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Musical Weekly: Along the Way and B Minor Mass

I promised a complete list of composers and works for our upcoming November concerts entitled “Along the Way: Songs of Pilgrimage,” so here they are. A caution, however: You will likely not recognize any names. This is not a concert one attends because of familiarity with the material, or even the consolation of knowing that, recognizing composers, you are guaranteed of hearing something you like. It is a concert that features mostly Medieval and Renaissance choral works by composers who lived in towns that are along the route (hence “Along the Way”), and who would have seen many pilgrims walking through their towns and cities, on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The music follows the route of the pilgrimage, and will be interspersed with inspiring readings by Gene McCullough, local pilgrimage guru and veteran. Here’s the program:
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Entrance
“Congaudeant catholici” by Magister Albertus, Codex Calixtinus, c. 1140 A.D.
Journey’s Outset
Reading 1
Azpeitia (village near San Sebastian)
Kyrie and Gloria from the “Missa de Nuestra Señora” by Juan de Anchietta (1462-1523)
Pamplona
“Audi benigne” by Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga (1806-1826)
Mid-Journey
Reading 2
Burgos
“Hortus conclusus” by Francisco de Ceballos (d. 1571)
Léon
“Oy comamos y bebamus” by Juan del Encina (1468-1529)
Palencia
“De la Virgen” by Antonio de Cabazón (1510-1566)
Journey’s End
Reading 3
Santiago de Compostela
“Regina caeli” by Andres de Villalar (c.1530-c.1593)
Agnus Dei from the Missa “in exitu Israel” by Diego de Pontac (1603-1654)
“O vos omnes” by Diego de las Muelas (1698-1743)
Pilgrimage Fulfilled
Reading 4
“Adoramus te” by Claudia Francesca Rusca (1593-1676)
Exuent: “Dum Pater familias” walking chant, Anonymous, Codex Calixtinus, c. 1140
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In this case, the concert itself is the experience, as much as the music. My intention is to have some verbal remarks at the beginning, but not to interrupt the flow of the concert thereafter, making the journey of the concert a metaphor for the journey of the pilgrimage. The printed program will contain my program notes about each piece, etc., for those interested in my thought processis, and in the historical backdrop, but my intention is to create and preserve a quiet, contemplative, devotional atmosphere throughout.
Friday, Nov. 8, 7:30pm – St. Paul Community of Faith, Denver
Saturday, Nov. 9, 7:30pm – St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Denver
Sunday, Nov. 10, 3:00pm – Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Wheat Ridge
Reserve tickets in advance by clicking here; or by calling the SMCC office at (303) 298-1970. Tickets also available at the door, but as each venue is rather intimate (especially St. Andrew’s on Saturday night), there is a higher chance of selling out than most SMCC concerts.

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This season St. Martin’s instituted something called The Conductor’s Circle. A brilliant brainchild of our Executive Director Courtney Huffman, it allows members to attend pre-concert coffees (the Saturday morning of the weekend preceding concerts), as well as to attend “open rehearsals” a few weeks prior to the concerts themselves. These opportunities allow insight into the thinking behind the concerts, a chance to chat with me and others about it, and to experience part of the creational process of each concert. Membership in The Conductor’s Circle (TCC) is for the incredibly low price of $50!

We have 10 people in The Conductor’s Circle’s first season; and I really enjoyed chatting with people (and eating scrumptious scones and brownies) on the weekend before our “Epic Romanticism” concerts. And then, seeing those people at or after the concerts themselves, it was clear that we had developed already a little bond of comeradery.

Although one of the concerts is now behind us, I think it might be worth the while of many others on this list to still take advantage of it. $50 is still a bargain price for the opportunity to attend these Saturday morning “coffees,” to chat with me and MB, as well as to interact with other members of The Conductor’s Circle, to eat really wonderful goodies, and to attend open rehearsals, should you wish to do so. And if you can’t make one or more of the “coffees,” you can still consider your $50 as a kind donation to the ensemble you adore, and have your name appear on the list of TCC members in programs.

