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ASO CHORUS BlogSpot
A Resource Page for the ASO Chorus
ESSAYS AND LETTERS - Past and Present -

ABOUT THE MUSIC
and the ASOC Performances


BRAHMS: Ein deutsches Requiem

ESSAYS AND LETTERS TO ASOC
1. "Liebeslied" - A poem on the Brahms Requiem (Robert Shaw, 04-22-80)
2. Singing vs. Hearing the Brahms Requiem (Robert Shaw, 03-11-97)
3. On Brahms's Centennial (Robert Shaw from "Music and the Spoken Word" broadcast, 1997)
4. Musical Illustrations of the Unifying Motiv in Brahms's Requiem (Michael Steinberg, 2005)

MOZART: "Coronation" Mass

ESSAYS AND LETTERS TO ASOC
"Got the Time? - Thoughts on Mozart's Tempo Markings in the Coronation Mass." (JWB, 1-21-10)

VERDI: Requiem


CLICK HERE to read a letter and two poems by Robert Shaw about Verdi and his Requiem.
and "CLICK HERE to read "The Fear of the Lord," Verdi's REQUIEM - Influences and Innovations by Jeffrey Baxter, April 23, 2010.


BEETHOVEN: Missa solemnis

1.
CLICK HERE
to read Robert Shaw's brilliant, brief Introduction to the "Missa" (from 1992).
and
2. CLICK HERE to read "Beethoven's Prayer for Peace - The Missa Solemnis's Dona Nobis Pacem," for the ASO Chorus by Jeffrey Baxter (January 4, 2011)

BACH: B-MINOR MASS

ESSAYS AND LETTERS TO ASOC
1. Bach's Mass in B-Minor - An Overview (Jeffrey Baxter, 01-15-13)
2. Bach's Plea for Mercy - The Kyrie of the B-Minor Mass (Jeffrey Baxter, 02-13-13
)
3. The Forest and the Trees - Two Views of the "Gloria" of Bach's B-Minor Mass
(Jeffrey Baxter, 11-14-12)

4. Bach's Creed - Two Views of the "Symbolum" of the B-Minor Mass (Jeffrey Baxter, 01-29-13)
5. Bach's Last Will and Testament - The Completion of the B-Minor Mass: Sanctus to Dona nobis (Jeffrey Baxter, 02-21-13)
6. Bach Quotes - CLICK HERE to read some quotable quotes about (and by) the Master.

BACH: ST. MATTHEW PASSION

CLICK HERE to read "Did you know...? - A look at the Matthew Passion's magic and mystery"
for the ASO Chamber Chorus (Jeffrey Baxter, 02-15-12).

BACH: ST. JOHN PASSION

LETTERS TO ASOC
1.
Staging a Palindrome at the ASO (Jeffrey Baxter, 01-16-07).
2. Guide to Rehearsing Bach (Robert Shaw, July 1990) - opening exhortation: "Loud mutilates -- Sustained-Loud annihilates..."
3. Public Executions and the Bach Passions (shared with ASOC - Peter Williams in BACHNOTES, Fall 2004).


BERLIOZ : REQUIEM

ESSAYS AND LETTERS TO ASOC
1. Berlioz's point of view - "Rex tremendae" text changes (Jeffrey Baxter, 10-14-03).
2. Who cut up the "Quaerens me?" (Jeffrey Baxter, 10-15-03).
3. Quote of the day about Berlioz's REQUIEM: "In terms of minute, the piece is mostly piano; in terms of effort, the piece is mostly forte." (Robert Shaw, 1993).

BEETHOVEN: Ninth Symphony

CLICK HERE
to read "Beethoven vs. Mahler - A Brief Musing on Mahler's 'Retouches' to Beethoven's Ninth,"
for the ASO Chorus
, by Jeffrey Baxter (September 8, 2011).

MAHLER: Symphony No. 3

CLICK HERE to read Nick Jones' translation of the text of the choral movement (Mvt. 5).
To view a snippet of a Leonard Bernstein/Vienna Philharmonic performance, CLICK HERE.

Here is one of Mahler's abandoned "Programs" for the Symphony's six movements:

1. "Pan Awakes, Summer Marches In" (or "What the Rocks Tell Me")
2. "What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me"
3. "What the Animals in the Forest Tell Me"
4. "What Man Tells Me"
5. "What the Angels Tell Me"
6. "What Love Tells Me"

BRITTEN: Spring Symphony

CLICK HEREto read "Britten's Spring Symphony - A Descriptive Analysis," for the ASO Chorus by Jeffrey Baxter (May 17, 2011)


STRAVINSKY: THE NIGHTINGALE

ASO CHAMBER CHORUS - Oct. 15/16, 2009
1. CLICK HERE to read the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale (in English translation).

2. CLICK HERE to read a singing translation of Stravinsky's opera-libretto.

3. Clips on YouTube of the film version by Christian Chaudet (Paris Opera with James Conlon conducting):
ACT I /II - CLICK HERE for the end of Act I - scene of the courtiers' search for the nightingale (chorus men) and the choral opening of Act II.
Act II - CLICK HERE for the rest of Act II.
Act III -CLICK HERE for the end of Act II and opening of Act III (choral altos).

