Pipes & Voices in Praise
The Assabet Valley Mastersingers is dedicated to perpetuating the love and appreciation of choral music. Through the use of personal, expressive vocal music, AVM enriches the quality of life for the people of the Assabet River Valley. With a commitment to performance excellence and innovative programming, local talented vocalists and instrumentalists perform celebrated masterworks, lesser known masterworks and commissioned works. Dvorák's rarely heard Mass in D is performed in it's original version for chorus and organ. Although set in the familiar Mass style it reflects Dvorák's personal creativity and at surprising moments is very reflective and lyrical. Laudes Organi is Kodály's final work. Commissioned by the Atlanta Chapter of the American Guild of Organists it features the organ in an extended introduction and organ interludes. With William Ness, a virtuoso organist and outstanding musician, at the organ, the chorus and audience will be propelled to a triumphant conclusion to the concert and our 2006 concert season. The text from Kodály's Laudes Organi (In Praise of the Pipe Organ)is taken from a 12th century letter written by a young monk after hearing an organ for the first time. The work demonstrates the power and flexibility of the organ while the chorus sings extraordinary programmatic settings of the text. It is quite helpful to follow the text in program as the music unfolds. Text: Audi chorum organicum instrumentum musicum Modemorum artificum documentum melicum Canentem ludere amabiliter Canere laudabiliter Docens breviter, leniter, utiliter, duciter, humiliter. Ideo persuadeo hic attendere Jubeo commoneo haec apprendere mentifigere humiliter. [Listen to the chorus of the pipes the musical instrument of modern artists a paragon of melody which plays sweetly and sings full of praise which speaks short of words friendly and beneficial, pleasantly modest So I advise you to stand here and ask you urgently to listen to it with humble attention] Musice! Milites te babilites Usum exercites artem usites Habilem corpore te prebeas facilem pectore te exhibeas. Follibus provideas bene flautes habeas Istare praetereas Diligenter caveas His prae habitis sonum elice doctis digitis modum perfice neumis placidis. [Musician! You must behave like a warrior. Let your craft hear and practice your art Show the skill of your body and the dignity of your mind Look after the bellows in advance to have enough air Standing still must be avoided Watch out for that When you have looked after this then let the sound hear with nimble fingers bring about the series of tones which have a pleasant sound.] Gravis chorus succinat Qui sonorous buccinat Vox acute concinat Choro chorus succinat Diafonico modo et organico Nunc acutas moveas Nunc ad graves redeas modo lyrico [The heavy choir below which makes itself heard sonorously the high voice sounds against choir and counterchoir in the series of tones after the melody of the organ. Now you must play the high ones now go to the low ones as with the lute] Nunc per voces medias trans volando salias, Saltu melico manu mobili, delectabili Tali modulo, mellis aemulo placens populo. Qui miratur et laetatur et cantatur et laudatur Deo sedula qui regnat in saecula [Then through the middle voices jump like lightning Melodious with a smooth hand, pleasing With such modulating, sweet as honey, pleasing to the people Who are surprised and pleased and sing and praise and serve God who rules in eternity.] Huius artis praeceptori secum Deus det Guidoni vitam aeternalem. Fiat, Amen. [To the master of this art may God, to Guido*, grant eternal life. So be it, amen.] Pipes & Voices in Praise was performed and recorded at the Evangelical Congregational Church, Westborough, Massachusetts *Guido de Arezzo (c.995), a Benedictine monk who developed the staff system currently used for musical notation.