Reply to me on this e-mail, or call Courtney Huffman at (303) 298-1970 to start the process of becoming a member of TCC!
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30-some singers of St. Martin’s Chamber Choir will be joining the Pro-Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Cynthia Katsarelis, in two performances of J. S. Bach’s B minor Mass, one of the universally recognized choral masterpieces virtually without peer.

These concerts are part of Pro-Musica Colorado’s season, and tickets must therefore be purchased through them, but I’ll provide that information below. Here are the performances:
Friday, Oct. 25, 7:30pm – Montview Presbyterian Church, Park Hill
Saturday, Oct. 26, 7:30pm – Mountain View Methodist Church, Boulder
Note the similarity of names in the church venues, and don’t confuse them. Purchase tickets in advance from the PMC website by clicking here: or call (720)-443-0565. Tickets also available at the door.

To be honest, I’ve always been a bit intimidated by this piece, so I’m actually glad I’m not conducting it! But I am grateful to be getting to really know it “from the inside” by preparing the chorus (and probably singing in it myself).
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Evensong this week honors Vida Dutton Scudder (1861-1954), an American educator known for her advocacy of intercessory prayer, social activism, and pacifism. The music will be rendered by an a cappella quartet, and consists of the following:

October 9, 2019, 5:45pm, Choral Evensong: Vida Dutton Scudder
Responses: William Byrd (1543-1623)
Canticle of Light: “From the rising of the sun” by M. Susan Brown (1998)
Psalm: 25 – plainchant
Service: Thomas Barrow (c.1720-1789) in F
Anthem: “Lord, we beseech thee” by Adrian Batten (1591-1637)
Office Hymn: 564 (St. Dunstan’s)

Our organist Ralph Valentine and his wife Lynne will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this fall with a month-long trip to Spain. This coming Sunday is his last until late November, so, since I think he is at his best when he accompanies the choir on Herbert Howells’ works, I programmed one for this Sunday. In his absence Linda Mack will be deputizing for him (I am a man much to be envied in that I have, as one of the altos in the choir, a first-rate organist capable of taking over for a month! She formerly held organist positions at a number of churches in various cities, but after she retired she said she wanted to be part of a first-rate choir. I am the beneficiary of this resolve. Lucky me!!). Nevertheless, if anyone is in need of a “Ralph Valentine-fix,” here’s your last chance for a while!

October 13, 2019, 9:00 and 11:00am, Proper 23
*Introit: “God is our refuge” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Anthem: “Like as the hart” by Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
Fraction Anthem: “Qui manducat” by Felice Anerio (c.1560-1614)
Communion motet: “From the Rising of the Sun” by The Rev’d Frederick Ouseley (1825-1889)
Hymns: 493 (Azmon), *411 (St. Thomas[Williams]), 415 (Durham), 397 (Nun danket alle Gott)
*11:00 only

The Mozart is his K. 20, written when he was about 8 years old. His one vocal work in English, written on one of his childhood tours, presumably while in London. The Anerio is unique in that it is a 5-voice piece where only 3 of the original parts are extant (Cantus, Altus, and Bassus). My doctoral thesis advisor, and friend, Dr. Lionel Pike (musicologist and college organist now retired from Royal Holloway College, University of London) reconstructed the other two parts (Quintus and Tenor) to make the piece performable, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find, if the other two parts are ever found, that what he has crafted will have been very close to the original, given the rules and norms of polyphonic voice-leading, and a lifetime spent working with such works, as he has done. I think it’s also fairly safe to say that mine is the only choir in America that has ever performed this piece! See what you’re missing if you don’t attend St. Andrew’s every week? 🙂

That’s it for this week. All the best to all of you!
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Timothy J. Krueger
Choirmaster, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Denver
Artistic Director, St. Martin’s Chamber Choir
Affiliate Faculty, Metropolitan State University of Denver