The Sacred and the Secular

Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3, 2020

 

Haydn | Brahms | Mendelssohn

The Sacred and the Secular

Franz Joseph Haydn Te Deum
Johannes Brahms Schicksalslied
Felix Mendelssohn  Die erste Walpurgisnacht

Saturday, November 2 • 7:30 pm

First Baptist Church Gastonia
 

Sunday, November 3 • 4:00 pm

First United Methodist Church Charlotte


On the heels of Halloween and All Saint's Day, the Charlotte Master Chorale explores the sacred, the secular—and the sacred versus the secular—in the main chorus's opening concert this season.

The Sacred

Haydn: Te Deum

TheTe Deum is a Latin Christian hymn composed in the 4th century. Its title refers to the the first few words of the text, Te deum laudamus ("Thee, O God, we praise"). Haydn composed his Te Deumaround 1799 as a commission from Empress Marie Therese, wife of Franz I of Austria.

Unlike Haydn's masses and other sacred works,Te Deum  does not have any solos—just the full chorus. Two lengthy Allegro passages surround a central Adagio, making the work—at least in structure—a concerto for chorus and orchestra.Te Deum's first Allegro opens in the traditional festive key of C major, and  is sung in unison. The Adagio  opens with a thunderous unison C major and proceeds in C minor with moving chromatic harmonies. The final Allegro returns to the same cheerful mood as the first passage, concluding with a stirring double fugue on the words In te Domine speravi.  A coda-like section, distinguished by overlapping instrumental and choral phrases with syncopated rhythms, brings the piece to a stirring close.

The Secular

Brahms: Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny)

TheSchicksalslied (Song of Destiny), Op. 54, is a choral setting of a poem written by Friedrich Hölderlin, dscribed as the "most German" of German poets and a key figure in German Romanticism. Brahms began the work in the summer of 1868, but did not complete it until May, 1871.

Schicksalslied  represents Brahms at the height of his compositional powers, and  is sometimes referred to as the “Little Requiem.” It shares many stylistic and compositional similarities with Brahms's most ambitious choral composition—though its romantic characteristics give this piece a closer tie with his "Alto Rhapsody." The first movement, marked Adagio, is in common time and begins in E♭ major. The second movement, in C minor and 3/4 Meter, is marked Allegro.  The third movement, marked Adagio, is in C major and returns to common time.

Sacred Vs. Secular

Mendelssohn: Die erste Walpurgisnacht

Die erste Walpurgisnacht (The First Walpurgis Night) is a light-hearted cantata based on a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The composition consists of ten movements, including a programmatic overture.  Goethe's poem tells the story of The Druids and local heathen who live in the Harz mountains in nothern Germany. Their traditional May Day celebration begins the night before on what is known as Walpurgis Night. But their celebration has been forbidden by the now-dominant Christians in the area. The Druid priests emphasize that those who fear to sacrifice deserve their chains. A Druid watchman solves the Druids' dilemma by suggesting a masquerade of the Devil, spirits, and demons to frighten the occupying Christians. The Christians are indeed scared away, and the Druids and heathen are left to celebrate the coming of May.

2019-20 Season

Considering Matthew Shepard

Considering Matthew Shepard

The Charlotte Master Chorale Chamber Chorus presents "Considering Matthew Shepard" by Craig Hella Johnson on September 21-22.
Haydn | Brahms | Mendelssohn

Haydn | Brahms | Mendelssohn

The Charlotte Master Chorale celebrates the secular and the sacred with "Haydn | Brahms | Mendelssohn" on November 2-3.
Choral Transcendence

Choral Transcendence

The Charlotte Master Chorale presents "Choral Transcendence" featuring Durufle's "Quatre Motets" on January 31 and February 1.
Unity Concert

Unity Concert

The Charlotte Master Chorale presents "Unity Concert: African American Spirituals" with Special Guest Choir, Charlotte Contemporary Ensemble, on February 22.
Carmina Burana

Carmina Burana

The Charlotte Master Chorale presents Carl Orff's seminal work, "Carmina Burana" on April 25, 2020.
Mostly Motets

Mostly Motets

The Charlotte Master Chorale Chamber Singers presents "Mostly Motets" on May 28, 2020.