Begins to Fall (Andy Beck): This wintertime piece for chorale and piano evokes the beauty of a fresh snowfall. Voices form wintry layers within a sequential refrain and the bending of snow-laden branches is depicted with a chromatically descending countermelody.

Breath of Heaven (Amy Grant 1960-): Grant included “Breath of Heaven” on her 1992 Christmas album. The lyrics by Chris Eaton and Grant tell the nativity story from Mary's perspective; portraying the mother of Jesus as a frightened young woman who was attempting to deal with giving birth to the Holy Father's Son.

Bob-Sleigh (Eric Jupp 1922-2003): Jupp was born in Brighton, England, where he began studying piano at seven. He left school at fourteen to play in nightclubs and became a member of several well-known bands. Jupp immigrated to Australia in 1961 and launched a popular weekly ABC-TV series, “The Magic of Music” that was broadcast between 1961 and 1974 and seen in 29 countries. “Bob-Sleigh” is a light classical tune from the early 1950s.

Winter Wonderland (Felix Bernard - 1897-1944; Arranged by C. Paul Herfurth): "Winter Wonderland" is a winter song written in 1934 and popularly treated as a Christmas-time pop standard. Through the decades it has been recorded by over 200 different artists.

Christmas Music for Orchestra (Arranged by John Cavacas 1930-2014): Includes: “Adeste Fidelis”; “Silent Night”; “O Little Town of Bethlehem”; “Away in a Manger”; “Twelve Days of Christmas”; and “Angels We Have Heard on High”.
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