Bicentennial Concert

January 17, 1976, 08:30 PM
Aaron Copland, Conductor
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
TITLE COMPOSER/ ARRANGER GUEST ARTISTS
In the Beginning Aaron Copland
Claudine Carlson , Mezzo Soprano
Canticle of Freedom Aaron Copland
Missa Carminum (Folk Song Mass) Paul Chihara
Madrigals For The Space Ages Boris 'Lalo' Schifrin
Preamble (For a Solemn Occasion) Aaron Copland
James Stewart ,
Old American Songs Irving Fine

MISSA CARMINUM ("Folk Song Mass")

 The Kyrie to my Mass was composed in November of 1972. The idea of combining popular with liturgical music was consistent with other compositional experiments I was involved with at the time: namely, that of transforming seemingly disparate musical materials into strange and new configurations, much as in dreaming or in reverie. I was pleased with the results of the Kyrie, and decided to complete the Mass, using a different folk song as cantus firmus in each movement, while combining it with the Gregorian incipits from the Missa Deus Genitor Alme, whose well known melodies run like sinews through the body of the work. Furthermore, the identification of sacred with profane love seems to me, as C. S. Lewis pointed out in the The Allegory of Love, a transformation which heightens religious devotion, and as such is a peculiarly beautiful and Catholic experience. Though I love the mighty choral works of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras , the models for my Mass were chosen from an earlier period : the great masses of the High Renaissance, and especially those of Palestrina’s. This influence is evident, not so much in the use of triadic harmony, as in the deliberate use of texture and density as a compositional and structure-determining resource.
 
Most of the songs I have used sing of love, and tragic love at that. Texts, as well as music, were important to me, and they are often set against each other to heighten my interpretation of the Mass. Several examples may illustrate:
 
"Kyrie, Sally Garden, my love
 and I did meet."
"Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
miserere nobis, He bid me
take life easy, as the leaves
 grow on the tree."
"Kadosh Adonai, who comes
in the name of the Lord."
"We're gain' to Montana,
Hosanna!"
"For I was young and foolish
and now .. . whether he
loves me or loves me not,
I will walk with my love
now and then ... Agnus
Dei, dona nobis pacem."
 
I should add that I am a Roman Catholic, and the music of the Latin Mass is as much a part of my musical sub-conscious as the folk and popular songs I also grew up hearing. The Missa Carminum is in five movements. It was completed on August 3, 1975, and is dedicated to Roger Wagner and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
Notes by Paul Chihara.
 
MADRIGALS FOR THE SPACE AGE
 
The protean gifts of Lalo Schifrin and the poetic talent of Ray Bradbury have united to produce a work that is very different from the former's earlier Rock Requiem. Schifrin, who is equally at home in the classical or popular styles is certainly one of the composers that the arch-iconoclast Henry Pleasants would consider to be in the "mainstream of music." The distinguishing feature of the musical setting of the Madrigals is the lean economy of means. The orchestration of the original setting with piano only has retained this quality. As far as the text is concerned, it is better to let Ray Bradbury speak for himself:
 
“I have been astounded, over the years, to see little being done in the musical field having to do with mankind's destiny in Space. Up until this year, very few lyricists or composers have entered this field. Aniara, the Swedish opera, is the only title that comes to mind. It goes almost without saying that I am a vested interest, which is also to say that I believe space travel to be the single most important endeavor in the entire history of mankind. When we look back from some star cluster, a million years from tonight, we will thank the generation of Apollo astronauts which first moved us toward the stars. The purpose in living, in creating, in working with fine people like Lalo Schifrin is to insure that future in space. When the final history books are written (and I stake my soul and heart on this) it will be said that I was right in my guess, my intention, my inspiration, and my will, while the intellectual mob which turned its face away from Space, was deeply wrong. It was with this dedication that I wrote the series of small poems which then passed through Lalo Schifrin's mind and came out his fingers into music. The encounter has made me happy."

Track Name Listen
In The Beginning 19760117-01.mp3
Canticle of Freedom 19760117-02.mp3
Missa Carminum 19760117-03.mp3
Madrigals For The Space Age 19760117-04.mp3
Preamble (For a Solemn Occasion) 19760117-05.mp3
The Boatmen's Dance 19760117-06.mp3
The Dodger 19760117-07.mp3
Long Time Ago 19760117-08.mp3
Simple Gifts 19760117-09.mp3
I Bought Me A Cat 19760117-10.mp3
The Little Horses 19760117-11.mp3
Zion's Walls 19760117-12.mp3
The Golden Willow Tree 19760117-13.mp3
At The River 19760117-14.mp3
Ching-A-Ring Chaw 19760117-15.mp3
Happy Birthday, Roger Wagner 19760117-16.mp3
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