German Romantic music by Bruckner, Brahms, Mendelssohn and others

St Joseph’s Chapel, Kavanagh College, Dunedin
2:00pm Sunday 22 September 2019
Waged $20, unwaged $15

Our concert is a celebration of the German Romantic era , with several pieces by Brahms, Bruckner and Mendelssohn, as well as a few gems from other talented German composers.

The most familiar of Mendelssohn’s pieces will be Denn Er hat seinen Engeln befohlen, composed in 1844. It must have been one of Mendelssohn’s personal favourites since he subsequently incorporated a revised version into his famous oratorio Elijah. The other Mendelssohn pieces are all for double choir: the joyful Frohlocket, ihr Völker auf Erden, and the uplifting Kyrie and Heilig which are both from his magnificent setting of the mass Die Deutsche Liturgie.

Brahms is represented by a selection of two items from his Sieben Lieder (1874). Both of them, Waldesnacht and All’ meine Herzgedanken, are melodic and harmonious in the way that Brahms so excelled and describe feelings of passionate love and pastoral motifs.

We include two Latin text motets by Bruckner. Os Justi is a setting of Psalm 137; the style uses many techniques from the Renaissance with polyphonic lines and intricate suspensions in 8 parts before ending in the style of a Gregorian chant. Locus Iste was composed for the dedication of a chapel in Linz in 1869; it is a simple yet compelling work that has been compared with Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus.

Our programme also includes items from Josef Rheinberger, Stefan Claas and Georg Schumann. Rheinberger was a child prodigy. He was an accomplished organist and wrote his famous choral piece Abendlied at age 15, in 1855. It is a beautiful and contemplative prayer of Christ’s appearance on the road to Emmaus. Stefan Claas is a modern composer who has arranged a traditional Christmas carol, Maria durch ein Dornwald ging, for 8 voices, and the style is very much in keeping with the German Romantic era. One of the highlights of the programme is the dramatic and harmonically complex piece by Georg Schumann, entitled Herr, erhöre meine Worte. Written in 1904, the text makes a passionate plea to God to be merciful and patient.

We are delighted to showcase a talented music student from the University of Otago, Sarah Hubbard. Sarah sings with Opera Otago and has won numerous singing prizes. She had singing lessons from Judy Bellingham for a number of years and is now studying with newly-appointed voice lecturer Tessa Romano. Sarah will present a bracket of three items by Schubert, accompanied by the very able pianist Richard Warnock.

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