ADAMS: ON THE TRANSMIGRATION OF SOULS

LETTERS TO ASOC
1.
Adams' Poetic Utterance (Jeffrey Baxter, 02-20-07)
2.
Thought for the day after Adams and his Transmigration… (Jeffrey Baxter, 03-23-07)


MOZART: REQUIEM

ESSAYS AND LETTERS TO ASOC
Click below for musings on Mozart's REQUIEM (from Jeffrey Baxter, ASO Choral Administrator):
1. In Defense of Süssmayr's "Mozart's Requiem" (01-13-09)
2. "Just The Facts, Ma'am…" Mozart's Requiem and its Scores(s) (04-22-09)

STEINBERG ESSAY
"Sacred Texts in A Secular World: A Word To Nonbelievers - and Believers"
-from Steinberg's excellent 2005 book, Choral Masterworks: A Listener's Guide.


STRAVINSKY: SYMPHONY OF PSALMS

ESSAYS AND LETTERS TO ASOC
1. Stravinsky's "New" Song (Jeffrey Baxter, ASO Choral Administrator, 05-15-09)
2. Thoughts After Your Extraordinarily Beautiful Performances of Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms (Robert Shaw, 03-02-83)

ORFF: CARMINA BURANA

ESSAYS AND LETTERS TO ASOC
CLICK HERE for a 2009 musing on Orff's poets and Requiem-parody in Carmina burana (from Jeffrey Baxter, ASO Choral Administrator), including a snippet of Robert Shaw's humorous take on Carmina and the execution of its text (from 1980).

CARMINA TRANSLATIONS (and PROGRAM NOTES)
CLICK HERE to view the eloquent 2007 set by former ASO Program Annotator, Nick Jones.


HAYDN: CREATION

TWO SHORT LETTERS TO THE ASO CHAMBER CHORUS
Haydn's Miracle (Jeffrey Baxter, ASO Choral Administrator, 01-14-09 and 02-20-09)
Video - Staging Haydn's CREATION at the ASO (Follow the link and click on "Revisit the Creation" 03.16.09 in the website's Media Center).

JANACEK: Glagolitic Mass

1. JANACEK AND BEETHOVEN - COMING TO TERMS. CLICK HERE to read about the connections between the Missa solemnis and the Glagolitic Mass, Jeffrey Baxter (10-13-10).
2.
JANACEK'S GLAGOLITIC "MESS" - Notes on the ancient text and pronunciation guide (Dr. Keith Langston, 8-18-10).
3. TRANSLATION - CLICK HERE for an English translation of the text, by Nick Jones.
4. VIDEO - To view a video clip of soprano Christine Brewer performing the "Gloria" portion with the BBC Symphony,
CLICK HERE.

GANDOLFI: Q.E.D. Engaging Richard Feynman

ESSAYS AND LETTERS TO ASOC
Q.E.D.:Engaging Michael Gandolfi - Creativity and the Right-Brain (JWB, 5-11-10)
Feynman "flower" video-interview - CLICK HERE
Feynman "bird" video-interview - CLICK HERE

ADAMS: DOCTOR ATOMIC


DOCTOR ATOMIC ESSAYS
Click below for musings on Doctor Atomic by Jeffrey Baxter, ASO Choral Administrator:
1. Adams and his multi-layered libretto (10-08-08)
2. Oppenheimer - historical figure or operatic myth? (10-17-08)
3. What's with this wordless chorus? (10-21-08)
4. CLICK HERE to view an outline of Atomic's scenes.

ASO ATOMIC PHOTOS
CLICK HERE to view pics from ACT I, ASO rehearsals and performances.

CLICK HERE to view pics from ACT II, ASO rehearsals and performances.

ATOMIC PREVIEW
CLICK HERE to view Pierre Ruhe's preview article from the AJC, Sunday ARTS section of Nov. 16, 2008 - read John Adams' comment about the upcoming Atlanta performances (and audience).

THE PLOT THICKENS
CLICK HERE to read the synopsis of DR ATOMIC (from John Adams' website).

THE COMPLETE LIBRETTO
CLICK HERE to read it.

ADAMS INTERVIEWS
1. CLICK HERE to read an interview with John Adams on DR.ATOMIC.
2. CLICK HERE for an audio interview with Adams by the NEW YORKER on Aug. 25, 2008.
3. CLICK HERE to read an excerpt from Adams' memoir, Hallelujah Junction, mentioning Robert Spano and the ASO Chorus.

YOUTUBE VIDEO FROM THE DVD of
The Netherlands Opera performance of DR ATOMIC:

1. "Batter My Heart" - Act I finale, Gerald Finley
2. The Final Countdown - Act II, pp.238-268.
3. "Bhagavad Gita" chorus - Act II, pp. 285-296
4. "To what benevolent demon" - Act II, pp. 303-308.
5. Red Alert - Act II, pp. 307-310.


HIGDON: THE SINGING ROOMS

-A note to the ASO CHORUS from composer, Jennifer Higdon (03-16-09)

 

GOLIJOV: OCEANA
-A note to the ASO CHORUS from composer, Osvaldo Golijov (11-16-04)
CLICK HERE to listen to a clip from the ASOC's OCEANA recording.


CHRISTMAS WITH THE ASO

LETTERS TO ASOC
1. The Christmas "Carol" - origins and future? (Robert Shaw to ASOC, 11-30-94)
2. Humorous "Xmas" poem #1 (Robert Shaw, 11-23-93)
3. Humorous "Xmas" poem #2 (Robert Shaw, 11-30-93)


SHOSTAKOVICH: SYMPHONY NO. 13, "Babi Yar"

SHOSTAKOVICH 13th - PROGRAM NOTES WITH ILLUSTRATIONS
CLICK HERE (Jeffrey Baxter, 2000)